Tokyo: Japan and France agreed to promote
bilateral cooperation in developing "high-level" nuclear power
technologies, the leaders of the two countries said.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and French Prime
Minister Francois Fillon shared the view that the two
countries should put up a united front against emerging
low-cost nuclear technologies, putting top priority on
developing safe reactors.
During their talks in Tokyo, Fillon also said Japan
should make every possible effort to reduce its non-tariff
barriers to European imports if it is to seek a free trade
accord with the European Union. France is a member
of the 27-nation bloc.
"We agreed that it is important for the nuclear power
industry to seek extremely high-level security," Fillon said
at a joint press conference yesterday after the talks. "It
must not be a cost-saving industry. We need to prove how much
we need nuclear energy with its safety ensured."
Kan said, "We discussed our cooperation on nuclear power
(development) in reference to some concrete examples and
agreed to promote such cooperation in an aggressive manner."
The talks between the two nations seem to be brokered by
Japan`s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which is planning to take
stake in French state-owned energy group Areva -- the firm
that has plans to raise about Euro 10 billion by 2012 to fund
its expansion and research and development into a new
generation of nuclear power plants.