Indian PM calls for nuclear deal, more Japan investment

Eurasia News

Tokyo: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for an early accord on civil nuclear cooperation with Tokyo and more Japanese investment ahead of an official visit, Dispatch News Desk (DND) reports.

Singh, who will travel to Japan in the coming week for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made the remarks during an interview with Japanese media in New Delhi on Saturday. The Indian leader said he would “use this visit to strengthen our strategic and global partnership, which also includes trying to reach an agreement with regard to civil nuclear energy cooperation,” according to Kyodo News.

Japan-India negotiations on a civil nuclear energy agreement have been suspended since Japan suffered a nuclear crisis triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Singh also called on Japanese industry to boost investment and contribute toward India’s economic growth, describing his country’s inadequate infrastructure as “a big bottleneck”. “I see an enormous role for Japanese industry to contribute not only to infrastructure development of India, but also to accelerate the tempo of the manufacturing sector,” he said.

The premier said that to help Japanese and other foreign investors, he had set up a cabinet committee on investment to look at those bottlenecks that hamper development of the infrastructure sector. Singh will arrive in Tokyo on Monday for a four-day visit during which he will also meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. His trip was originally scheduled for November when Japanese premier Yoshihiko Noda was in power, and had been expected to include the signing of infrastructure projects deals worth $15 billion. However, the visit was postponed after Noda called December elections which saw him ousted and Abe installed in the top spot.