India, Japan discuss civil nuclear cooperation

Tokyo: Notwithstanding its own nuclear disaster, Japan today assured India of taking forward the civil nuclear cooperation during the 5th bilateral Strategic Dialogue, which covered discussions on key areas, including defence and trade.

New Delhi also conveyed its appreciation to Japan for its decision to remove seven Indian entities from a banned list, paving the way for bilateral high-technology trade.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba held comprehensive talks here after which Krishna said "My aim …. is to take our partnership to an even higher level."

"I also discussed with Foreign Minister Gemba the status of civil nuclear cooperation between our countries…We have had three rounds of negotiations on this subject. After my discussions today, I am optimistic on this score," he said.

Noting that Japan has removed 7 Indian entities from its Foreign End User List this year,

Krishna said this will boost high-technology trade between the two countries. "One of the entities removed from this List is Indian Rare Earths Limited. We now look forward to greater cooperation between Indian and Japanese firms in the rare earth sector," he said.

Thanking the Japanese government for its consistent support to India`s developmental effort by means of its ODA or Official Development Assistance, Krishna said "This year, Japan has maintained the level of ODA for India despite its focus on reconstruction activity after the earthquake and tsunami.

"This is a strong vote of confidence in India`s growth story and exhibits the importance Japan attaches to our Strategic Partnership."