• Japan pushing nuclear exports in Central Europe

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    WARSAW: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a push on Sunday (Monday in Manila) for his country’s nuclear technologies at a summit in Warsaw with leaders of four ex-Communist European Union countries, as part of his bid to boost the Asian powerhouse’s exports.

    Abe recently unveiled plans to treble Japan’s infrastructure exports to 30 trillion yen ($300 billion, 225 billion euros) a year, a target that could not be reached without nuclear reactors.

    At Japan’s first summit with the so-called Visegrad Group—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia—Abe sought to interest the four in Japanese nuclear technology.

    “We stressed the necessity of strengthening cooperation, especially in the area of energy policy,” Abe told reporters.

    A joint statement issued after the talks said that “Japan welcomed the fact that private sectors of both sides demonstrated keen interest in concrete forms of cooperation in nuclear energy and safety.”

    Nuclear power has become a sensitive issue in Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi plant went into meltdown in 2011. Reactors spewed radiation over a wide area, after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a massive tsunami.

    In the wake of the disaster, Japan turned off its 50 reactors for safety checks but has restarted two of them, saying that it needs to head off possible summertime power shortages.

    Despite vocal public opposition, Abe has said that he wants to restart other units when these are proven safe.

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