The India-Japan civil nuclear agreement has been historic as it is Tokyo’s first nuclear deal with a country that is non-signatory to Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.
India-Japan civil nuclear cooperation is awaiting the endorsement from Diet – the Japanese Parliament, however, Japan’s Envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu refused to put a deadline to when the Parliament would ratify it.
The approval from the Japan’s Parliament in imperative for New Delhi to operationalise its civil nuclear agreements with the US and France as Japanese firms are suppliers of parts of nuclear reactors. But the Japan’s Ambassador attributed the delay to Parliament procedures and sought ruling out of any “misunderstanding” in the issue.
“…. as I am from the executive side of government, I cannot tell what will happen with parliamentary deliberations. But we hope they will approve it as soon as possible. We have presented it to the current session (that ends on June 1). After the agreement was started in November, the Diet session began with the budget discussion. After that, in March they discuss new laws, and so now that it has been presented in April, it is normal procedure and it means there are no delays. There should be no misunderstanding about that,” Ambassador Hiramatsu told in an interview to the Hindu Business Line newspaper.
The agreement was inked in November 2016, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan and seeks to provide energy-starved New Delhi access to clean nuclear technologies.
Underlining the importance of the deal between the two countries, Hiramatsu said: “I do understand that Japan will play a very important role in India’s (nuclear energy) programme, as Japan is involved in construction of many plants around the world. So I do know that India is looking very carefully at this ratification process.”
The Japan’s Ambassador admitted that its firm Toshiba is also observing the developments in the Westinghouse’s ongoing financial difficulties carefully, but conceded that the company does not have much say in the decision making in the issue as they two are “separated”.
“We are watching carefully, what is happening to Westinghouse. They are now restructuring the company under Chapter 11. As soon as they make a decision on nuclear power plants construction, we will know what happens to the agreements that were announced by PM Modi and President Obama last June. Toshiba is also watching very carefully, but they are separated from Westinghouse, so Toshiba isn’t part of the decision making,” Hiramatsu said.