Nuclear trade with Japan will have to wait | india | Hindustan Times
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Nuclear trade with Japan will have to wait

PM Manmohan Singh is expected to thank the Japanese Govt for its “exceptional gesture” to back the India-specific nuclear commerce waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2008 00:38 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to thank the Japanese government for its “exceptional gesture” to back the India-specific nuclear commerce waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which ended the country's atomic apartheid.

Singh, who is scheduled to hold summit-level talks with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso in Tokyo on Wednesday, is likely to convey the nation’s gratitude to Japan’s support for India at the NSG as well as during the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“It was a conscious decision, a clearly exceptional gesture,” a senior official told reporters travelling with Singh to Japan on Tuesday. Given the “unique” situation, he said that Japan went along with the consensus at the NSG meeting which itself was a major turnaround.

A year ago, it was believed that getting Tokyo's backing for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal would be a “difficult” task, he noted.

However, the official noted that one should not expect immediate response from Japan to conduct civil nuclear cooperation with India. “Don't expect big bangs and don't expect a rabbit out of a hat. Let us evolve,” he said.

Ahead of his talks with Singh, Japanese Premier Taro Aso was non-committal on Tokyo opening the doors for nuclear commerce with India.

He hoped that New Delhi would stick to its unilateral moratorium on atomic tests and “implement” commitments made to the NSG for securing the waiver.

The official said when the Japanese side is ready to undertake nuclear trade with India, the country would be prepared to deal with them.

“When they (the Japanese) are ready, we are ready. We are also ready to work with the world” in the field of civil nuclear cooperation, he said.

“It is a new field for us and new for everybody else also. Right now they (the Japanese) are internally conflicted,” he said, hinting at the opposition to Tokyo's backing for the India-specific waiver as well as the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.