Japan upbeat about Indo-US nuclear deal | india | Hindustan Times
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Japan upbeat about Indo-US nuclear deal

Japan rejected concerns that New Delhi has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 10:55 IST

Japan was upbeat on Friday about a US-India deal to share nuclear technology, rejecting concerns that New Delhi has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"India is a country that shares the values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law with the United States and Japan," Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe told reporters.

"It is wrong to discuss the Indian nuclear issue and that of North Korea on the same level," said Abe, the government spokesman.

Abe was responding to a question about whether Japan was showing double standards by urging communist neighbour North Korea to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty but not pressing India.

"Japan will keep a close eye on international efforts on nuclear arms reduction and non-proliferation based on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," Abe said.

Japan, the only nation to be attacked with nuclear weapons, had initially halted economic aid to India in 1998 when it carried out surprise nuclear tests, which were matched by rival Pakistan.

But Tokyo has since been seeking close ties with New Delhi, with leaders including Abe saying India could be a counter-balance to China whose ties with Japan have been strained in part over World War II history.

The United States and India sealed the historic deal to share civilian nuclear technology during a visit to New Delhi on Thursday by President George W Bush.

But the plan faces domestic opposition in both countries, with some Indians upset by slights to their sovereignty and a number of US lawmakers saying it sets a bad precedent amid nuclear crises with Iran and North Korea.