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Japanese Peace Groups Say No To Nuclear Cooperation with India

by sacw.net, 20 October 2008

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Media Release
- 20 October 2008

Indian Prime Minister Singh’s Visit to Japan
- Demand Concerning Nuclear Cooperation with India

From October 21-23 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Japan. On October 22 he is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister
Aso.

On September 6, the Nuclear Suppliers Group adopted a statement
exempting India from its nuclear trade guidelines. Following this decision, France and the US signed bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with India. It is expected that Prime Minister Singh will seek a similar nuclear cooperation agreement with the Japanese government during his forthcoming visit.

Nuclear disarmament NGOs throughout Japan repeatedly called on the
Japanese government to oppose an exemption for India from NSG guidelines. Now, on the occasion of Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Japan, in view of the Japanese government’s long held position, they are calling upon the government to "state plainly that regardless of the NSG exemption it will not engage in nuclear cooperation with India as long as India does not join the NPT and sign and ratify the CTBT".

The full text of the letter sent to the Japanese Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister along with a list of endorsing organizations, is
copied below.

Contact:
- Philip White
- International Liaison Officer, Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
- Phone: +81-3-3357-3800
- Email: white at cnic.jp


Indian Prime Minister Singh’s Visit to Japan
- Demand Concerning Nuclear Cooperation with India       

20 October 2008

Prime Minister Taro Aso
- Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone

From October 21-23 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Japan. On October 22 he is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Aso.

Due to the fact that India conducted nuclear tests and obtained nuclear
weapons while remaining outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) framework, and because the Guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) prohibit nuclear trade with countries that do not accept full-scope safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
for many years India was unable to engage in nuclear trade. However, the Bush Administration exerted enormous pressure to enable the US to engage in nuclear cooperation with India. As a result, on September 6, at an extraordinary plenary meeting, the NSG adopted a statement allowing an exception for India. It is now expected that the Indian government will seek a nuclear cooperation agreement with the Japanese government, similar to those already signed with the US and France.

However, the Japanese government has repeatedly demanded that India join the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and says that it repeated this demand when it endorsed the NSG statement.

In view of the position it has adopted until now, we demand that the Japanese Government state plainly that regardless of the NSG exemption it will not engage in nuclear cooperation with India as long as India does not join the NPT and sign and ratify the CTBT.

Endorsements in Alphabetical Order

Hideyuki Ban
- Co-Director
- Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center

Sadao Ichikawa
- Chair
- Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin)

Mayako Ishii
- President
- YWCA of Japan

Michiji Konuma
- Secretary-General
- Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeals

Masayoshi Naito
- Coordinator
- Citizens’ Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Mitsuo Okamoto, Goro Kawai, Haruko Moritaki
- Co-Directors
- Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Hiroshi Taka
- Secretary General
- Japan Council against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikyo)

Terumi Tanaka
- Secretary General
- Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers (Nihon Hidankyo)

Hideo Tsuchiyama
- Director
- Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons