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Differences with India on nuke pact narrowed down: Japan

New Delhi: Japan today said differences with India on a civil nuclear pact have been “narrowed down” and the two countries were looking to focus on regional issues like China's military build up through the
PTI January 26, 2014 20:11 IST
PTI
New Delhi: Japan today said differences with India on a civil nuclear pact have been “narrowed down” and the two countries were looking to focus on regional issues like China's military build up through the new mechanism of National Security Advisor-level dialogue.

A day after India invited Japan to join the Indo-US Malabar exercises, Tomohiko Taniguchi, Councillor in Japan's Cabinet Secretariat said, “(Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe has welcomed the invite. It will take place, it has been agreed.”

Talking about the forward movement in negotiations between the two countries over an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, Kuni Sato, Press Secretary in Japan's Foreign Affairs Ministry told reporters here “Differences on the civil nuclear deal have been narrowed down.”

“That is why they (Singh and Abe) said they will encourage the issue. They said they would like to see negotiations to continue. Prime Minister Abe and many Japanese feel India has a sound non-proliferation record,” Sato, who is part of Prime Minister Abe's delegation visiting India, said.

In another significant development, Japan announced that to encourage people-to-people contact, multiple entry three-year visas will be given to Indian tourists reciprocating India's earlier move of easing the visa regime between the two countries. Earlier, only single entry visas were issued to Indian tourists.

The developments came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held extensive talks with his Japanese counterpart Abe on bilateral, regional and global issues.

During the visit of Abe, who is the first Japanese Prime Minister to attend India's Republic Day celebrations as chief guest, the two countries also inked eight agreements including for promoting tourism, enhancing energy efficiency in telecom towers and for power generation in India.

On being asked whether the new National Security Advisor-level dialogue mechanism was a forum to discuss China, South China Sea and North Korea, Sato said, “I would say so, Yes, because it is a fact that China has been building up (militarily) and not necessarily with enough transparency.” “This dialogue will also pick up issues of North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Ukraine. Sharing views and exchanging opinions is important,” she said.