India has been pushing for an agreement with Japan on the lines of a 2008 deal with United States under which India was allowed to import US nuclear fuel and technology without giving up its military nuke programme.

But Japan wants explicit guarantees from India, which has not signed the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to strictly limit nuclear tests and allow more intrusive inspections of its nuke facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not diverted to make bombs.

India, which sees its weapons as a deterrent against nuclear-armed neighbours China and Pakistan, has sought to meet Japan's concerns and over the past month the two sides have speeded up negotiations ahead of Modi's visit.

"Serious efforts are being made to resolve any special concerns that Japan has. Whether it will be fully resolved and ready for signing before the end of the PM's trip is unclear," said a former member of India's atomic energy commission who has been consulted in the drafting of the energy pact.

Modi and Abe will not seal an agreement at next week's summit, media reported on Thursday, but the meeting will be closely watched for any progress toward a pact.

Japanese officials were tight-lipped about prospects for a nuclear deal.

Modi travels to Japan on Saturday for a five-day visit, his first major bilateral trip since taking over in May. The visit is being billed as an attempt by the two democracies to balance the rising weight of China across Asia.

Modi and host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are also expected to strengthen defence ties, speeding up talks on the sale of an amphibious aircraft to the Indian navy.
Abe is keen to expand Japan’s network of security partnerships with countries such as Australia and India to cope with the challenge presented by China.

The two leaders will agree to have their countries jointly produce mixed rare earth minerals and metals, key elements in defence industry components and modern technology, the media said on Thursday.

Another focus is infrastructure, with the Indian leader seeking Japanese backing for the high-speed 'bullet' trains he promised to voters in his election campaign.

But it is the nuclear pact that could transform ties in a way the deal with US did by establishing India as a strategic partner, although nuclear commerce with it has since foundered because of concern over India's liability laws.

Japanese companies are also reluctant to step in without clarity on nuclear disaster compensation, especially in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe of March 2011, the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986.

Highlights
Modi’s visit to japan will be his first major bilateral trip since taking over in May
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoping to wing Japan’s back in Nuclear power pact
Modi to lure investment into its 85 billion USD market while addressing Japan's concern about nuclear proliferation
India has been pushing for an agreement with Japan on the lines of a 2008 nuclear deal with United States
Japan wants explicit guarantees from India to strictly limit nuclear tests and allow more intrusive inspections of its nuke facilities to ensure legitimate usage of the nuclear fuel
Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and 15 other leading industrialists will be part of the delegation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Modi on Thursday ahead of his visit to the nation conversed with the people of the Japan in Japanese


Adani, Ambani to be part of Modi’s Japan delegation

Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and 15 other leading industrialists will be part of the delegation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The industrialists will take part in a bilateral meeting under the aegis of India-Japan Business Leaders' Forum (IJBLF) on September 1 which would be co-chaired by Chairman of Bharat ForgeBSE -0.61 percent Baba Kalyani, sources said.

The meeting, coinciding with Modi's visit, assumes significance as the two countries are trying to forge a strong multifaceted strategic partnership with economic relations as a crucial component. Bilateral trade between the two reached USD 18.61 billion in 2012-13.

Sources said Modi is keen on meeting his counterpart Shinzo Abe whose leadership he deeply respects and sees the visit as an opportunity to take ties with Japan to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields.
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The delegation also includes Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava.

Two prominent women in the delegation will include Kiram Mazumbar-Shaw of Biocon and Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank are also on the list.

OIL India Chairman and Managing Director Sunil K Srivasatava and his counterpart in ONGC Dinesh K Sarraf would also be part of the delegation.

Exuding warmth Modi tweets in Japanese

Expressing love for his friends from Japan, Narendra Modi on Thursday ahead of his visit to the nation conversed with the people of the Japan in Japanese.

“Friends from Japan asked me to talk to the people of Japan directly in Japanese. I also thank them for helping with the translation,” Modi tweeted.

The tweets exemplified Modi’s unusual style of reaching out to the masses ahead of his five-day visit to Japan.

This tour will is being considered Modi’s first major bilateral tour since he took charge this year in May.

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