Report: Japan, India set to resume nuclear cooperation talks

May 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM

TOKYO, May 20 (UPI) -- Japan is likely to restart talks with India on bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation as it seeks markets for nuclear plant exports, sources told Kyodo News.

The two sides may agree to resume their talks when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a summit meeting with Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh May 29 in Tokyo, the report said. The nuclear cooperation talks, which began in 2010, were interrupted after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan's Fukushima prefecture that crippled the nuclear power plant there.

"We have judged it sensible to negotiate an accord with India on nuclear cooperation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday.

Abe's government, as part of its effort to revive the economy and boost exports, has been promoting exports of Japanese nuclear plants and technology to the developing world. Abe's recent overseas tour resulted in civilian nuclear deals with the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

India is another major market for nuclear energy development.

Japan has been saying it has significantly improved nuclear safety since the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Suga said India has expressed hope for a nuclear agreement with Japan even after the nuclear accident, Kyodo reported.

"As a country having experienced a disaster, (Japan) is responsible for contributing to the improved safety of atomic energy by sharing knowledge and lessons with the world," he said.

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