Takeaways from Japan visit: Supporting India’s membership in NSG, rationalising Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train timeline,easing of Indian student visas,
Training of 30,000 Indians in Japanese-style manufacturing practices, and merging of India’s “Act East Policy” with Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”
Japan has, for the first time signed nuclear agreement with a non-NPT signatory
Japanese sought: free and open investment climate, relaxation of land acquisition policies
Reiterated their commitment to respect freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the UNCLOS
Bilateral defence ties get a boost with New Delhi’s decision to buy 12 US-2i amphibious aircrafts
Tokyo is stepping up infrastructure investment in India with two sides taking forward Japanese investment in India’s development of Chabahar port in Iran
US-India-Japan trilateral engagement: convergence of India’s Act East policy, Japan’s growing focus on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and the Obama strategic rebalance towards Indo-Pacific
Trilateral configurations also emerging with Japan, Australia and India interacting at a regional level
Theme: Upcoming civil nuclear agreement with Japan.
Significance of the upcoming agreement: Japan is the only country to have been the victim of a nuclear attack, and its decision to sign an agreement with India, a country that has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), would be a first.
Significance for India: Given the strong domestic reservations in Japan against nuclear energy, Tokyo’s support to the deal so far is an indication of the importance it accords to relations with India.
It would convey a message of trust to the Nuclear Suppliers Group members and hopefully help in acceptance of India’s membership.
Japanese nuclear energy technology and safety parameters are widely considered to be cutting-edge, and many critical parts needed for Indian reactors are made by Japanese manufacturers. These will not be available to India until the agreement is done.
Even the U.S. civil nuclear deal, that is yet to be actualised, is contingent on the deal with Japan.
Post-Fukushima, Japanese manufacturers can be expected to be more generous with India on the liability issue, given their own experience with the enormous cost of cleaning up.
Sticking points in the past: India’s refusal to sign the NPT, as it considers the treaty unfair to the developing world.
The Japanese insistence on a “nullification” clause that the agreement would cease as soon as India tests.
India and Japan- farm products and service professionals- 1
News: India will seek greater market access in the Japanese market for its farm products such as sesame seeds as well as for its services professionals including nurses
Upcoming meeting is that of India-Japan Joint Committee- a panel set up following the signing of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011
Proposal: India will be pushing a proposal asking Japan to bring its big general trading companies to India for bulk purchase of sesame seeds (locally known as till)
Context: Following the detection of pesticides and insecticides (DDT, malathion) in some sesame seeds consignments from India over two decades ago, Japan has been reluctant to import seasame from India
Japan is the world’s second largest importer of sesame and India is the world’s largest sesame seed producer and also the world’s largest exporter
Use: Sesame seeds are used in Japanese cuisine whereas the oil and its by-products are used in a wide range of applications including cooking, soaps, perfumes, pharmaceuticals and poultry feed