Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Ja­pan on Novem­ber 11-12 may be termed the most his­toric as mak­ing an ex­cep­tion; Ja­pan has signed a civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion deal with In­dia. Modi said, “I have vis­ited Ja­pan many times, and this is my sec­ond visit as Prime Min­is­ter. And, ev­ery visit has been unique, spe­cial, ed­uca­tive and deeply re­ward­ing”. This deal will open the doors for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries in the nu­clear field. It was firmed up dur­ing the 2015 visit of Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe to In­dia when the prin­ci­ples of the agree­ment were frozen.

Prime Min­is­ter Modi termed this a his­toric step in their en­gage­ment to build a clean en­ergy part­ner­ship. Indo-Ja­panese nego- tia­tions for this agree­ment had been on­go­ing for the past six years. Ja­pan has 13 civil nu­clear agree­ments with coun­tries like France and the United States but In­dia is the first non-mem­ber of the Nu­clear Non-pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty (NPT) to have signed such a deal with Ja­pan. Tak­ing Ja­pan’s sen­si­tiv­i­ties about nu­clear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion into ac­count, both coun­tries signed a note in ad­di­tion to the civil nu­clear agree­ment re­flect­ing both coun­tries’ po­si­tions, Ja­pan’s reaf­fir­ma­tion of its na­tional po­si­tions and In­dia re­it­er­at­ing the non-pro­lif­er­a­tion com­mit­ment made on Septem­ber 5, 2008, on the eve of the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group (NSG) ple­nary. This note also talks about the terms of ces­sa­tion of co­op­er­a­tion. The tem­plate is sim­i­lar to the

US deal; a year’s no­tice has to be given for ces­sa­tion of co­op­er­a­tion. Prime Min­is­ter Modi stated, “This agree­ment is a le­gal frame­work that In­dia will act re­spon­si­bly in peace­ful uses of nu­clear en­ergy and also in non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime even though In­dia is not a par­tic­i­pant or sig­na­tory of NPT”.

Prime Min­is­ter Modi and Prime Min­is­ter Abe held vide rang­ing talks also re­view­ing the spe­cial strate­gic and global part­ner­ship as out­lined in the “In­dia and Ja­pan Vi­sion 2025” set forth on De­cem­ber 12, 2015. High­lights of the Indo-Ja­panese joint state­ment in­cluded: em­pha­sis­ing ris­ing im­por­tance of Indo-Pa­cific re­gion as the key driver for global pros­per­ity stress­ing democ­racy, peace, rule of law, tol­er­ance and re­spect for the en­vi­ron­ment; im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween Asia and Africa, and syn­ergy be­tween In­dia’s ‘Act East’ Pol­icy and Ja­pan’s Ex­panded Part­ner­ship for Qual­ity In­fra­struc­ture; co­op­er­a­tion on global chal­lenges like cli­mate change, coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism, UN and UNSC re­form and main­tain­ing rules-based in­ter­na­tional or­der; co­op­er­a­tion in high tech­nol­ogy, space, clean en­ergy and en­ergy sec­tor de­vel­op­ment, in­fra­struc­ture and smart cities, biotech­nol­ogy, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, ICT, ed­u­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment; con­soli- date se­cu­rity and de­fence co­op­er­a­tion in­clud­ing through ‘2+2’ Di­a­logue, De­fence Pol­icy Di­a­logue, Mil­i­tary-to-Mil­i­tary Talks and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard co­op­er­a­tion; ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Ja­pan’s readi­ness to pro­vide the US-2 am­phib­ian air­craft to In­dia; Ja­pan’s firm sup­port for In­dian ini­tia­tives like ‘Make in In­dia’, ‘Dig­i­tal In­dia’, ‘Skill In­dia’, ‘Smart City’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Start-Up In­dia’ by shar­ing ad­vanced skills and tech­nolo­gies through mo­bil­i­sa­tion of Ja­panese pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ments, in­clud­ing through Of­fi­cial De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance (ODA) ap­pre­ci­a­tion steady progress made in the Mum­baiAhmed­abad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project through the dis­cus­sion – con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion to com­mence end 2018 and 2023 re­spec­tively; progress to re­alise 3.5 tril­lion yen of pub­lic and pri­vate fi­nanc­ing to In­dia in five years un­der the Ja­pan-In­dia In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Part­ner­ship; com­mit­ment to work to­gether to en­hance con­nec­tiv­ity in­clud­ing road con­nec­tiv­ity in North East­ern In­dia; Ja­pan’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Modi’s ini­tia­tive for im­prov­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in In­dia; en­try into force of the Agree­ment on So­cial Se­cu­rity in Oc­to­ber 2016, re­duc­ing costs of busi­ness; im­por­tance of im­ple­ment­ing Ja­pan-In­dia Make in In­dia Spe­cial Fi­nance Fa­cil­ity up to 1.5 tril­lion yen by Ja­pan; MoU be­tween Na­tional In­vest­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Fund (NIIF) and Ja­pan Over­seas In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion for Trans­port and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment (JOIN) to ex­plore fund­ing for in­fra­struc­ture projects in In­dia; strength­en­ing bi­lat­eral en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion; in­ten­tion to achieve early con­clu­sion of Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion for the Safe and En­vi­ron­men­tally Sound Re­cy­cling of Ships, 2009; deeper bi­lat­eral col­lab­o­ra­tion in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy – MoU signed be­tween the Ja­pan Aero­space Ex­plo­ration Agency and the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion; co­op­er­a­tion in marine, earth and at­mo­spheric sciences – Mem­o­ran­dum of Co­op­er­a­tion (MOC) be­tween Min­istry of Earth Sci­ence and JAM­STEC; co­op­er­a­tion in IT and IoT, dis­as­ter man­age­ment, dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and health­care; MOC in field of Cul­tural Ex­changes – 2017 to be year of In­dia-Ja­pan friendly ex­changes in the field of cul­ture and tourism; MOC on Sports be­tween the Min­istry of Youth Af­fairs and Sports of In­dia and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Cul­ture, Sports, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of Ja­pan; MOU be­tween Gu­jarat and Hyogo Pre­fec­ture on mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion; prospects of co­op­er­a­tion in Iran and Afghanistan in­clud­ing in de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture and con­nec­tiv­ity for Chaba­har Port; co­op­er­a­tion in Ja­pan-In­di­aAus­tralia di­a­logue and in strength­en­ing East Asia Sum­mit (EAS) and ASEAN; zero tol­er­ance for ter­ror­ism — also calling Pak­istan to bring per­pe­tra­tors of 2008 ter­ror­ist Mumbai ter­ror­ist and 2016 Pathankot ter­ror­ist at­tack to jus­tice; closer co­op­er­a­tion in safe­guard­ing global com­mons and do­mains; reaf­firmed shared com­mit­ment to elim­i­na­tion of nu­clear weapons; and com­mit­ment to work to­gether for In­dia to be­come full mem­ber in the re­main­ing three in­ter­na­tional ex­port con­trol regimes: Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group, Wasse­naar Ar­range­ment and Aus­tralia Group, with the aim of strength­en­ing the in­ter­na­tional non-pro­lif­er­a­tion ef­forts. As per me­dia, Ja­pan is to sup­ply In­dia with 12 x US-2i am­phibi­ous air­craft at a cost of ` 10,000 crore.

Ja­pan has re­port­edly agreed to re­duce the price, ear­lier pegged at $1.6 bil­lion (`10,720 crore) for the 12 air­craft, to clinch the deal and ex­pand its strate­gic part­ner­ship with In­dia. The four tur­bo­prop US-2i is ca­pa­ble of short take-offs from land or wa­ter. Meant for search and res­cue, it can also trans­port 30 com­bat troops. In­ter­est­ingly, Ja­pan in mid-1990s had pro­posed po­si­tion­ing 2 x US-2i am­phibi­ous air­craft in An­daman and Ni­co­bar for search and res­cue at sea. The Ja­panese pro­posal was free of cost with both am­phibi­ous air­craft to be un­der joint con­trol of In­dia and Ja­pan, jointly op­er­ated by both coun­tries. Iron­i­cally, In­dia did not re­spond and two decades later we are buy­ing the same air­craft. Not­with­stand­ing this, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Ja­pan was by far the most suc­cess­ful, tak­ing In­di­aJa­pan re­la­tions to the next level.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi with the Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, on Novem­ber 11, 2016



(Top) Prime Min­is­ter Modi and Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan Abe wit­ness­ing the ex­change of the civil nu­clear agree­ment be­tween In­dia and Ja­pan at Kan­tei in Tokyo on Novem­ber 11; (above) ShinMaywa US-2 am­phibi­ous air­craft.

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