NEW DELHI Jan 25 India and Japan's talks on
nuclear cooperation have gained momentum over the past few
months and the two hope for an agreement on civilian nuclear
energy soon, leaders of the countries said after meeting on
"Our negotiations towards an agreement for cooperation in
the peaceful uses of nuclear energy have gained momentum in the
last few months," India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, said
in a statement after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo
The Japanese prime minister said in a separate statement
they had agreed to continue talks "with the view for early
Abe's three-day visit to India, which started on Saturday,
is underscoring growing business and political ties between the
two countries as they face mutual rival China.
An agreement on civilian nuclear energy would open up the
Indian market to Japanese players, reflecting another shift in
Tokyo's policy on a sensitive issue.
Japan is also looking to sell ShinMaywa US-2i planes, built
by ShinMaywa Industries, that could be outfitted for
firefighting or as a kind of amphibious hospital and cost an
estimated $110 million per unit.
A joint working group has met to explore ways to cooperate
on its use and production in India, Singh said.
The two countries are also cooperating on several
Japan would extend India a loan of about 200 billion yen
($1.95 billion) for the extension of Delhi's metro underground
rail system, Abe said.
He added the two sides had also agreed to step up
cooperation on high-speed rail systems.
Abe will be the first Japanese Prime Minister to witness
India's Republic Day celebrations on Jan. 26.
India also invited Japan to the Malabar joint naval exercise
this year. Indian and U.S. navies conduct their annual Malabar
joint exercises in the Bay of Bengal once a year.
($1 = 102.3550 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Krisha N Das and Nigam Prusty; Editing by Sophie