WORLD


Japan, India sign agreement on civil nuclear power

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Baku, November 12, AZERTAC

Japan signed a pact Friday in which it agreed to sell India civil nuclear power equipment and technology, as the Japanese nuclear industry seeks markets overseas because of shrinking business at home since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to Los Angeles Times, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, also agreed during talks to advance business and security cooperation.

The nuclear pact, though limited to peaceful commercial use, is controversial because India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has raised concerns in Japan about a risk of the country's technology being diverted to India's nuclear weapons program.

Vietnam was a strong candidate for Japanese nuclear technology exports, but it announced this week that it is scrapping plans for two nuclear power plants because of slowing demand for electricity and the declining price of other sources of energy.

Japan is set to participate in an upcoming Indian rapid railway system, but the scope of its role is still being negotiated. Design work for the railway system, to link Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India, is to start in December and construction is set to begin in 2018. Abe expressed hope that Japan wins an extensive portion of the project.

Japan and India also agreed to step up defense cooperation amid increased assertiveness by China in the region. Tokyo is seeking to export defense equipment and technology to India. But an agreement on a long-hoped-for sale of US-2 rescue aircraft, produced by Japan's ShinMaywa Industries, was not finalized because of differences over pricing and other conditions.

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