Abe vows atomic safety as Turkey buys plant

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to boost Japan’s efforts to ensure the safety of nuclear power as one of its firms jointly won an order to build an atomic plant in Turkey, the first such order for a Japanese company since the Fukushima crisis started.

Earlier Tuesday, Abe and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed promoting bilateral economic cooperation. Japan aims to increase exports of large infrastructure to Turkey and other emerging economies in fields such as energy, health care and agriculture.

“Japan is responsible for helping improve the safety of atomic power in the world by sharing its experience and lessons from the accident,” Abe said at a joint news conference following the summit in Istanbul, referring to the Fukushima catastrophe.

Erdogan said Turkey needs nuclear power, showing his intent to call for more foreign investment in relevant projects.

During Abe’s visit, a joint venture established by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Areva SA of France reached agreement with the Turkish government on a project to construct a nuclear plant with four advanced reactors in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

The venture, Atmea, set up in 2007 and based in Paris, had obtained preferential negotiating rights with Ankara.

When last visiting Turkey in May, Abe agreed with Erdogan to provide the country with Japan’s civil nuclear technology — an accord necessary for Japanese manufacturers to be involved in such projects.

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

They had been expected to agree to launch preliminary talks for a bilateral free trade accord, but they ran out of time. .

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