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Japanese party backs talks with India on civil nuclear deal

A top leader of Japan`s New Komeito Party, part of the ruling coalition and perceived to be opposed to exporting atomic technology on Monday backed the negotiations for a civil nuclear pact with India and said "a flexible approach" should be adopted to go for the deal.

New Delhi: A top leader of Japan`s New Komeito Party, part of the ruling coalition and perceived to be opposed to exporting atomic technology on Monday backed the negotiations for a civil nuclear pact with India and said "a flexible approach" should be adopted to go for the deal.

Chief Representative of New Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi said there was a need to "accelerate" the talks between the two countries to finalise the civil nuclear deal, besides expanding cooperation in other areas.
Yamaguchi, who is leading a delegation of Japanese parliamentarians, met Vice President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and discussed issues of mutual concern.

He said cooperation in nuclear energy sector figured in his talks with Khurshid besides other issues such as trade, commerce and investment.

"I explained (to Khurshid) that as a coalition member of the government in Japan, we have no major difference of opinion. I think the discussions need to be accelerated. A flexible approach is required to move forward on it," he told reporters later.
India and Japan had resumed their talks on the civil nuclear cooeration in September last, after a gap of nearly three years. Both sides discussed "all aspects" of the pact which will pave the way for export of nuclear reactors and technology to energy-starved India.

"In the meeting, I also added that Japan is a country where people had experienced nuclear bomb disaster. We had an accident of nuclear leakage. Both these issues are major issues among the Japanese people," Yamaguchi said.

While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is known to be in favour
of exporting nuclear technology to India, a number of political parties are believed to be opposed to such transfer.

The ties between India and Japan are on the upswing. Japan`s Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko had visited India in two months back.

Abe will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations here on January 26.

He said his party has two-three areas of concern such as ensuring safe use of nuclear technology, non-proliferation and CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty).

"There are certain areas of concern in Japanese side. In what manner, to what extent a realistic cooperation is possible, this is why I said a flexible approach was required," he said.

Yamaguchi said he also met Managing Director of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMIC) Amitabh Kant and discussed about the progress of the project being implemented in cooperation with Japan.

He said he was told that part of the project may be operational by 2017.