India and Japan strengthen their bilateral ties by signing a significant memorandum of understanding (MoU) on civil nuclear energy in New Delhi during India-Japan Summit. The MoU not just signifies commerce and clean energy between the two counties but also gives prominence to a partnership and security cooperation.
However, the implications of this MoU have various components. Previously, during US President Barack Obama’s India visit this year, Japan opposed to a nuclear deal between the two countries on the grounds of the clause that two of USA’s main nuclear reactor conglomerates are owned by Japan i.e. Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Toshiba) and GE Energy Inc (Hitachi).
Japan is one of the leading players in global nuclear market so this MoU means that now these two key manufacturers of nuclear energy can set up atomic plants in India. At the same time, India can now opt for Japanese nuclear technology along with the American ones as it comes in a competitive price compared to the costly French nuclear manufacturer (Avera) or European manufacturer. Nuclear energy is going to play a key role in India’s quest for clean energy in the years to come.
This deal also significant in the sense that now the third largest economy (in terms of nominal GDP) in the world backs India’s long quest for a membership in the dual-technology denial regimes consisting of NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group), MTCR ( Missile technology Control Regimes) the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement. NSG control the global export of nuclear wherein MTCR is an informal and voluntary partnership among 34 countries to prevent proliferation of missiles and unmanned delivery of weapons. The Wassenaar Arrangement is an export control regime which deals with transparency of national export control regimes on conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies and the Australia Group is an informal regime of countries which corresponds of export controls to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
Membership of these groups will enable India to enter into the elite decision making body of non-proliferation and export. It will not only help the country to have access to uranium processing but will also help her to capture the global nuclear energy market. It will also help India to have her own space technology as well as to import and export certain chemicals, conventional arms, dual use technologies etc. Lastly, memberships of these regimes will further boost India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
The stakes are however high but signing of this civil n-energy deal gives India high hopes.