India-Japan Nuclear Deal Comes Into Force

The India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy entered into force on July 20, 2017 with the exchange of diplomatic notes between Dr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary and Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India.

The pact was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan on November 11, 2016.

This Agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy. It seeks to promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.

India is in a dire need to augment its energy resources. India is the third largest importer of crude oil. At present India’s nuclear power accounts for only three percent of its total electricity output. In order to realise that goal India has plans to build about eighty new nuclear reactors in the coming decades.

The deal is critical to India’s renewable energy plans and a lifeline for the Japanese nuclear power industry, which has been swamped since the Fukushima Daiichi power plants’ meltdown in Japan in 2011.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of 48 countries including the United States, France, Russia, Britain, China and Japan, had long banned export of nuclear power plant technology to India because it was not a party to the NPT. India, which conducted nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, is not a party to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, either.

But the group changed its rules in 2008 and made it possible for member countries to export such technology to India. Japan started negotiations with India in 2010 and signed the civil nuclear cooperation pact last November.

Main Highlights of the Nuclear Deal:

The nuclear deal would enable Japan to export nuclear power plant technology as well as provide finance for nuclear power plants in India.

Japan would also assist India in nuclear waste management and could undertake joint manufacture of nuclear power plant components.

Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers to set up atomic plants in India.

Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.