India and Japan Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe. Photo: The Financial Express
India and Japan Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe. Photo: The Financial Express

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A landmark agreement was signed between the governments of India and Japan Friday, despite the fact critics cried foul over the deal’s alleged threat to safety.

The deal will allow Japan to sell civil nuclear power equipment and technology to India, despite resistance from campaigners. The agreement is part of the two nations ultimate goal of boosting business and security ties between them.

Signed on Friday in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it marked the first such occasion the Japan entered an agreement with a country not included as a member in the Nuclear-Nonproliferation Treaty.

The treaty exists to ban nations other than the five permanent members of the UN Security Council from developing and possessing nuclear weapons.

Critics in Japan, the country where the United States made two atomic bombings during the final days of World War II, have previously raised concerns about a risk of the country’s technology being diverted to India’s nuclear weapons program. However, the deal limits the use of the technology to peaceful commercial use, and Tokyo reserves the right to terminate the deal if India begin conducting nuclear tests.

India will be allowed to reprocess fuel and enrich uranium under the terms of the deal, though highly enriched uranium that can be used to make nuclear weapons is not permitted without written agreement by Japan.

Both Abe and Modi insisted the agreement terms will be followed.

“This agreement sets a legal framework to assure that India acts responsibly for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Abe said, adding that it gets India to effectively participate in the non-proliferation treaty framework.

“It is also in line with Japan’s position to promote non-proliferation to create a world without nuclear weapons.”

Modi praised the signing as “a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership” that will help India to “combat the challenge of climate change.”