Soon after hitting the demonetization masterstroke in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his second visit to Japan in order to seal the civilian nuclear deal between the two countries. As per sources, Tokyo too has a robust reference to terrorism in the joint statement that is in line to be released post the bilateral talks between Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today.
This is Modi’s fourth visit to Japan over the last decade (twice as PM and twice as Gujrat Chief Minister). Soon after landing in Japan Modi tweeted, “Reached Japan. Looking forward to fruitful deliberations that will boost economic and cultural ties between India and Japan.”
Commenting on the issue, a top Japanese government official said, “Terrorism, which has been an outlier subject in Japan’s national discourse, was brought closer home in July, when seven of our own — five men and two women, who were associated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency — were killed in a terrorist attack in Dhaka.
The statement that underwent a prolonged negotiation on Thursday and officials from New Delhi and Tokyo has strongly emphasized on the terror attacks that took place in Dhaka, Uri and Pathankot in the recent past. “While we want explicit references to Uri and Pathankot, Japanese officials have been saying that there are other ways to mention them,” said an Indian diplomat. However, he also hinted towards the condemnation of those who support cross-border terrorism in the statement – an elliptical jibe at Pakistan.
Officials expect this could be the “strongest language” on terrorism in an India-Japan joint statement in recent years. Both the countries are expected to sign around 10 different agreements which highlight issues like skill development, culture etc. Nevertheless, the prime focus of this meet is on the possible signing of the civilian nuclear deal that was initiated in June 2010, but got stuck after the Fukushima disaster in December 2015.
Commenting on the possible signing of the deal, Kumao Kaneko, a former Japenese diplomat and negotiator on nuclear issues, said that the NTP has been a treaty of “convenience and expediency”. Though India adheres to NPT principles, but has not inked the treaty yet. By signing the agreement, Japan is doing the correct thing, however, the Abe government will have to work hard in the Diet (Japan’s parliament) to get the naysayers on board.
This comes close in the wake of Japan’s race to become a permanent member of the Malabar exercises with India and the US — much to the discomfiture of China. Post the negotiations, PM Modi is likely to meet Japan’s Emperor Akihito and will also address the business community of the country.