India and Japan to resume Nuclear-deal talks

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 Ending the post-Fukushima lull, India and Japan Monday decided to resume negotiations on their civil nuclear deal and launched two separate dialogues in the domains of maritime and cyber security.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held wide-ranging strategic and economic dialogues here with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba, who began a two-day visit to India Sunday.

The two ministers asked their negotiators to resume the civil nuclear energy negotiations to work out a “mutually satisfactory outcome”.

“We also discussed the possibility of civil nuclear cooperation between our countries. We have instructed our negotiators on the way forward,” Krishna said at a joint press conference with Gemba after the talks.

Gemba confirmed that the two sides “will move ahead with negotiations to conclude a pact and arrive at a mutually satisfactory outcome”. He, however, reminded India of Japan’s non-proliferation concerns. “At the same time, I expressed our strong desire for disarmament and non-proliferation,” he said.

“We both understand the importance of the issue and understand each other’s concerns,” said Krishna while expressing confidence that both sides will work out “the way forward”.

India and Japan, the only country to have ever been attacked with nuclear weapons, have already held three rounds of negotiations for a bilateral civil nuclear deal, but the talks stalled after the Fukushima radiation disaster in March last year.

In other key steps that are expected to energise relationship between the two Asian powers, India and Japan unveiled the decision to launch a dialogue on maritime security and another one on cyber security.

They also decided to move ahead with their collaboration in the development of rare earths. The Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force will also hold a joint naval exercise off the coast of Japan in June.

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