Japan said on Thursday that several outstanding issues need to be resolved before it finalised a civil nuclear deal with India.

“There are several outstanding issues… We will have these issues discussed by the working groups so that we can accelerate the efforts [to settle the deal],” Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said after the seventh India-Japan Energy Dialogue here. However, he refused to say what these issues were.

Mr. Motegi was addressing a press conference with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“This is an important issue, and there are various difficulties that still exist. This issue is still being discussed between the working groups. So, I think that it would not be wise for me to specify what [are the] outstanding issues…,” he said.

Dr. Ahluwalia said no deadline was fixed to clinch the deal. “We are making progress and let’s see how it goes. It is very complex set of issues that we have to address.”

Mr. Motegi said efforts were on to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible.

The remarks come barely days after the two countries resumed their negotiations earlier this month in Tokyo after three years. The negotiations, which began in 2010, had been on hold since the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011. The last round was held in November 2010. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, meeting in Tokyo in May, decided to accelerate the talks.