India to seek Japan's help in nuke energy | india | Hindustan Times
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India to seek Japan's help in nuke energy

The India-US civilian nuclear deal will figure in discussions between Indian officials and the visiting Japanese Foreign minister.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 16:09 IST

India will seek collaboration with Japan in the field of civilian nuclear energy cooperation during talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso in New Delhi onWednesday.

The India-US civilian nuclear deal will figure prominently in discussions between Indian officials and the visiting Japanese minister. This will be Aso's first visit to an Asian country for bilateral consultations after he became foreign minister late last year.

During their discussions with Aso Wednesday, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed are expected to stress on India's credentials as a responsible nuclear power and seek Tokyo's help in influencing international opinion in favour of civilian nuclear energy cooperation with India.

During his two-day visit, Aso, who represents a new generation of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and is talked about as a successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will also discuss an entire array of India-Japan ties, including trade and technology, with President A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

Japan is an influential player in the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that holds the key to meeting India's civilian nuclear energy needs. Tokyo can also help India with issues of nuclear safety.

Japan's support for India's quest for nuclear energy is significant as it was one of the few countries that expressed its reservations over the India-US nuclear deal at a meeting of the NSG held last year.

Aso's visit is also significant, as it will set the stage for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Japan later this year.

Japan, which never missed an opportunity to criticise India's nuclear tests in 1998, has softened over the years and sought a strategic partnership with New Delhi.

This was evident during Koizumi's visit to India in April last year that saw the launch of the "Eight-fold Initiative" and the two sides declaring themselves to be partners against proliferation.

The UN reforms, with special focus on expanding the Security Council, will also figure in Aso's discussions with Indian leaders and officials. India and Japan, which along with Brazil and Germany are part of the G4 grouping, are pushing for their inclusion in an expanded Security Council.