Japan, Turkey eye nuclear talks, FTA

Kyodo

Japan and Turkey have agreed to work toward the resumption of negotiations on a bilateral nuclear cooperation pact, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he hopes talks can begin on a bilateral free-trade deal.

The nuclear agreement was announced Friday by Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba after they met in Ankara.

In a bid to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, the two countries agreed to start regular ministerial-level dialogue, Genba said, adding that Japan will consider the feasibility of an FTA with Turkey within this framework.

Turkey is planning to build three nuclear power plants by 2023. The talks between Tokyo and Ankara on the construction of the country’s second nuclear complex, as well as on a civilian nuclear power pact, were suspended after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

During a working lunch later Friday, Genba and Davutoglu exchanged views on the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, according to a Japanese official. Davutoglu told Genba that Turkey will continue to be actively involved in trying to ease the rising tensions, the official said.