Government unanimous on continuing nuke technology exports

08/05/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) — The Japanese government is poised to release a unanimous opinion on going ahead with exports of Japanese nuclear technology despite the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis where deadly levels of radiation were detected earlier this week, according to Mainichi newspaper on Aug. 5.

The opinion compiled by government power-brokers Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto will require new nuke exports to undergo verification of the safety of nuclear technologies, compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards and touch on results of an investigation into the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japan will make a formal announcement of the opinion shortly, probably to appease Turkey, which has given Japan prime negotiating rights for nuclear reactor construction but threatened to take these away if the country does not clarify its stance on the nuclear power generation business.

Japan will also continue to export nuclear technology to Vietnam, which inked a deal with Japan in October last year to build nuclear reactors, according to the report.

The government decided on July 29 that it would reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear power generation. However, it also noted interest in Japanese nuclear technology overseas remained high.

Export of nuclear technology had been designated as a national economic growth strategy area before the March 11 disasters that triggered the Fukushima crisis. Business circles have been seeking a government opinion on the future of the nuclear trade overseas.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has made frequent statements about his opposition to nuclear technology in recent weeks, but both Kaieda and Edano have come out with comments suggesting they support the continuation of Japanese nuclear technology exports.

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