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The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is hardly a household name. The proceedings of its meetings are secret and it doesn’t even have its own web site, but in recent months it has become the focus of more attention than usual. The reason is that each of its 45 member countries, including Japan, has veto power over a proposal to exempt India from international rules restricting nuclear trade.

The issue came to a head in December last year when the U.S. Congress amended its Atomic Energy Act to allow nuclear trade with India. The legislation included several conditions, including making the deal contingent on approval by the NSG. NSG decisions are made by consensus, so that means that each member country has a power of veto.

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