India, Japan continue talks on nuclear deal

03 September 2014

The prime ministers of India and Japan have welcomed the "significant progress" made in negotiating a nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries, saying talks will be accelerated to conclude such a deal.

Abe and Modi - September 2014 460 (Kantei)
Prime Ministers Modi and Abe at a joint press conference (Image: Kantei)

Following a meeting in Tokyo on 1 September, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement "affirming the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries." The signing of such an accord would enable India to import Japanese nuclear technology and services.

Negotiations between the two countries for a civil nuclear deal began in 2010. However, those talks were suspended after the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant. During a May 2013 meeting by Abe and India's then-prime minister Manmohan Singh, the two leaders said that negotiations had resumed.

Modi said, "In recent months, we have made significant progress in our negotiations on civil nuclear cooperation. Today, we have discussed this issue at length. We have reached a better understanding of each other’s positions through this discussion." He added, "We have agreed to instruct our negotiators to work expeditiously to conclude the negotiations at an early date so that we can further strengthen our strategic partnership."

The two prime ministers also affirmed their commitment to work toward India becoming a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

India was largely excluded from international trade in nuclear plant and materials for over three decades because of its position outside the comprehensive safeguards regime of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Special agreements ended its 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 the USA. Foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India's nuclear power plans considerably.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News