India, Japan close to finalising nuclear agreement

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) India and Japan are close tofinalising a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, formerJapanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said here today.

"India and Japan have come to a stage of concluding thenuclear cooperation agreement," Hatoyama, a key leader of theruling Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters here.

He hoped India would uphold its unilateral moratorium onnuclear tests and underscored the sensitivity Japanese peopleattach to it given that it was the only nation to suffer anuclear attack.

The India-Japan civil nuclear agreement is key to thesuccess of India''s ambitious plans to scale up atomic powergeneration. Some American companies keen to set up nuclearplants in India are owned by Japanese companies and governedby Japanese laws.

The former Japanese Premier also met Prime MinisterManmohan Singh and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma here.

The negotiations for the nuclear agreement were launchedon June 28 when officials from Japan and India met for thefirst round in Tokyo.

The agreement will enable Japanese companies likeMitsubishi, Hitachi and Toshiba, all having advance civilnuclear energy technologies, to set up projects in India wherethe nuclear energy market it pegged at an estimated 150billion dollars.

Major atomic power companies of the US and France, both ofwhich already have a bilateral nuclear cooperation treaty withIndia, have urged Tokyo to sign the nuclear pact with NewDelhi so that they can use Japanese technology for buildingreactors in the country.

The other countries with which India has already signedcivil nuclear deal included the US, France, Russia, Mongolia,Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.

Hatoyama along with five Japanese delegates also had abrief meeting with top officials of the Delhi-MumbaiIndustrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMIC-DC).

He also announced the launch India-Japan GlobalPartnership Summit which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo inSeptember this year.

The Summit is aimed at enhancing socio-economic, culturaland spiritual bonding between the two nations.

"The summit will bring the best of the best from both thecountries not only from the field of industry but also fromart, culture and education," Sam Pitroda, co-chair of theSummit, said.

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