India-Japan Nuclear Deal
On Friday, India and Japan signed a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Shinzo Abe. This deal is opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment, and technology for nuclear power production that will boost bilateral economic and security ties. With atomic energy, energy-starved India looks forward to sustaining its rapid economic growth and generate electricity.
It was the first time Japan — the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack — has concluded such a pact with a country that is not signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“A landmark deal for a cleaner, greener world! PM @narendramodi and PM @AbeShinzo witness exchange of the landmark Civil Nuclear Agreement,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted on Friday.
The deal was sealed in a broad agreement during Abe’s visit to India last year. However, it was kept in hold to eliminate some legal and technical issues.
The deal mandates nuclear fuel and equipment provided can only be used for peaceful purposes, and a separate document signed alongside the nuclear agreement has a clause allowing Japan to terminate the pact if India conducts a nuclear test. India has declared a temporary ban on such testing since its last nuclear test in Rajasthan’s Pokharan desert in 1998.
India is in advanced negotiations with U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp, to build six nuclear reactors in southern India, part of New Delhi’s plan to ramp up nuclear capacity more than ten times by 2032.
There was political resistance in Japan against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.
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