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French PM to visit Japan for nuclear talks: official

Since Sarkozy's election, France has signed agreements on cooperation in nuclear energy with Algeria, India, Libya and Qatar.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 31, 2008
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon will visit Japan in April for talks on issues including civilian nuclear cooperation, a French embassy spokesman said Thursday.

During the visit, Fillon will meet Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and visit the northern town of Rokkasho, hub of the country's nuclear industry, the spokesman said.

It would be the first visit by a French leader to Japan since the inauguration last year of President Nicolas Sarkozy, a strong supporter of exporting France's nuclear technology.

France relies on nuclear energy for three-quarters of its needs. The figure is around one-third in Japan despite anti-nuclear protests in the only nation to have suffered an atomic attack.

In Rokkasho, the French premier is expected to visit a reprocessing facility built by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. in a partnership with France's Areva.

Fillon may sign a joint declaration with Japan that touches on nuclear power, praising it as a way to fight global warming or encouraging its expansion in emerging economies, the embassy spokesman said.

Areva is currently working with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to build a medium-power reactor aimed at developing countries entering the field of nuclear power.

Fillon's trip also comes amid events to mark ths year's 150th anniversary of relations between France and Japan. Sarkozy is expected to visit Japan when it hosts the Group of Eight summit of major economies in July.

Since Sarkozy's election, France has signed agreements on cooperation in nuclear energy with Algeria, India, Libya and Qatar.

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EU's Solana calls for external nuclear fuel supply for Iran
Brussels (AFP) Jan 30, 2008
An international "fuel bank" should be set up to provide countries like Iran with nuclear fuel for civilian purposes so they don't have to enrich uranium themselves, the EU's Javier Solana said Wednesday.

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