India Signing Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to Kick-Start Talks with Japan?

From Times of India

It may not be necessary for India to sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) for resumption of talks with Japan for peaceful use of nuclear energy but it will certainly help if any such bilateral agreement can weave in New Delhi’s commitment to ban on nuclear test. Top diplomatic sources here told TOI that merely a generic voluntary moratorium on carrying out nuclear tests, which India keeps reiterating, will not be of much help.

The talks for civilian nuclear cooperation between the two countries have remained suspended since the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in March, 2011. In a recent interaction with outgoing Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda in Cambodia, PM Manmohan Singh had raised the issue of nuclear cooperation with Tokyo, but there is still no commitment from Japan exactly when talks will restart.

“Japan is not insisting that India sign CTBT but it is my reading that if India can commit to a test ban in any bilateral agreement for such a cooperation between the two countries, it will certainly make things easier,” a top diplomatic source handling Japan’s non-proliferation policy told TOI. The official was talking on the sidelines of the Fukushima ministerial conference that discussed measures to enhance nuclear safety worldwide, apart from showcasing Japan’s efforts to cope up with the nuclear disaster.

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