PM Narendra Modi’s Japan Visit; Focus On Nuclear, Bullet Train Deals
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today and is expected to clinch a landmark nuclear energy pact after six years of negotiations. PM Modi is on a three day visit to Japan.
1. The Prime Minister landed in Tokyo last night and this morning met Japanese Emperor Akihito. He also addressed top Japanese CEOs and invited investments, saying India has a huge and substantial need for finances and his government is pursuing reform policies to make the country the world’s “most open” economy.
2. The big focus during PM Modi’s visit is the nuclear deal, which is subject to ratification by the Japanese parliament. The two countries will also sign 12 other agreements after the two PMs told wide-ranging talks aimed at boosting bilateral strategic relations.
3. The nuclear deal, once signed, will allow Japan to supply nuclear reactors, fuel and technology. The two nations had reached a broad agreement last December, said foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.
4. India is in advanced negotiations with US-based Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan’s Toshiba, to build six nuclear reactors in the south – a part of New Delhi’s plan to ramp up nuclear capacity ten-fold by 2032.
5. The nuclear deal comes after long negotiations to find a way around Tokyo’s reservations about such an agreement with a nation that hasn’t signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, has sought assurances from New Delhi that it would not conduct nuclear tests any more.
6. India has declared a moratorium on nuclear testing since its last explosions in 1998. The nation — which has concerns about nuclear-armed China as well as its long-time rival Pakistan — has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, contending that it is discriminatory.
7. India and Japan have also been trying to close a deal on the supply of amphibious rescue aircraft US-2 to the Indian navy, which would be one of Japan’s first sales of military equipment since Prime Minister Abe lifted a 50-year ban on arms exports.
8. From Tokyo, PM Modi, accompanied by Shinzo Abe, will travel to Kobe by the famed Shinkansen bullet train, the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway.
9. Japan wants to edge out China in new bullet train deals with India. The competition between Asia’s biggest economies for high-speed rail contracts has been intense.