Japan reiterates interest in nuclear plant business in Vietnam
Japan reiterated to Vietnam on Sunday its desire to secure the participation of Japanese companies in Vietnam's project to build nuclear power plants, a Japanese trade ministry official said.
Separately, Japan told Australia that incoming prime minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet would continue the previous government's policy of actively negotiating free trade agreements with other countries, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The issue of nuclear power plants was raised in talks between Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry minister Masayuki Naoshima and Vietnamese Industry and Trade minister Vu Huy Hoang, while that of FTAs was discussed in a meeting between Foreign minister Katsuya Okada and Australian Trade minister Simon Crean.
Both meetings were held in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on the margins of a two-day gathering of Pacific Rim trade ministers, which wrapped up Sunday.
During his talks with the Vietnamese minister, Naoshima offered cooperation in the area of nuclear power plant construction but failed to win assurances about order placement with Japanese firms, the Japanese official said.
As for Okada, he was quoted as telling the Australian minister, "The Japanese government has actively worked on economic partnership agreement negotiations and this kind of policy is unchanged" under prime minister-in-waiting Naoto Kan.
Japan and Australia have been in talks for a bilateral FTA, although the negotiations are stalled apparently because of Japan's reluctance to open its agricultural sector to cheaper imports from Australia.
Okada and Crean agreed that Japan and Australia should continue their negotiations, with Okada saying the countries should find a "realistic solution" to what he calls sensitive areas, including dairy products and sugar.
Kan is scheduled to take the helm of government on Tuesday, formally succeeding prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, who announced his resignation last week. Both Naoshima and Okada are expected to retain their posts in Kan's Cabinet.
The Mainichi Daily News - June 9, 2010