Tokyo: Japan today lifted ban on HAL and five other Indian entities, which had been imposed in the aftermath of the 1998 nuclear tests, amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that cooperation between the two countries in defence and security will get a “new direction”.

The lifting of the ban was announced by Modi at his joint media interaction with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here after their talks during which they discussed ways to enhance cooperation in various areas to make it Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

    “Japan has decided to remove ban on some entities,” he said.

Sources later said the ban had been lifted on six entities, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. However, four entities still remain in the banned list.

The removal of the ban will enable these companies to have cooperation with Japanese firms, including transfer of technology.

After the talks, the two sides also signed an MoU in the field of defence, which provides for enhanced exchanges and exercises, including at multilateral level.

The two sides agreed to upgrade from Joint Secretary to Minister level the trilateral dialogue on defence and security which also involves the US.

“The defence MoU shows that we are keen to take our relationship to a new level,” Modi said.

“Defence cooperation will get a new direction. It will not be limited to talks and exercises but cooperation in technology and equipment,” Modi said.

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