India, Japan conclude first round of N-talks; to meet again in Delhi

India and Japan today concluded the first round of talks on civil nuclear cooperation aimed at lifting Japanese curbs on export of nuclear technology to India.

The two countries will meet in New Delhi for the second round of talks, official sources said at the end of the talks. "The talks ended on a positive note. The discussions will continue," sources said.

Japan, a non-proliferation hawk, is reported to have sought additional safeguards to ensure that any Japanese nuclear technology sold to India is not diverted for military purposes or re-exported to other countries, sources said.

The talks followed a meeting between Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh on the sideline of the Group of 20 summit in Toronto. The two are expected to have reconfirmed the intention to cooperate in the field of nuclear power generation.

The Japanese decision has also been influenced by demand by other nuclear suppliers who preferred Japanese equipment as also the growing economic clout of China.

India has civil nuclear cooperation agreements with the US, France and Russia, which are trying to boost their nuclear business with this country.