Negotiations for a civil nuclear deal between India and Japan seem endless. The goals, at one level, appear irreconcilable.
That may change. At one point, Japan wanted India to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and give away its hard-won right to be a nuclear weapons state. Now, it has softened a bit to the point where India not agreeing to future nuclear weapon tests may suffice. This message was reiterated in Tokyo on Monday during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
India’s energy shortages will rise in the years ahead as hydrocarbons become increasingly scarce and expensive. What India needs to do is to weigh the balance between its energy security and territorial security.
A nuclear deal with Japan may help in both directions. Tokyo still has some misgivings about Indian plans. India should try and remove them as soon as it can.