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16 March, 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Asks German Chancellor to Abolish EU Import Restrictions on Foods from Fukushima

On March 9, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a visit to Japan, met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. At the summit, Abe told Merkel that reconstruction from the giant earthquake of 2011 was an issue of highest priority, and asked her to cooperate in relaxing and abolishing the EU’s restrictions on food imports, including those produced in Fukushima Prefecture, based on scientific grounds.

At a joint press conference held after the meeting, Merkel said that Germany had grieved with Japan after the earthquake, and that everyone in her country was impressed by how the Japanese people overcame the terrible situation with self-discipline and public spirit.

She added that Germany and Japan would work closer in the areas of energy efficiency and supply stability, strengthening their cooperation toward COP21, to be held at the end of this year. Referring also to Japan’s robotic technology, the chancellor said that Germany wanted to expand that field.

In response to a German reporter asking about the restart of nuclear power plants, meanwhile, the Japanese prime minister pointed out the need to supply electricity in a cheap, stable manner, as well as the need to reduce CO2 emissions. He said, “Japan wants to restart reactors scientifically recognized by the independent Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) as complying with the world’s most severe standards — standards that the NRA itself has issued.”

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