India, Japan sign landmark civil nuclear deal

15 November 2016

India and Japan on 11 November signed a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal which will allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India – one of 10 agreements which aim to bolster bilateral ties. The nuclear agreement, signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan, followed six years of after tough negotiations. "This agreement is a legal framework that ensures India will act responsibly in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and also in Non-Proliferation regime even though India is not a participant or signatory of NPT," said Japanese premier Shinzo Abe. It was the first time Japan had concluded such an agreement with a country that is not an NPT.

The deal includes a separate document that allows Japan to halt its nuclear cooperation if India breaches its commitment made in September 2008 to a "moratorium on nuclear testing”. India tested nuclear explosive devices in the 1970s and 1990s. Modi said the agreement “marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership” and would help to combat climate change.

Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia. India is already in advanced negotiations to have US-based Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp, to build six nuclear reactors in southern India. Japanese nuclear plant makers such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd are seeking to expand their business overseas after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster effectively ended domestic demand for new nuclear plants.

In a joint statement, the two prime ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member of the international Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as well as of the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening international non-proliferation efforts.



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