PM Modi's Visit To Japan: Prospects And Prudence

PM Modi's Visit To Japan: Prospects And Prudence

India is has not signed the most binding worldwide treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and could advance nuclear weapons using plutonium that is a by-product associated with nuclear power plants.

Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Japan, 11-12 November 2016, is eagerly awaited in India for an nearly certain civil nuclear deal between the two countries.

"This will be my second visit to Japan as Prime Minister", Mr. Modi said in a statement on the eve of his departure for Tokyo.

The two sides also signed pacts covering defence exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare and women while vowing to take their relationship from strategic partnership to a special strategic partnership.

The very good personal chemistry between Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is said to have played a part in deepening relations between the two nations.

Energy-hungry India wants to increase nuclear power generation to support its strong economic growth.

Abe's pro-business government seeks to export nuclear power plants because of shrinking business at home since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The country has signed similar nuclear agreements with France, Russia, Britain and the United States.

On November 12, Prime Minister Modi along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will travel to Kobe on the famed Shinkansen - the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway. In several other exchanges, both the countries have shown their strong willingness to collaborate on various issues of mutual cooperation such as tax convention to cover banking information, disaster management, high speed trains, Japanese investment in India and so on. Tokyo is seeking to export defense equipment and technology to India.

"India should beware of the possibility that by becoming embroiled in the disputes, it might end up being a pawn of the U.S. and suffer great losses, especially in terms of business and trade, from China", an oped article in state-run Global Times said. But an agreement on a long-hoped-for sale of US-2 rescue aircraft, produced by Japan's ShinMaywa Industries, was not finalized because of differences over pricing and other conditions.

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