Mon, 27 May 2013 14:31:40 GMT

Singh to seek nuclear deal, investments during Japan visit



Tokyo, May 26 (PTI) On the eve of his visit here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has hoped that India and Japan will reach an early agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation even as he acknowledged that there are "problems" in Japan on the issue.

Singh, who is undertaking a three-day visit to Japan from Monday, will hold wide-ranging talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Wednesday on the entire gamut of bilateral ties with special focus on giving boost to cooperation in defence, economic, energy and other areas.

"It will be my effort to use this visit to strengthen our strategic and global partnership, which also includes trying to reach an agreement with regard to civil nuclear energy cooperation," Singh told Japanese reporters in an interview ahead of his visit.

"I do recognise there are problems in Japan and there are elections to the upper house which take place later this year.
But, I do hope that we can make progress in the civil nuclear energy cooperation," Singh was quoted as saying by Japan''s Kyodo news agency.

Negotiations for the civil nuclear cooperation agreement have not made much headway since Japan was struck by Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, 2011.

While Japan has backed the Indo-US nuclear deal and the exemptions given to India from international technology sanctions, successive governments in Tokyo have found the going tough in garnering political support for it in the face of stiff opposition from the non-proliferation lobby here.

Singh said both sides will use the visit to review overall Indo-Japan relations.

"In India and in Japan there is an all-round agreement that our two countries must have a robust strategic and global partnership," he said.

This is the postponed annual summit between the two Prime Ministers which was originally scheduled for November last year. The visit was deferred in view of the announcement of general elections in December last year.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, and other senior officials are accompanying Singh. .

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