Nuclear pact talks to start with Saudis

KYODO

The Abe administration will launch talks with Saudi Arabia next spring to conclude a nuclear power pact and allow Japanese businesses to export atomic-related infrastructure to the oil-rich nation.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who sees such exports as a key component for economic growth, agreed with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz to begin working-level talks when he visited Saudi Arabia in April, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Saudi Arabia plans to build nuclear power plants to preserve its oil reserves.

Two deals signed earlier this year to export nuclear technology to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were not approved during the Diet session that ended this month, due to the clash in the Upper House over the state secrets bill.

Tokyo has concluded nuclear power pacts with 12 countries, as well as a number of international organizations. The government has conducted similar talks with Brazil and India even as it struggles to address the Fukushima nuclear crisis.