TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed on Wednesday to speed up talks on a deal to allow Japan to export nuclear plants and to strengthen security cooperation as both sides keep a wary eye on China’s military clout.
“In the political and security area, maritime security cooperation will further be strengthened … On civil nuclear cooperation, negotiation will be accelerated toward the early conclusion of the agreement,” Abe told a ceremony alongside Manmohan Singh.
Unable to rely on a coal sector crippled by supply shortages and mired in scandals, India is pushing ahead with constructing nuclear reactors despite global jitters over safety. Hundreds of millions of Indians still live without power and factories suffer frequent blackouts.
A civil nuclear energy pact with India would give Japanese nuclear technology firms such as Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd access to India’s fast-growing market when they search for opportunities overseas to offset an anti-nuclear backlash at home in response to the Fukushima radiation crisis.