Japan, India Ink Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Deal

Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe with the participants of the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum, in New Delhi on December the 12th, 2015.

During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India, it was announced that Japan will be a partner in Malabar Naval Exercises, taking it from a bilateral naval exercise between India and the United States to a trilateral level on a permanent basis.

India and Japan also reached an agreement on the construction of a 500-kilometer (310.68 miles) railway linking the western Indian cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Modi added.

A long-mooted civil nuclear agreement is also on the agenda, allowing Japan to export nuclear plant technologies to the subcontinent.

"Tokyo will want some kind of commitment from India that it will not conduct a nuclear test. But India will have concerns about its strategic autonomy being curbed if it agrees to conditionalities", said Lalima Varma, professor of Japanese studies at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The Indian PM further said that the wide ranging collaboration between India and Japan, especially in clean energy and energy efficiency technology, would create solutions for the world at large.

If realized, it could become Japan's first military equipment transfer in decades after Abe lifted a ban on weapons sales under the country's post-World War II pacifistic constitution.

"We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and that all countries must abide by worldwide law and norms on maritime issues", Mr. Modi said. Highlighting the strategic importance of the bilateral ties, Japan asserted that a strong India is in the interest of Japan and a strong Japan was in the interest of India.

Similarly, India has invited Japan to take part in its Rs 50,000-crore plan to build six conventional submarines as part of "Make in India" drive.

"This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India's journey into the future", Modi said.

 

Top officials said the nuclear agreement still needed "legal scrubbing" and finalization of technical details, while Mr. Abe will need to get parliamentary approval and navigate tough domestic laws.

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