New Delhi, Dec 26 The prime ministers of India and Japan will Wednesday discuss the prospects of reviving civil nuclear cooperation negotiations and explore trade and investment in areas ranging from infrastructure to bullet trains.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda touches down here Tuesday on a three-day official visit for annual summit talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
This will be Noda’s first visit to India since he became the prime minister of the Pacific island-state in September this year.
The two leaders will Wednesday discuss an entire range of bilateral, regional and global issues, Syed Akbaruddin, officer on special duty who is spokesperson-to-be of the external affairs ministry, told reporters here Monday ahead of the visit.
Civil nuclear cooperation, trade and investment, maritime security, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy cooperation, the UN reforms and the evolving East Asia architecture will be among the key issues to be discussed.
The two leaders are expected to discuss ways of resuming nuclear negotiations that stalled after the Fukushima disaster. “This issue will be discussed,” Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary in charge of East Asia, said here.
Bambawale added that although the talks paused after the March 11 Fukushima disaster, the two sides have been focusing on issues concerning nuclear security. There have been informal consultations since the Fukushima incident, Bambawale said.
India, on its part, is hoping that talks at the summit level will revive negotiations and push the process of concluding a nuclear deal with Japan, a leader in civil nuclear technology that depends on nuclear power for over 30 percent of its energy needs.
Early this year, Japan removed seven Indian entities from its Foreign End User List, which included Indian Rare Earths Limited.
During his talks with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in Tokyo in October, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba had conveyed Tokyo’s readiness to resume nuclear talks.
Enhancing trade and investment will be another important area of discussions. Ahead of the visit, India called for more Japanese investment across the spectrum.
“We are looking to see more Japanese FDI coming to India. We are hoping to see an increase in Japanese FDI across the board,” said Bambawale.
In the last two years, Japanese FDI into India has amounted to $3.62 billion, concentrated mostly in sectors such as automobiles, electronics, financial services and telecom. Bilateral trade has reached $13.2 billion.
Early this year, the two countries signed a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement, an important step that has the potential to scale up trade and investment between them.