A civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and Japan, signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Japan visit last November, came into force on 20 July. It is the first such agreement that Tokyo has signed with a state which is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"This agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy. The agreement seeks to promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis," Gopal Baglay, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, told a press briefing.

India has been largely excluded from international trade in nuclear plant and materials for over three decades because of its refusal to sign the NPT. The agreement with Japan limits cooperation to civilian activities bans India from using Japanese technology and equipment to develop nuclear weapons and requires India to accept inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.