Japanese are very particular that India should not conduct any nuclear test for civil nuclear cooperation to continue.
New Delhi: The termination clause in the main agreement for the India-Japan civil nuclear agreement, signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Friday, is binding on India but not a separate note in which the Japanese recorded their views on possible reasons for termination given its “special sensitivities”, government sources said Sunday. PTI reports said the note is on “Views and Understanding”, with the Japanese side citing India’s September 2008 declaration of unilateral moratorium on atomic tests and said if this commitment is violated, the deal will be terminated. Indian government sources said the note also records India’s position on this issue, which is a reiteration of the September 2008 commitments which were made at the time of the NSG waiver. No change is envisaged from those commitments and no additional commitments were made by India, government sources said.
Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered a nuclear attack and the Japanese are very particular that India should not conduct any nuclear test for civil nuclear cooperation to continue. With Indian government sources in New Delhi making it clear only the main agreement is binding on India and not the separate note, there could be some differences in perception between the Indian and Japanese sides. However, both nations are keen that the deal be successful, with no possibility whatsoever of India conducting any nuclear test now or in the near future.
Government sources said: “The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) with Japan follows the same template (as the ones India signed with other countries) but compresses the developments which have taken place since 2007. It reflects commitments which were made at the time of the NSG waiver in 2008, many of which were unilateral in nature. The termination clause is there in other NCAs we signed, including with the US (Article 14). However the circumstances triggering a possible termination are never sharply defined. Consideration also has to be given to mitigating factors.”
The government sources added: “Given Japan’s special sensitivities as the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack, it was felt that their views should be recorded in a separate note. The note is a record by the negotiators of respective views on certain issues. It states, on one hand, what could be Japan’s views in advance on what is a hypothetical situation; that is their national prerogative. At the same time it also records India’s position on the same issue, which is a reiteration of the September 2008 commitments. No change is envisaged from those commitments and no, repeat no, additional commitments have been made by India.”
Japan has made a major exception by signing the atomic cooperation agreement with India despite New Delhi not having signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.