India seeks Japan's support, calls NPT 'flawed'
Tokyo : Seeking Japan's support for global civilian nuclear cooperation, India Friday underlined its "impeccable record" in nuclear non-proliferation while dismissing NPT a "flawed" treaty.
"India has an impeccable record on non-proliferation. We have also consistently been a leading advocate of the elimination of all nuclear weapons," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on a three-day visit here, said at the Japan Institute of International Affairs.
"I believe that Japanese are aware of India's adherence to the values of peace and non-violence," he added.
The minister, while acknowledging "the sentiments of the Japanese people on nuclear matters," expressed confidence that the two countries will "find common ground that balances our mutual interests and advances our cooperation and collaboration in this area too.
"However, I also trust in your wisdom to discern what lies at the heart of our efforts to secure stable energy supplies," he said, a day after he launched a ministerial strategic dialogue with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso.
The two ministers discussed a range of issues, including civil nuclear energy.
Aware of Japanese concerns that making an exception for India from global nuclear rules may weaken the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Mukherjee called NPT "a flawed" treaty and said it was discriminatory as it divided the world into nuclear haves and have-nots.
"If India did not sign the NPT, it is not because of its lack of commitment for non-proliferation, but because we consider NPT as a flawed treaty and it did not recognise the need for universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment," Mukherjee said.
In his discussions with Aso and with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Thursday, Mukherjee sought Japan's support for global civilian nuclear cooperation in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), of which Tokyo is an influential member, by stressing the importance of nuclear energy for India's rapidly growing economy.
Both Abe and Aso said that Tokyo would wait for New Delhi to conclude a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and finalise a civil nuclear cooperation pact with the US before deciding what stand Japan should take in NSG, diplomatic sources said.