Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Friday inked the all-important Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy Agreement, something that should help both the nations make use of nuclear energy, but for power needs only, thereby helping them phase out fossil fuels.
Modi, who is on a three-day visit to Japan, had earlier spoken at length on his vision for the Indian economy, and later said in a media statement that the deal would mark "a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership." Earlier in the day, he had also spoken on how India and Japan could steer the region with their respective clout.
Modi, in the aforementioned media statement, also said: "Our cooperation in this field will help us combat the challenge of climate change. I also acknowledge the special significance that such an agreement has for Japan." This could be a good sign, coming at a time when the US presidency of Donald Trump is being seen as a possible detriment to action on climate change.
Later, the joint statement released by Modi and Abe said the agreement "reflects a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of clean energy, economic development and a peaceful and secure world."
On the topic of a cleaner world, the joint statement also said: "Welcoming the growing collaboration between their private and public sector entities in environmentally friendly energy efficient technologies, the two prime ministers underlined the importance of promoting further cooperation in such areas as clean coal technologies and popularisation of eco-friendly vehicles including hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles etc. The two prime ministers expressed their intention to achieve an early conclusion of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009."
The joint statement also said: "Stressing the role of India and Japan for stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the two prime ministers reiterated the need to further consolidate their security and defence cooperation. They welcomed the entry into force of the two Defence Framework Agreements concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and concerning Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information."
It added: "They underscored the need to further expand defence engagement through greater two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production, by expediting discussions for determining specific items including through the Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation."