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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > Japan-India nuclear deal should not be ratified: expert
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2017 April 12 - 18 [POLITICS]

Japan-India nuclear deal should not be ratified: expert

April 13, 2017
The Diet is now discussing a bill to ratify the Japan-India Nuclear Agreement which will allow Japan to export nuclear power plant-related technologies to India. Matsukubo Hajime, a researcher with the NPO Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, said that Japan should not ratify the pact as it has various problems such as the lack of a clause to prevent the diversion of technology to military uses.

In an interview published in Akahata on April 13, Matsukubo pointed out that India, which is a non-party to the NPT, carried out nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998 by using technology and equipment that India imported from the U.S. and Canada for “civilian purposes”.

The expert stated that although the bilateral agreement stipulates, “cooperation under this Agreement shall be carried out only for peaceful and non-explosive purposes (Article 3)”, it has no measure to deter India’s nuclear testing.

The Abe government explains that if India conducts a nuclear test, Japan will terminate the bilateral pact and demand the return of provided equipment and materials. However, Matsukubo said, in reality, it will be extremely difficult to actually take them back once the equipment and nuclear fuel are exported. In addition, the cost of demolishing power plant buildings and transporting radioactive materials will be paid by Japan under the signed agreement, Matsukubo explained.

Matsukubo also criticized the bilateral deal for allowing India to reprocess nuclear materials provided by Japan despite the fact that the reprocessing process generates plutonium which can be used to produce nuclear weapons. The agreement, however, lacks a clause to prevent India from utilizing recovered plutonium for military purposes. He expressed concern over the possible use of plutonium to produce nuclear weapons.

Matsukubo stated that Japanese nuclear reactor manufacturers can be sued by Indian power companies for damages if a serious nuclear accident occurs in India.

Noting that many people in India are opposing NPP construction, Matsukubo said that it would be ethically problematic for Japan, which experienced the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, to sell NPP-related technology to India. He said that Japan should not ratify the Japan-India Nuclear Agreement.

Past related articles:
> Japan and India sign nuclear power pact [November 12, 2016]
> Antinuke citizens meet to oppose Japan-India nuclear deal [November 8, 2016]
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