Japanese editorial excerpts -3-
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TOKYO, Sep. 3, 2010 (Kyodo News International) -- Selected editorial excerpts from the Japanese press:

NUCLEAR PACT WITH INDIA (IHT/Asahi as translated from the Japanese-language Asahi Shimbun's editorial published Sept. 3)

Fast-growing India will become a major nuclear energy user in the near future. Its market is said to be worth tens of trillions of yen.

India's introduction of nuclear energy is also expected to work in favor of stemming global warming. Under such circumstances, Japan embarked on negotiations to conclude an atomic energy cooperation agreement with India, which became a nuclear power without joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The United States, France and Russia have already signed agreements with India and are talking business. However, if Japan, which attaches importance to its non-nuclear diplomacy, also moves toward concluding an agreement with India, international trust for the NPT could grow even weaker than it is.

How can Japan strike a balance between economic cooperation and non-nuclear diplomacy? Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, who visited India in late August, presented a principle.

During his meeting with his Indian counterpart, Okada said, ''In the event India conducts a nuclear test, Japan has no choice but to stop atomic energy cooperation.'' He also showed Japan's posture to closely watch India's efforts toward nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, including the signing and ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at an early stage.

This is natural for Japan. If Japan sees significance in concluding an agreement with India from the viewpoint of non-nuclear diplomacy, it should encourage India to seriously take part in an international framework aimed at realizing ''a world without nuclear weapons.'' If it can only seek an agreement far removed from that objective, Japan should be prepared to break off negotiations.

Actually, the Indian side maintains a hard attitude. It refuses to have its hands tied on nuclear tests on grounds that neighboring countries, including China, a nuclear power, and Pakistan, which also armed itself with nuclear weapons, have not ratified the CTBT.

Japan needs to make an effort to win India's understanding with the firm determination not to break the foundation of its non-nuclear diplomacy.
(Sept. 4)

 

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