Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agreement in principle to supply nuclear power technology to India may run counter to Japan’s stated commitment against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The deal was reached on Dec. 12, 2015 during a meeting between Abe, who is visiting New Delhi, and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. If an actual nuclear power agreement is signed, it would mark the first for Japan with a nation that has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The latest move by Japan was met swiftly with criticism in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japan and India began negotiating a nuclear power agreement in 2010 when the Democratic Party of Japan was still in power. Japan had wanted a provision in any such deal that would allow it to immediately stop any nuclear power cooperation should India resume testing of nuclear weapons, which has been on hold since 1998. Although a joint declaration and a memorandum regarding a nuclear power agreement were released on Dec. 12, 2015 no provisions were included regarding a suspension of cooperation should India resume nuclear testing. In the joint declaration, the two leaders confirmed that a nuclear power agreement would be signed after completion of the technological details through further negotiations between the two nations.
Excerpt from Japan’s nuclear power deal in principle with India a first with an NPT non-signer, ASAHI SHIMBUN, Dec. 13, 2015