Japan N-deal on fast track after PMs talk

Tokyo, Oct. 25: India moved swiftly to quell any misinterpretation that the Indo-Japan civilian nuclear agreement had been put on the backburner after the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in answer to a question from a prominent Japanese businessman, had earlier on Monday seemed to signal that he would not push the pace for a conclusion of that agreement.

Instead, after back-to-back engagements which saw Dr Singh interact with the Japanese business community as well as the entire gamut of the Japanese political leadership, the joint declaration released at the conclusion of talks between the two leaders clearly set out a timeframe for the next round of discussions on the civilian nuclear agreement.

“The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed that cooperation in this sector will open up new opportunities for developing the India-Japan strategic and global partnership. They encouraged their negotiators to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement for civil nuclear cooperation at an early date,” the declaration said.

The foreign secretary, Ms Nirupama Rao, said the next round would be during the third week of November.

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