N-deal with Japan in line with other such deals: Government

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) The government on Thursday reiterated that the termination clause in the India-Japan civil nuclear agreement signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo last week is in line with nuclear agreements signed with other countries.

“The NCA (Nuclear Cooperation Agreement), in fact, has a specific Article (No.14) devoted to termination and cessation of cooperation in certain circumstances,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in response to a question at his weekly media briefing here.

“This is not new and is similar, in fact, almost identical, to the provision in the US agreement,” he said.

“Any suggestion that the termination clause in the NCA is not binding on India is factually incorrect. All clauses of the NCA are binding on both parties.”

India signed the agreement with Japan, an important player in the international nuclear market, after six years of negotiations.

The agreement provides for the development of nuclear power projects in India, thus strengthening energy security of the country.

It will open the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in India’s civil nuclear programme.

US firms like Westinghouse and GE Energy, which have significant Japanese investments, will also now find it easier to set up nuclear power plants in India.

Apart from 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.

Swarup said that the circumstances of termination by their nature were “not specifiable in the NCA”.

“I would recommend a comprehensive reading of the entirety of the provision to understand the hypothetical possibilities as well as the mitigating circumstances and consequences,” he said.

The spokesperson said that India appreciated the special sensitivities of Japan on nuclear issues.

“It was felt that a note on views expressed by the Japanese side in the above context, could be recorded. Such a record, to be balanced, also needed an accurate depiction of India’s position,” he stated.

According to Swarup, a “note on views and understanding” reiterates the commitments that India made in September 2008 when the civil nuclear agreement was signed with the US and “no change is envisaged from those commitments and no additional commitments have been made by India”.

“What must be appreciated is that the NCA opens up new avenues of civil nuclear energy cooperation with international partners,” he said.

“This will help rapidly expand the non-fossil fuel segment of energy production and contribute to India keeping its commitments under the Paris Agreement.” he added.