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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

‘N-deal with India to help regain Japan’s strength’

Recognising that there is strong opposition within Japan against civilian nuclear cooperation with India

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: August 26, 2013 4:55:44 am

Recognising that there is strong opposition within Japan against civilian nuclear cooperation with India,an influential Japanese lawmaker Friday said Japanese parliament will,however,see positive consultations on the deal.

He stressed the India-Japan civilian nuclear cooperation is part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy meant to regain Japan’s strength.

In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express,Katsuyuki Kawai — chairman of Japan’s standing committee on foreign affairs in the House of Representatives (the Lower House) —said,“Among the general public of Japan,there is a very strong opinion against the Japan-India nuclear cooperation,” Kawai said,citing recent memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,where their mayors specifically opposed the deal. Kawai belongs to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

He said,“PM Abe,through Abenomics,is working very hard day and night to recover Japan’s national strength and… by increasing the competitiveness of the industry and promoting exports,and that includes nuclear technology…”

He said Abe as President of LDP,the largest ruling party,“will intend to make political decisions”,which will be supported by every LDP Diet member. “In the House of Representatives,LDP has majority,and with the support of its members,we can pass the treaty,” he said.

But in the Upper house,“LDP itself does not have the majority,but together with the ruling coalition partner,New Komeito party,we have the majority. So from now on,I believe,in both Houses,there will be positive consultations.”

India and Japan have held several rounds,but not made much headway after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. After his trip to Japan in May this year,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed confidence India will soon conclude a civil nuclear deal with Japan that will allow Tokyo to export reactors to India.

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