India's membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will help promote non-proliferation, said a top Japanese foreign ministry official. India's bid for NSG membership in 2016 met a roadblock when China opposed it.
China had insisted during the Seoul plenary in June this year that India, which is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, cannot be admitted to the NSG. The meeting in June had not yielded any results for India. But Japan and the United States had declared their support to India for the NSG bid and both countries have assured India that they will continue to do so.
"We intend to continue working with India on the issue as we believe its membership of NSG will help strengthen the non-proliferation regime," Yasuhisa Kawamura, the Director-General of Press and Public Diplomacy in Japan's ministry of foreign affairs, told the Times of India. "The fundamental issue is to ensure consensus building and we are working for it."
Another foreign ministry official of Japan, Masayuki Taga, said India's membership will help Japan promote non-proliferation.
The remarks by the Japanese officials come while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to Hangzhou, China for the G20 Summit where he had a detailed meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Modi also called on China to condemn terrorism in South Asia, indirectly hinting at Pakistan. However, Pakistan announced on Sunday that it has a defence agreement with China in the offing. Modi had also met Jinping before the June Seoul Plenary to urge for his support for India's NSG membership.
Japan, the only country to have suffered through two nuclear attacks, is staunchly opposed to nuclear proliferation. They will ask India to sign the NPT as a "general sentiment", Kawamura said. However, India's efforts like a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing has helped it gain Japan's trust.
On the other hand, China, which is a member of NSG and signatory to NPT, has supplied nuclear materials to Pakistan, a country which is not under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. China had said that if India can be given membership to NSG despite being a non-signatory to NPT then Pakistan should also be allowed into the group.