Japan wants the right in a potential bilateral atomic-trade agreement with India to terminate the accord if New Delhi carries out a new nuclear-weapons test, the Indian Express reported on Friday.
After a three-year gap in nuclear-trade talks, the two nations earlier this month relaunched negotiations for a cooperation agreement that would enable Japan to export atomic materials and technology to energy-hungry India.
Tokyo’s calls for the inclusion of a provision that would “terminate” the deal should New Delhi detonate another nuclear device go beyond the language of the 2008 U.S.-India civilian atomic cooperation pact, anonymous sources told the Indian newspaper. That accord only stipulates that following a possible return by New Delhi to nuclear testing, India and the United States hold talks for 12 months before deciding whether to annul the atomic deal.
Japan also is leery of allowing India to reprocess used nuclear material — a technique that can be used to produce new reactor material or to generate fissile material for warheads. France, Russia and the United States in their own bilateral atomic-trade deals with India allowed New Delhi to retain reprocessing rights.
“There are several outstanding issues that we have,” Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said during a trip to India this week. “We will have these issues discussed in the working groups so we can accelerate the efforts.”
Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who met with Motegi, said this “is a very important area of cooperation but we are not fixing any deadline.”
“We are making progress and let’s see how it goes. It is very complex set of issues that we have to address,” Ahluwalia said.