New Delhi, Tokyo try to iron out nuclear-deal today

Summit: India for a US kind of pact, but nuclear history makes Japan wary.

By: Express News Service Written by Shubhajit Roy | Tokyo | Updated: September 1, 2014 7:13 am
After busy day in Kyoto,Modi arrives in Tokyo for summit talks. (Source: PTI) After busy day in Kyoto, Nrendra Modi arrives in Tokyo for summit talks. (Source: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew into Tokyo on Sunday for crucial summit talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after an overnight stay in Kyoto where he visited two ancient Buddhist temples. In a significant gesture, Abe accompanied him to these temples.

Ahead of Monday’s summit talks, Indian and Japanese negotiators were working till late on Sunday night to conclude the civilian nuclear deal.

The Indian negotiators are staying at a hotel located near the Japanese Foreign Ministry and PM Abe’s offices.

Sources told The Indian Express that Delhi wants Tokyo to accept the “Indo-US nuclear deal template”. As per that template, in case of a nuclear test, the two countries must hold consultations for a year and then decide on termination.

However, the Japanese side is not very comfortable with this template. And that discomfort stems from Japan being the only country in the world to have been the victim of a nuclear attack. Given that history, the Abe government will find it politically difficult to justify an Indo-US kind of template.

PMs Modi, Abe during the visit to Toji Temple in Kyoto Sunday.  (Source: PTI) PMs Modi, Abe during the visit to Toji Temple in Kyoto Sunday. (Source: PTI)

Besides, Japan Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is a member of parliament from Hiroshima, the site of one of the two nuclear attacks on Japan. While he has publicly not spoken out against the deal, Kishida’s constituency and supporters have strong sensitivities attached to a nuclear agreement with a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

While officials were tightlipped on a breakthrough in the nuclear deal, they confirmed that apart from it, defence, infrastructure and trade will be high on the summit agenda on Monday.

The two sides are not close to any agreement on the buying of US-2 amphibious planes, but a defence cooperation agreement on maritime security is likely.

The joint working group on US-2 planes has met twice, and while the discussions are “progressing”, the deal is quite a distance away. In fact, the head of the joint working group, Amitabh Kant, is part of the delegation, to re-affirm India’s intention to buy these planes for relief and rescue operations.

Apart from the bilateral talks with Abe, Modi is scheduled to meet Japanese Cabinet ministers in separate one-on-one meetings, including Kishida, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Akihiro Ohta, and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera.

On Sunday, on the second day the Kyoto leg of his trip, Modi visited two Buddhist temples — Toji and Kinkakuji — met Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa and toured the Stem Cell Research Facility at Kyoto University.

After prayers at the temples, Modi mingled with people and tourists. He thanked Abe for accompanying him to the Toji temple and spending time with him. The Japanese PM rarely greets a foreign leader outside the national capital.

Abe, for his part, told Modi that this was only the second time that he had visited Toji, the last being during his student days.

At Kinkakuji, Modi shook hands with tourists and pilgrims, pulled the ears of a child and posed for photographs with groups of people.

Lauding Japan’s deep historical ties with India, Abe tweeted, “Looking forward to seeing PM Modi again in Tokyo tomorrow.”

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  1. R
    Sep 1, 2014 at 5:23 am
    When all PMs think alike they dont think! Nukes are never safe in modern civilization with its plethora of dams causing nukes like,Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, melt one more ferociously than the other. By themselves nukes can never ure acceptable safety. Apply the precautionary principle principle and shut down all nukes. They are infinitely non performing with negative efficiency and infinite costs. See Modern and Normal Civilizations/Ramaswami Ashok KumarNote that Tokyo is uninhabitable but people are not told the truth: ISIS: International Stiglitzian Information Suppression:SeeUSHIMA MAKES TOKYO UNINHABITABLE AUGUST 11 2014enenews latest.
    1. S
      Sachin Jagade
      Sep 1, 2014 at 1:06 am
      The historic meeting between the 2 powerful and nationalist PMs portends well for the peoples of the 2 countries. Historical, cultural and religious ties between India and an now must be taken to the next level considering the geopolitical context of current times. Whilst India can offer its soft skills to an including IT, Healthcare professionals, hospitality services, defence guarantees among other things, an could help India with FDI and infrastructure. This historic moment must not be allowed to p without getting tangible benefits to both nations. India should strongly commit to defend an's interests in the Asia Pacific. It should be a partnership of equals.
      1. S
        Sonny Joseph
        Sep 1, 2014 at 6:28 am
        In today's context of the developed world hungry for avenues of "real" and sustainable growth, India and an are natural partners. It is to his credit that PM Abe is mindful of this important dynamic especially in the current predicament of his bold initiatives under ABEnomics clearly needing a new stimulus to propel its gains to the next level. Also interesting is that PM Abe recognises in PM Modi, an equally bold Leader "COMMITTED" to a zealous Mission of taking India forward... Let us therefore (as aspiringly supportive Indians) 'toast' the two Leaders and wish them well in their noble endeavours for their Homelands!...GODBless!!!