TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Naoto Kan and International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano agreed Tuesday to cooperate further in containing the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Amano told reporters after his meeting with Kan that he offered the IAEA’s expertise in various areas such as decontamination and extraction of spent nuclear fuel rods.
Kan was quoted by the IAEA director general as saying he wants to “continue fully cooperating with the IAEA” as Japan has completed the first phase of containing the crisis and is now in the second phase.
Kan also said he sees a need for a public discussion about nuclear energy policy in the wake of the crisis, in reference to his recent remarks that Japan should reduce its reliance on nuclear power, Amano said.
The premier pledged that Tokyo will continue to swiftly and correctly provide information on the accident to the international community, while Amano said he thinks Kan has been exercising leadership in dealing with the contingency, according to Japanese officials.
Later in the day, Amano met with Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and reaffirmed cooperation toward an international meeting on nuclear safety Japan and the IAEA will cohost in the latter half of next year.
At the outset of the meeting, which was open to the media, Matsumoto called on the IAEA to provide to Japan “technical cooperation and an objective evaluation” of Tokyo’s efforts to bring an end to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Amano told Matsumoto the IAEA welcomes completion of the first stage in a road map to contain the nuclear emergency and that he sensed the “high morale” of workers at the crippled plant when he visited the facility Monday.
The IAEA chief told reporters afterward his organization aims to draw up an action plan to enhance nuclear safety globally by September, which is scheduled to be implemented from around next summer and will especially address contingencies such as natural disasters and power blackouts.
Amano held talks with Kan and Matsumoto a day after he visited the crippled nuclear plant for the first time. The director general is set to attend an annual U.N. meeting on disarmament in the city of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, on Wednesday, and wrap up his weeklong Japan visit on Saturday.