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India should sign NPT, CTBT: Japan

August 05, 2008

Japan [Images], a key member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, on Tuesday was non-committal on whether it would support India's case at the 45-nation grouping even as it asked New Delhi [Images] to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

After his talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee who sought Japan's support, Foreign Minister Masshiko Koumura said Tokyo understands India's energy needs but wants to be sure that Indo-US nuclear deal will not undermine non-proliferation efforts.

Mukherjee sought to allay the concerns, saying the Indo-US nuclear deal is "limited to peaceful energy programme" and asserted that New Delhi has an impeccable record on the non-proliferation front despite not being a signatory to the NPT.

"We seek cooperation of the international community... We are aware of Japan's sensitivity. In view of that I reiterated our firm commitment to total disarmament and strict adherence to conditions of non-proliferation as enshrined in various treaties," Mukherjee said at a joint press conference with Koumura.

He said though India is not a signatory to NPT or any other pact, India fulfills "all major conditionalities" required for non-proliferation.

Koumura, while noting that Japan is the only one to have suffered an atomic bomb, said his country needs to be sure that the Indo-US nuclear deal is "satisfactory" in the sense that it will further strengthen disarmament and not undermine it.

He said Japan would "join the discussions, which will be held in future", apparently referring to the August 21-22 meeting of NSG to consider waiver for India.

Image: Pranab Mukherjee and Masahiko Koumura address the media after a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Text: PTI. Photograph: Getty Images.


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