Japan, a key civilian nuclear power, will offer its support for a landmark nuclear deal between India and the United States at a visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week, a report said on Friday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to relay the backing for the deal in his meeting next Friday with his counterpart Manmohan Singh, the Mainichi Shimbun said, quoting unnamed government sources.
Japan's support is considered crucial to allowing India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group that controls the export of nuclear materials to prevent weapons proliferation.
Japan, the only nation to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, has given mixed signals over US President George W Bush's deal with Singh that gives India access to civilian nuclear technology even though it has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Mainichi Shimbun said the government decided to back the nuclear pact in consideration of Japan's efforts to build ties with India and US congressional support for the deal.
China's indications it will cooperate with India on civilian nuclear power also pressured Japan to budge, it said. Officials declined comment on the report.
Resource-poor Japan is one of the world's largest civilian nuclear powers.