Japan on Monday said a greater exchange of information was needed with India on trade in high technology material with dual use even as it hoped New Delhi would ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and start negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

India and Japan have held four rounds of talks to conduct high technology trade, including nuclear commerce. “We are conducting bilateral consultations and we need to exchange more information…,” said Kazuo Kodama, Director-General for Press and Public Relations and spokesman for the Japan Prime Minister, at an interaction ahead of the annual summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama here on Tuesday.

Mr. Hatoyama arrived here from Mumbai on Monday afternoon. Prime Minister Mannmohan Singh hosted a private dinner in honour of the visiting dignitary.

Export control authority

While Japan did not commit on civil nuclear trade, Mr. Kodama said Tokyo was aware of the importance of nuclear energy in the fight against climate change but the issue of cooperation with New Delhi would have to be discussed as Japan had export control authority on dual use technology.

Referring to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, he said that while Tokyo welcomed New Delhi‘s commitment to maintain moratorium on nuclear testing, it hoped that India would sign and ratify the CTBT and commence negotiations on the FMCT.

The two Prime Ministers could issue a joint statement and Japan would want to translate the strategic partnership into more “concrete action oriented,” Mr. Kodama said, adding that Tokyo wanted to build upon the shared values and strengthen the cooperation between the two democracies.

Besides discussing issues such as climate change, counter terrorism, East Asia community building, the two Prime Ministers will hear an action plan with specific measures to take forward the joint declaration on security cooperation made last year.

One of the features will be to set up a framework of 2+2 dialogue to include representatives of the Ministers of External Affairs and Defence at junior level in order to deepen the dialogue.

Trade and investment

Mr. Kodama said trade was one of the drivers of the relationships, with as many as 627 Japanese companies operating in India, against some 300 in 2005. Foreign Direct Investment went up 10-fold last year compared to 2006, he said.

Japanese investment in India stood at $5.22 billion surpassing its investment in China that was $3.65 billion in 2008. The two-way trade was worth $13 billion in 2008. It was expected to touch $20 billion next year.

Asked whether promotion of partnership between India and Japan was to counter China, he said Tokyo’s view was that bilateral relationship could not be at the expense of any other country, and that New Delhi too held a similar position.

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