Japan Presses India to Ink CTBT, PM Puts Onus on US, China to Take Lead

India has put the onus of taking a lead in inking the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on the US and China as Japan presses New Delhi to sign it.

However, Japan vowed to relax restrictions imposed on hi-tech trades as the two countries sought to deepen their bilateral relations by bringing to the fore an action plan that covers defence and counter-terrorism exchanges and promising to establish two-way trade.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, in his wide ranging talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, remained non-committal on civil nuclear cooperation with India, though he identified it as an ‘important agenda for future’.

Speaking to press after talks, Hatoyama admitted that the two countries had ‘differences’ over the issue of CTBT and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Noting that he had discussed the issue with Singh, he said, “I expressed the hope that along with the US and China, India will sign and ratify the (CTBT) treaty.”

“In response, Prime Minister Singh said should the US and China ratify the CTBT, a new situation will emerge. I believe he has stated it as a matter of fact. We firmly have to engage in these endeavours.”

Singh said that India was committed to ‘universal, voluntary and non-discriminatory’ disarmament and voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing.

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