Japan to pitch global nuclear safety rules at G8 summit

Kyodo News

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chats with Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi on the shore of Lake Toya on
Saturday, as Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Shoichi Nakagawa looks on
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chats with Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi on the shore of Lake Toya on Saturday, as Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Shoichi Nakagawa looks on. KYODO PHOTO
One goal is to promote use of nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Another is to prevent nuclear technologies from being diverted for military use and nuclear-related substances from being transferred to third parties or terrorist groups in rapidly growing energy-consuming nations like China and India, as well as Indonesia and Vietnam where nuclear plant construction projects are under way, the sources said.Tokyo is also hoping the move will help Japanese manufacturers of nuclear reactors boost their international market share.The international guidelines would be applicable not only to new nuclear reactors to be built in cooperation with Japan, the United States or other major nations, but hopefully existing reactors as well, according to the sources.The guidelines are expected to include assistance from the G8 nations on techniques for safety inspections and maintenance, as well as stipulating training for local staff and unified regulations on management to prevent the transfer of technologies or nuclear-related materials.Tokyo also plans to call for nations to boost their contributions to a nuclear safety fund at the International Atomic Energy Agency to help ensure the effectiveness of the guidelines.Japan is set to propose at this June's G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, global steps aimed at halving greenhouse gas emissions from the current levels by 2050.The promotion of the construction of nuclear power plants under the envisioned safety guidelines would help pave the way toward achieving goals in reducing emissions and build momentum toward establishing a post-Kyoto Protocol framework from 2013.Japan and the United States already agreed in a Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan last month to collaborate in supporting safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy while promoting nonproliferation in countries interested in nuclear power.Tokyo plans to develop the safety guidelines based on this joint action plan and seek the cooperation of Russia, France and other major nations, the sources said.Japan wants to seek a G8 consensus at this year's summit to compile the post-Kyoto framework next year when it hosts the meeting of leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States in the Lake Toya resort area in Hokkaido. 2008 summit dates TOYAKO, Hokkaido – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday he has decided on a July 7-9 schedule for the Group of Eight summit to be hosted by Japan next year in the Lake Toya resort area in Hokkaido.

Abe, visiting the town of Toyako after choosing it last month as the site for the summit, said Japan will officially call the gathering the “Hokkaido-Toyako Summit” in Japanese. The official English name has not been decided.

“I was convinced that it is the right place to speak about the environment, which is one of the themes next year,” Abe said after visiting various locations with Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi.

These included the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa, the planned venue of the G8 summit, which stands atop a 600-meter mountain overlooking Lake Toya.

“I would like to show a beautiful Japan, Japan’s beautiful nature from this place,” Abe said.

He vowed to take the initiative on environmental and global warming issues when his G8 counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States gather in Heiligendamm, Germany, next month for this year’s summit.

On the three-day schedule for the ’08 summit, Abe said it was decided after arrangements with other leaders.

“The weather in Toyako is also good at that time of the year, so I decided on that date,” Abe said.