Talks on a cooperation agreement between India and Japan will be accelerated, the countries' prime ministers have said following a meeting in Tokyo.
|Singh and Abe after signing the joint statement (Image: Prime Minister of India's Office)
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh signed a joint statement on strengthening the partnership between the two countries. In the statement, they "reaffirmed the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, while recognizing that nuclear safety is a priority for both governments."
Abe and Singh accordingly directed their officials to "accelerate the negotiations of an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy towards an early conclusion." Those negotiations were suspended after the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant. The signing of such an accord would enable India to import Japanese nuclear technology and services.
During his visit, Singh commented, "India's growth will provide expanding opportunities for foreign investment. We welcome foreign investment in the development of our economy and especially so in the critical infrastructure sector."
He noted that over the past few years India and Japan have been in discussions "to address some of our shared challenges in the area of energy security."
India was largely excluded from international trade in nuclear plant or materials for over three decades because of its position outside comprehensive safeguards regime of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Special agreements ended the isolation in 2009 and the country may now engage in nuclear trade with those countries with which it has since signed cooperation agreements: Canada, France, Kazakhstan, Russia, the UK and USA. Foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India's nuclear power plans considerably.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News