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Business News/ News / World/  Manmohan Singh, Shinzo Abe agree to push dialogue on nuclear deal
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Manmohan Singh, Shinzo Abe agree to push dialogue on nuclear deal

Singh, Abe push for a deal that will allow the export of nuclear reactor parts for civilian use to India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shake hands after exchanging the documents of their joint statement at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP)Premium
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shake hands after exchanging the documents of their joint statement at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP
(Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP)

Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to increase defence cooperation and push for a deal that would allow the export to India of nuclear reactor parts for civilian use.

The two leaders agreed on Wednesday in Tokyo to conduct a feasibility study on a high-speed rail link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and welcomed the signing of a ¥71 billion ($699 million) loan for the Mumbai metro line. Abe also pledged ¥30 billion for promoting Indian technology and investment.

Singh “expressed his appreciation to the government and people of Japan for their continued and unwavering support to India’s development," according to a joint statement. Abe pledged to maintain development aid “at a substantial level."

Promoting the export of nuclear power and rail technology is part of Abe’s drive to triple infrastructure exports to about ¥30 trillion by 2020 to boost economic growth. He is also boosting regional security ties in the face of China’s growing assertiveness to islands administered by Japan.

India and Japan’s navies held their first joint exercise in June 2012, and Abe and Singh “decided to conduct such exercises on a regular basis with increased frequency," according to the statement. The two nations will discuss ways to cooperate on using Japan’s US-2 amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue operations.

“We attach particular importance to intensifying political dialogue, strategic consultations and progressively strengthening defence relations including through naval exercises and collaboration on defence technology," Singh said at the release of the statement.

Fukushima

Abe is marketing Japan’s atomic energy expertise even as the government mulls restarting nuclear plants shut after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Japan and India forged an economic agreement in 2011 abolishing tariffs on 94% of trade over 10 years. Bilateral trade was about $17.6 billion in 2012, little changed from the previous year, according to the Japan External Trade Organization.

Singh’s visit was initially scheduled for last year, but was postponed after then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called a snap election for December. Manmohan Singh leaves Japan for Bangkok on Thursday. Bloomberg

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Published: 29 May 2013, 06:41 PM IST
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