India, Japan to accelerate nuclear deal negotiations

Tokyo, May 29: India and Japan agreed to "accelerate" negotiations for early conclusion of the much anticipated bilateral civil nuclear deal, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday, at a joint press conference along with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.

"The two countries will accelerate negotiations for the early conclusion of the civilian nuclear agreement," Abe said.

Negotiations for the civil nuclear cooperation agreement have not made much headway since Japan was struck by Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, 2011.

While Japan has backed the Indo-US nuclear deal and the exemptions given to India from international technology sanctions, successive governments in Tokyo have found the going tough in garnering political support for it in the face of stiff opposition from the non-proliferation lobby.

Ahead of his visit, Dr. Singh had said, "I do recognise there are problems in Japan and there are elections to the upper house which take place later this year. But, I do hope that we can make progress in the civil nuclear energy cooperation."

On the issue of security and defence ties, Japanese Prime Minister said it was agreed to further strengthen maritime security cooperation between the two countries.

Dr. Singh added, "We attach particular importance to intensifying political dialogue and strategic consultations and progressively strengthening the defence relations including naval exercises and collaboration in defence technology, cooperation in hi-tech, space, energy security and rare earth minerals."

The Japanese Prime Minister said Tokyo will help India in setting up high-speed rail network. India and Japan also decided to establish a Joint Working Group to explore modality for the cooperation on the Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft, he said.

It was also announced that Emperor and Empress of Japan will visit India as state guests from the end of November to early December 2013.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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