Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be paying an official visit to Japan in November, reported news agency PTI Friday. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, the prime minister will be in Japan on November 11-12. He will meet Japanese Emperor Akihito and discuss bilateral affairs with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. PM Modi had last visited Japan in August 2014.
Reports suggest that PM Modi might seal the civil nuclear pact with Abe in Tokyo. Japan’s Kyodo news had reported earlier this month that the pact would help Japan in exporting their nuclear plant technology to India. The deal, if signed, would be Japan’s first civil nuclear cooperation pact with a nation that has not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India would also need to assure Japan that it would not use the nuclear power plant technology for military purposes, reports Nikkei Asian Review. During Abe’s 2015 visit to India, New Delhi and Tokyo had agreed to have a civil nuclear agreement once details were finalised.
Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu had earlier said that the civilian nuclear deal between India and Japan will be done only after the technical details are finalised, reported IANS. “We are working around this line. We are in the process of technical discussions. With regard to signing, at this moment I cannot say it will be signed because we are in the process of technical discussions,” he had said.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda held a press conference and spoke on Modi’s visit to the country. “We expect (Modi’s) visit to advance the special strategic global partnership befitting a new era for Japan-India (relations) and further deepen the bonds and cooperative relationship between our countries.”
The meeting holds special significance since China is currently at loggerheads with both India and Japan. While China’s consistent support to Pakistan has irked Indian leaders, its elevated activities in the East and South China seas and the Indian Ocean has been a source of worry for the Abe-led government. Hence, Japan is likely to seek India’s help in security maritime cooperation.