India, Japan to resume n-deal talks, to develop rare earths (Lead)October 29th, 2011 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS
Tokyo/New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Japan Saturday agreed to resume civil nuclear negotiations with India that were stalled after the Fukushima disaster and accelerate the joint development of rare earth material deposits.
In a development that will be closely watched by China, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who concluded the fifth round of strategic dialogue with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba in Tokyo, said the India-Japan-United States trilateral dialogue will be held soon.
Krishna and Gemba discussed a host of issues that included jointly combating piracy and terrorism to civil nuclear cooperation, climate change and the evolving East Asia architecture. They also discussed ways to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Indo-Japan relations next year.
The discussions, which lasted over an hour, have set the stage for the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to India in December.
Japan indicated its readiness to resume civil nuclear negotiations with India that were stalled after the March 11 Fukushima radiation disaster and the ensuing political uncertainty in that country.
“I also discussed with Foreign Minister Gemba the status of civil nuclear cooperation between our countries. As you are aware, we have had three rounds of negotiations on this subject,” Krishna said at a joint press conference with Gemba in Tokyo.
“After my discussions today, I am optimistic on this score,” he said.
The two countries “will move forward talks on the civilian nuclear cooperation pact while paying consideration to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”, Jiji Press quoted Gemba as saying.
“We agreed to resume negotiations at the working level so that we can surely move towards it,” he said.
Nuclear negotiations with India have been a sensitive political subject in Japan, the only country that has borne the brunt of nuclear weapons.
In another key development, the two countries decided to spur their high-technology cooperation and collaborate in the development of rare earths. Japan has removed seven Indian entities from its Foreign End User List this year, which included Indian Rare Earths Limited.
“We now look forward to greater cooperation between Indian and Japanese firms in the rare earths sector,” Krishna said.
“The two countries will move ahead with a joint development,” of rare earth deposits in India, said Gemba. Tokyo is seeking to diversify rare earth supplies as Beijing controls more than 90 percent of global supply.
Expressing sympathy with Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Krishna said India was “ready to help in whatever way required”.
“We also discussed the India-Japan-United States trilateral dialogue. We agreed that it will be held very soon. It will cover regional and international issues of concern to all three countries,” Krishna said.
Beijing is uneasy with the trilateral dialogue and sees it as an attempt to contain its rise in Asia.
Krishna also thanked Japan for maintaining the level of its Official Development Assistance (ODA) to India despite its focus on reconstruction activity after the earthquake and tsunami.
“This is a strong vote of confidence in India’s growth story and exhibits the importance Japan attaches to our Strategic Partnership,” he said.
Close on the heels of Krishna’s visit, Defence Minister A.K. Antony goes on a day-long visit to Tokyo Nov. 2.
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Tags: 60th anniversary, asia architecture, climate change, countrie, earth material, external affairs minister, gemba, japan relations, japanese counterpart, japanese prime minister, key development, noda, nuclear cooperation, nuclear disarmament, nuclear negotiations, nuclear weapons, political subject, political uncertainty, radiation disaster, rare earth