Japanese PM welcomes progress in n-talks (With images)

December 28th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Welcoming the “progress” in civil nuclear talks with India, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Wednesday said he hoped “mutually acceptable results” will be achieved. He also underlined that New Delhi should appreciate Japan’s sentiments on disarmament and maintain its moratorium on testing.

“At the working level, discussions have proceeded. I welcome this progress,” Noda, who is on his maiden visit to India, said after a lecture on his vision of India-Japan relations in the 21st century.

“I very much hope that mutually acceptable results will be achieved,” Noda said when asked about the status of civil nuclear negotiations with India.

The lecture was chaired by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and organised by the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA).

India and Japan have already held three round of civil nuclear negotiations, but the talks stalled after the March 11 Fukushima radiation disaster.

“Japan was the only country exposed to nuclear attack. Disarmament and non-proliferation is the tenet of the country. This is a matter of national sentiment,” Noda said. He was referring to strong anti-nuclear sentiments in his country which intensified after the Fukushima disaster.

Indicating that any nuclear deal with India will have to take into account non-proliferation obligations that are required of Japan’s nuclear partners, Noda hoped that India will maintain its moratorium on nuclear testing.

However, unlike his predecessors, Noda did not make the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by India as a prerequisite for a nuclear deal with India.

The prospects of reviving civil nuclear cooperation will figure prominently in talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Noda in the evening, said official sources.

Unveiling his vision of India-Japan relations in the 21st century, Noda called for the intensification of popular contacts through increased travel and tourism and an escalation of trade and investment. He also pitched for greater cooperation between India and Japan on a cluster of global issues ranging from countering terrorism and piracy to the UN reforms and creating an inclusive East Asian architecture.

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