India-Japan sign MoU on civil nuclear deal, NPT not a hindrance

New Delhi, Dec.12 (ANI): In a very important development, India and Japan on Saturday signed an MoU on civil nuclear energy, with the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) not a hindrance to the negotiation, as per the Ministry of External Affairs.

Briefing the media, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that they have reached substantive agreement on the Indo-Japan nuclear deal, and only legal scrubbing was to be taken into consideration and rest of the agreement was done.

“I would hesitate to put up a timeline, because I am not conversant with the Japanese internal procedures and their timelines. But the fact that we have concluded negotiations, the two Prime Ministers have signed the memorandum, speaks for itself,” Jaishankar told media.

“The Japanese side was assured of the efficacy of the liability solutions that we have found earlier. They have seen that the liability regime is working today. Other producers are satisfied that there is a credible market-based mechanism which will address industry concerns,” he added.

He also stressed that the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT), which was put aside in 2008, was not an obstacle to the negotiation made between India and Japan.

“We have put the NPT issue behind us with Japan’s help in 2008 when the nuclear suppliers group decided to make an exception for India and Japan supported making that exception,” he said.

“The world today accepts that the NPT was a product of a particular time and a particular situation and sometimes, there are some realities that you need to address, which have happened subsequently. If the record of the country is responsible and their need is serious, if they have been credible in implementing their commitments, all these have led different countries to consider the need for making exceptions. So, I don’t think NPT is a particular obstacle to this negotiation,” he added.

In a joint statement issued by both the countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe welcomed the agreement reached between the two governments for cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, and confirmed that this agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised, including those related to the necessary internal procedures.

The two Prime Ministers, on the occasion of the 70th year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

“They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate,” the statement added.

The statement further said Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which should lead to nuclear disarmament. They also supported the strengthening of international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. (ANI)

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