Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan keen on having civil nuclear deal with India

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 28, IRNA -- Notwithstanding the Fukushima incident, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda today made it clear that his country was keen on having a civil nuclear deal with India, hoping that it will be finalised soon.

Noda, who is on an official visit to India, welcomed the progress in talks with India on a bilateral civil nuclear deal and expressed the hope that it will be finalised soon.

He hailed India's self-imposed moratorium on no-first use of nuclear weapons and hoped this stance would continue.

'Japan is the only country which was attacked by a nuclear weapon,' he said, adding that its safe use was the tenet for his country's relations with other nations.

In reply to a question at a programme organised by Indian Council of World Affairs, Noda said, 'At the working level, discussions on the civil nuclear deal have proceeded in the right direction. I welcome this progress. I am hopeful it will be achieved,' pti reported. He stated that he had discussed this issue with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna. The latter was present on the occasion.

Noda's comments assume significance as there have been questions on the fate of the proposed deal, which is under negotiation, after the radiation scare in Fukushima when Tsunami hit a nuclear plant there on March 11.

Noda said the knowledge and lessons drawn from the damage to Fukushima nuclear plant- during the Tsunami in Japan- would be shared by the two countries to prevent such incidents in future.

The Japanese Prime Minister maintained that there was a huge potential for cooperation between the two countries in the field of business, people-to-people contact and in forging a global strategic partnership.

He pointed out that while there were only 800 Japanese companies working in India, there were 20,000 Japanese firms in China and insisted 800 is too small a number and should be increased. He also underlined the need for expansion of bilateral trade.

Noda emphasised on the need to further evolve the India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership which began in 2007.

He maintained that relations between the two nations would get a further boost if more people, especially the youth, visit the other country. The popularity of Japanese martial arts and movies had also helped in coming close to India and its people.

Noda thanked India for the cooperation extended during the March Tsunami in Japan.

He also claimed that since both India and Japan are maritime nations, they can work together in this field as well. Both nations had recently conducted joint naval exercises in the Malabar region.

The two countries can also work together at forums like ASEAN and sow new seeds of cooperation in other fields, he said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30737123

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