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Japan makes exception; signs historic nuclear deal with India

PM Modi in Tokyo

Tokyo : Making an exception, Japan today signed a historic civil nuclear cooperation deal with India, opening the door for collaboration between their industries in the field even as the countries signed nine other agreements in various areas to bolster bilateral ties.

The agreements, including the one for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, marks a historic step in their engagement to build a clean energy partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after wide-ranging talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The nuclear agreement comes after tough negotiations for over six years between the two countries and Abe said at the joint media interaction with Modi that he was delighted over the signing of agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy.

“This agreement is a legal framework that India will act responsibly in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and also in Non-Proliferation regime even though India is not a participant or signatory of NPT,” he said.

“It (the agreement) is in line with Japan’s ambition to create a world without nuclear weapons,” said Abe, whose country has traditionally adopted a tough stand on proliferation issues having been the only victim of atomic bombings during World War II.

He noted that India in September 2008 had made its intention of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and also announced moratorium on nuclear tests.

“Today’s signing of the Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership,” Modi said.

“Our cooperation in this field will help us combat the challenge of Climate Change. I also acknowledge the special significance that such an agreement has for Japan,” he said and thanked Abe, Japanese government and Parliament for their support to this agreement.

Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Modi said as democracies, the two countries “support openness, transparency and the rule of law”.

“We are also united in our resolve to combat the menace of terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism,” he said.

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