JAPAN | Kan: Japan needs national nuclear energy debate

Posted on July 26, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 26 July 2011

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has told the visiting head of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Japan needs to have a broad national debate about reducing its reliance on nuclear power.

Kan met IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Tokyo on Tuesday, one day after Amano visited the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Amano said the IAEA can help Japan with its expertise and experience in radiation decontamination, handling of melted reactor cores and extraction of spent nuclear fuel rods.

Kan said Japan has completed the first stage of bringing the Fukushima nuclear disaster under control, and is moving on to the second phase. He said that Japan wants to cooperate fully with the IAEA.
Referring to his recent call for Japan to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy, Kan said the country needs to hold a wide public debate on the issue.

On July 13th, the prime minister told a news conference that Japan should cut its dependence on nuclear power.
Following a tide of criticism, he said that this was his own view and not government policy.

After his meeting with Kan, Amano told reporters there is no doubt more nuclear plants would be built around the world in the future, as many countries think they need nuclear energy to deal with global warming. He said building safe nuclear plants will contribute to safe use of atomic energy.

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