India-Japan Agreement on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy
On November 11, 2016, the Governments of India and Japan signed an agreement allowing Japan to export civilian nuclear technologies and components to India (“Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy”). We express our deep concern and disappointment with this Agreement, as it would undermine the international non-proliferation regime and would likely help India, a non-member of NPT, to enhance its nuclear-weapon capability.
Japanese government officials defend the Agreement, asserting that it is an effective non-proliferation measure, since Japan can terminate the cooperation once India conducts a nuclear test. They claim that this is a most stringent nuclear agreement ever signed with India.
We disagree. The Agreement has very problematic contents compared with other agreements Japan concluded, namely:
Transfer of sensitive technologies will be allowed “when this Agreement is amended for that purpose.” (Article 2)
India may proceed with enriching the transferred uranium over 20% if “written consent” by Japan is obtained. (Article 11)
If a situation arises when Japan wishes to terminate the Agreement, she is required to submit a notice one year in advance, and to negotiate with India taking into account of India’s “serious concern about a changed security environment.” Japan needs to pay compensation to India for the loss caused by termination. (Article 14)
Nothing is stipulated in the Agreement that prohibits a future nuclear test by India. Regarding this point, Japanese government officials claim that a separate document titled “Note on Views and Understanding” which accompanies this agreement states that India’s moratorium on testing, announced by India in 2008, is “an essential basis” for the Agreement. Whether this constitutes a legally binding condition for sustaining the Agreement, however, is questionable.
In short, the Agreement cannot prevent India from continuing its nuclear-weapon program and benefitting at the same time from transferred civilian nuclear technologies and materials. This is a clear violation of the spirit of NPT. We strongly urge the parliaments of both countries not to ratify the Agreement.
Tatsujiro Suzuki, Chair, Pugwash Japan
Yoshiko Kurita, Vice-Chair, Pugwash Japan
Takao Takahara, Vice-Chair, Pugwash Japan