• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting India early next year, possibly on Jan. 25 and 26, for talks with Indian leader Manmohan Singh on boosting bilateral economic and security ties, a government source said Thursday.

Abe is expected to agree with Singh on speeding up negotiations on a pact to set a legal framework for cooperation on civilian use of nuclear power.

Such an accord is necessary for Japan to export nuclear technology to India.

Abe’s visit is also meant to counter China’s territorial assertiveness, with both Tokyo and New Delhi engaged in territorial disputes with Beijing.

Abe and Singh agreed in May when they met in Tokyo to resume negotiations on the nuclear cooperation pact, which stalled amid the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

They also agreed to set up a working group to study the possible export of US-2 amphibious aircraft used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force for sea rescues.

Earlier this month, Abe and Singh met on the sidelines of summits related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei.

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