Japan and India are set to sign a controversial civil nuclear deal this week, in what would most likely ring alarm bells in Pakistan and China.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are set to sign a deal on Friday that would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India, Japanese paper Yomiuri Shimbun reported, according to AFP on Sunday.
It would be the first such deal between the two countries. Several other business deals are also set to be signed alongside the nuclear deal.
Modi will arrive in Japan Thursday for a three-day visit.
The Indian prime minister had already visited Japan in August 2014 on his first trip outside South Asia, months after coming to power. Abe also paid a two-day visit to India last December. The two leaders held talks on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia meeting in Laos in September as well.
Under the deal due to be signed, Japan would commit to pulling out of the agreement if India conducts a new nuclear test, Japanese media reported. It will be likely to alert Pakistan, nevertheless.
Japan is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); India is among the only four countries and entities that have refused to sign the text.
So is Pakistan, India’s nuclear-armed arch-rival to the west, where statesmen routinely keep a close eye on New Delhi and seek to keep abreast. India and Pakistan have been engaged in an arms race, including in the nuclear field, ever since they bitterly partitioned in 1947.
India also has a separate spat with Pakistan over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. People in the Muslim-majority region are opposed to Indian rule.
The deal would also come against a backdrop of mounting regional tensions involving powerhouse China.
Both New Delhi and Tokyo are involved in territorial disputes with Beijing. Japan lays claims to territory also claimed by China in the East China Sea as well as in the Indian Ocean, and India has a long-standing dispute of its own along its border with China.