- India and Japan today signed a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Shinzo Abe, a move that will boost bilateral economic and security ties and facilitate US-based players to set up atomic plants in India.
- The two countries had reached a broad agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear energy sector during Abe’s visit to India in December last year, but the deal was yet to be signed as some issues were yet to be worked out.
- This is Japan’s first civilian nuclear cooperation pact with a country that has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and paves the way for India to buy nuclear technology from Japan.
- India signed a landmark nuclear deal with the US in 2008, clearing the path for the country to source nuclear power plants and technology from international markets.
- But with Japanese companies in possession of key elements such as safety components and the construction of domes of nuclear power plants, an accord with Japan was crucial for India.
- There was political resistance in Japan the only country to suffer atomic bombings during World War II against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
- 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 atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.
- Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.
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