Japan plans global nuclear safety meet

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Japan intends to host a global meeting on nuclear safety with US atomic energy watchdog IAEA late next year, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told Group of Eight leaders Thursday.

"Japan would like to open an international summit on nuclear safety in cooperation with the IAEA late next year in Japan," Kan said during lunch at the G8 summit in Deauville, according to a senior government official.

Kan was speaking to G8 counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States.

Nuclear safety is high on the agenda following the earthquake in Japan, which triggered a tsunami wave that devastated several towns, killed 25,000 people and flooded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Japan has drawn up a timetable in which it aims to stabilise the nuclear plant by early next year. Currently an international team of IAEA specialists are visiting and inspecting the plant.

Describing the nuclear situation as "gradually stabilising," Kan pledged transparency and appealed for his country, where the economy slipped into a recession following the twin calamities.

"Businesses and tourism are working as usual. Excluding the area surrounding the nuclear plant radiation levels, including in Tokyo, are dropping and they are absolutely unharmful to humans," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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