JAPAN | Minister urges Diet to ratify 4 nuclear pacts to export plants

Posted on August 3, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 3 August 2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto on Tuesday called on the Diet to ratify civilian nuclear cooperation pacts between Japan and four countries that will enable Japanese firms to export nuclear power generation systems, saying the government sees no problem in the treaties despite the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Matsumoto told a press conference he expects the accords between Japan and Jordan, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam to be approved “so as to ensure nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.”

The Japanese parliament, whose current session will end in late August, has been deliberating the pacts.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has declared that Japan should seek to become less reliant on nuclear energy following the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

But the premier said in the Diet that Japan should go ahead with its plan of assisting nuclear power generation abroad to meet the expectations of the countries which had negotiated such cooperation with Japan before the March disaster, the foreign minister said.

Matsumoto said none of the four countries has reacted negatively to nuclear cooperation with Japan since the March calamity and that they have called for early ratification of the pacts, which set a legal framework for peaceful use and transfer of nuclear-power technologies.

The minister said he believes the four countries remain confident in Japanese technologies in the wake of the Fukushima crisis. Tokyo will make further efforts to enhance nuclear safety, he added.

The Japanese government has been promoting exports of nuclear technologies up to now as a source of economic growth.

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Posted in: JAPAN