Japan will not halt nuclear exports

Stubbornness over nuclear power seems to be a theme with the Japanese government. Maybe that explains why they’re always getting attacked by Godzilla and why the island continues to sell power plants.

According to AFP, Japan said Friday that it will keep on exporting nuclear power plants. The uncertainty over their own usage of atomic power and the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant has not given them pause.


Tokyo hyped up the export of nuclear power plants until an enormous quake and tsunami on March 11 put the Fukushima Daiichi facility into a meltdown. It caused the plant to leak radiation, in the world’s worst nuclear calamity since Chernobyl in 1985.


The Japanese government came to an agreement last October to deliver two nuclear power plants to Vietnam. It also signed a memo in December on civil nuclear assistance with Turkey. This came before a possible deal was reached for Japanese companies to construct a nuclear power plant by the Black Sea.


Tokyo said in a statement that: “In case other countries wish to utilize our country’s nuclear power technology, we should provide it by ensuring that its safety is of the highest global standards.”


They also claimed “a number of countries” continue to express interest in Japan’s nuclear technology.


The statement, which was approved by Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s cabinet, was given as a reply to an opposing question on the government’s stance on the export of the controversial power plants.


With the nuclear emergency playing out in the background, Kan recently suggested that Japan sdecrease its dependence on nuclear energy and be prepared for an eventual halt.


Then again, the premier said in late Julyhe had advocated for nuclear power plant exports himself but emphasized “thorough discussions should be held on the matter once again.”


The statement also asked Japan’s parliament to approve agreements on civil nuclear cooperation with Jordan, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam in order to avoid ruining the results of diplomatic relations and causing mistrust amongst the governments involved.

It will be interesting to see how the continued export of nuclear power plants shapes world opinion of the Japanese government.