Japanese foreign minister to visit India, ThailandAugust 20th, 2010 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS
Tokyo, Aug 20 (DPA) Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada is to make a five-day trip to India and Thailand to discuss, among others, bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation with New Delhi and the death of a Japanese journalist during violent clashes in Bangkok.
Okada, who is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Saturday, said Friday that he is also to discuss a free trade deal with India.
Japan and India, which have been negotiating the deal since January 2007, are expected to reach a basic accord during Singh’s visit to Japan scheduled for later this year, Kyodo News reported citing unnamed sources close to the matter.
The two countries also started talks this year on signing a civilian nuclear pact, which is to allow Japan to export nuclear power generation technology and equipment to India.
The move met with opposition from survivors of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as India has developed nuclear arms without signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Okada said he was to “candidly convey to India critical public opinions in Japan” and urge New Delhi to make efforts toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
On Monday, Okada is scheduled to meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. Okada is expected to ask Bangkok once again for a full account of and investigation into the death of Japan-based Reuters TV cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto.
Muramoto died after being shot in the chest while filming clashes in Bangkok April 10.
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