Japan, India confirm to proceed with nuclear pact talks

Japan and India have confirmed they will continue talks for a bilateral pact for civilian nuclear energy cooperation, Japanese finance ministry officials said Saturday.

Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shared a view in their meeting that the issue is critical for both countries even though the nuclear energy talks between the two countries have stalled following Japan's nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the officials said.

Aso, who doubles as finance minister, is visiting India to attend the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting.

In its drive to sell nuclear technology overseas, Japan and the United Arab Emirates inked a nuclear agreement Thursday, the first bilateral nuclear agreement signed by Japan since the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japan and Turkey also signed a civil nuclear cooperation pact Friday that will enable Japanese firms to export atomic power generation technology to the fast-growing nation.

Aso's meeting with Singh came as the Indian premier is scheduled to visit Japan for a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe late this month. Singh postponed his trip to Japan originally slated for November after Abe's predecessor decided to dissolve the lower house of parliament for a general election in December.

Aso also told Singh that the Japanese government is continuing with arrangements for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to visit India sometime this year as planned, the officials said.