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PM to visit Japan later this month; N-deal on the cards

Source: PTI
May 14, 2013 14:47 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Tokyo later this month to expand India's strategic partnership with Japan and discuss a bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

Singh will visit Japan from May 27-30 for talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the Japanese foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The two leaders plan to hold a summit on May 29, Kyodo news agency quoted a Japanese government source as saying.

They are expected to discuss the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries and Japan's possible export of nuclear power technologies to India, it said.

Negotiations for the accord have stalled since Japan was struck by a powerful earthquake in March 2011 and the subsequent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo.

During the upcoming summit, Abe is expected to call for strengthening governmental cooperation aimed at exporting Japan's shinkansen bullet train technology to India as part of Tokyo's efforts to promote economic diplomacy.

Singh will also meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during the trip, his first since October 2010 for a summit with then Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

"As India is a South Asian power that shares with us values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law, we aim to expand the partnership by discussing a wide range of issues including politics and the economy," a government official told reporters.

"The country is also strategically important for Japan as it lies on sea lanes from the Middle East," where Japan gets much of the oil it imports, he said.

Singh had postponed a trip to Tokyo in November last year after a general election was called in Japan.

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