Japan makes an exception for India under the civil nuclear deal signed between the two nations. The deal could be terminated on N-testing by India.
Ahead of the civil nuclear agreement signed between India and Japan, India has agreed to link the nuclear testing with the termination of the agreement. This action has been initiated with a separate two page-note on“views and understanding” with Japan. This is the first time Japan has signed a deal with a non-NPT signatory.
The action marks a significant move on the lines of India’s nuclear diplomacy and could prompt the country in renegotiating with other countries with whom nuclear pacts had been signed in past.
The two page note was not mentioned when the civil nuclear agreement between India and Japan was signed between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Japan’s Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
The note,which has five clauses,prohibits India from claiming compensation for disruption of electricity from a nuclear power plant and the consequent economic losses if Japan scraps the deal while India is still conducting nuclear tests.
This diplomatic move in India’s nuclear policy has come after eight years of India signing 123 agreements with the US, a framework to which it has stuck ever since.The step is being described as an “essential basis” for the deal.
In the words of the then External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group in September 2008, “We remain committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. We affirm our policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons.”
Mukherjee’s statements made in 2008 remained an essential basis for cooperation between the two states under the agreement, according to the two page note even though the note did not have them.
The note does state the cessation of the agreement and of Japan’s rights with the second clause mentioning the Article 14 of the deal.
“In that situation, reprocessing of nuclear material subject to the agreement will be suspended in accordance with paragraph 9 of Article 14 of the Agreement,” the clause states.
A Japanese official also told an Indian daily that the clause contains views shared by both parties and not individual views.
“It is clear from Article 14 that Japan has the right to terminate its cooperation and other engagements stipulated under the treaty. It has also been clearly confirmed between the two governments that Japan could do this in case India conducts a nuclear test,” the official said.
Although the main text in Article 14 does not mention the nuclear tests, Article 14(9) talks of “suspensions” between the two countries that will be aimed at reaching “mutually acceptable resolution of outstanding issues”.
“In case the suspension extends beyond a period of six months, both countries shall enter into consultations on compensation for the adverse impact on the Indian economy due to disruption in electricity generation and loss on account of disruption of contractual obligations,” it says.
However, in the fourth clause, an additional note says, “Japan reserves the right to contest India’s claim of compensation for the adverse impact on the Indian economy due to disruption in electricity generation and loss on account of disruption of contractual obligations,” further stating that India cannot ask for any compensations in regard of loss of business or power disruption.