TOPJapan pushes for nuclear safety following plant deal with Turkey

Japan pushes for nuclear safety following plant deal with Turkey

By Alec Jordan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to step up Japan’s efforts to ensure safety of nuclear power during his visit to Turkey.

Abe, who met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Japan “is responsible for helping improve the safety of atomic power in the world by sharing its experience and lessons” from the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The Japanese premier left for Istanbul on Monday to cement nuclear contracts and push the export of more reactors in the wake of the disaster.

The trip was also aimed at boosting bilateral economic cooperation in other emerging industries such as energy, health care and agriculture.

Abe said he and Erdogan “discussed measures to promote economic cooperation such as large infrastructure development.”

Turkey is “an extremely important country,” Abe told reporters at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday. “I would like to solidify the relationship of mutual trust between the leaders.”

The two leaders has also penned an agreement that allows Japanese manufacturers to build nuclear power plants in Turkey.

The joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and France’s Areva SA won a $22 billion deal with the Turkish government to build a nuclear power plant with four advanced reactors in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

Preliminary talks for a bilateral free trade accord were also expected to be discussed in the meeting but the two leaders did not have enough time to further address the matter, according to Japanese officials.

Both nations made it to the final bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics which was eventually handed to Tokyo.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies/Flickr