India made no extra commitments in n-deal with Japan

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) India made no additional commitments in the civil nuclear agreement signed with Japan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo for the annual bilateral summit on Friday, it is reliably learnt.

Sources here said on Sunday the template followed in signing the agreement was the same that was done with other countries.

Besides Japan, other countries with which India now has civil nuclear agreements include the US, Russia, Australia, Canada, France, Britain, South Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Argentina.

After six years of negotiations, India closed the civil nuclear deal with Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered a nuclear attack — during the Second World War.

Sources here said the agreement with Japan followed “the same template but compresses the developments which have taken place since 2007”.

The agreement reflected the commitments which were made at the time of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver in 2008, many of which were unilateral in nature.

The NSG, in an extraordinary plenary meeting in September 2008, noted the energy needs of India, but at the plenary in Seoul in June this year, however, China blocked India’s membership on the ground that for a country to be a member of the 48-nation bloc, it has to be a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

With Japan signing the civil nuclear deal, the path to India’s membership in the NSG has become much easier.

Japan is a leading player in the nuclear energy market. It will help US companies like Westinghouse and GE Energy, that have significant Japanese investments, set up nuclear power plants in India.

The sources here said that the agreement with Japan has in place a termination clause as in the case with other countries, but clarified that “the circumstances triggering a possible termination are never sharply defined”.

“Consideration also has to be given to mitigating factors,” a source said.

“Given Japan’s special sensitivities as the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack, it was felt that their views should be recorded in a separate note,” the source said.

“The note is a record by the negotiators of respective views on certain issues. It states, on the one hand, what could be Japan’s views in advance on what is a hypothetical situation; that is their national prerogative.”

According to the sources, the note also recorded India’s position on the same issue, which was a reiteration of the September 2008 commitments.

No change was envisaged from those commitments, it is learnt.

–IANS

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