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Japan to host global meeting on nuclear safety
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 17, 2012

Japan said Friday it will co-host a global conference on nuclear safety with the United Nations atomic watchdog in December in the region hardest hit by last year's nuclear crisis.

"Together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japan will co-host an international ministerial conference on nuclear safety from December 15 to 17," trade minister Yukio Edano told reporters.

"Japan will share with the international community the knowledge and the lessons we have learned from an exhaustive study of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant," foreign minister Koichiro Gemba said separately.

The announcement comes weeks before the country marks the first anniversary of the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster, which sparked the world's worst nuclear accident in a quarter of a century.

Polls have shown that a majority of Japanese people now want the country's nuclear reactors to be shut down completely, but the energy-hungry nation has virtually no natural resources of its own and relied on atomic power for around a third of its electricity before the crisis.

Last month, a delegation from the IAEA gave its seal of approval to Japan's reactor safety checks, but said utilities should beef up plans for managing disasters in the wake of the Fukushima crisis.

The government is yet to decide where in the northeastern prefecture to hold the meeting but Koriyama has been touted as a candidate city, according to Kyodo News.

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Fukushima weighs heavy at Berlin film showcase
Berlin (AFP) Feb 15, 2012
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