India, Japan Nuclear Deal Implemented

A civil nuclear partnership deal between India and Japan entered into force July 20following an exchange of diplomatic notes. The agreement had been announced at a joint press conference Nov. 11 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after six years of negotiations. (See ACT, December 2016.) The deal paves the way for an ambitious expansion of India’s civilian nuclear power program through purchases of material and technologies from Japan. New Delhi plans to nearly double its current nuclear energy capacity by 2022. “The agreement seeks to promote full cooperation. . . in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” according to a spokesperson at the Indian External Affairs Ministry.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, make a toast during a banquet at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on November 11, 2016. (Photo credit: Kiyoshi Ota/AFP/Getty Images)The deal marks the first agreement between Japan and a state that has not ratified the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Although not an NPT member, India received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 allowing it to conduct nuclear commerce for peaceful purposes. (See ACT, October 2008.) Multiple measures have been put in place under the deal to ensure nuclear transfers are channeled to peaceful purposes. New Delhi’s nuclear material and technology purchases will be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, and the deal can be nullified if India were to conduct a nuclear test. Further, in the event of such a test, Tokyo can require that any material or technology sales resulting from the deal be returned.—TYLER RODGERS