Japan’s Foreign Minister: Resuming nuclear energy negotiations could bring India into NPT

by Junpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

On May 31, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida spoke during a press conference regarding the resumption of negotiations on a nuclear energy agreement between Japan and India. Mr. Kishida, elected from District One in Hiroshima, said, “This is an opportunity to involve India substantively in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime.”

India is a nuclear-armed state but not a signatory to the NPT. Thus, signing any agreement with India has been criticized as potentially leading to nuclear proliferation. However, Mr. Kishida affirmed that Japan continues to attach great importance to the NPT.

He stressed that future negotiations will be based on an essential prerequisite—that India fulfill its promises, including a moratorium on nuclear testing and thorough separation of military and civilian uses of nuclear facilities. He also stated that the negotiations would significantly enhance efforts toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Earlier, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui sent letters to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Kishida concerning the nuclear energy agreement with India. He urged them not to resume negotiations because signing any agreement could undermine the NPT regime.

(Originally published on June 1, 2013)