Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Chinese and South Korean counterparts agreed Sunday to enhance cooperation on a range of programs — including nuclear safety and disaster management — in light of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Expressing their condolences to the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the power plant and ravaged coastal areas of northeastern Japan, Kan, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak agreed that cooperation will be essential to accelerating Japan's recovery.

"In times of natural disasters of this scale, mutual understanding, assistance and support from the international community, especially neighboring countries, are of crucial importance," Wen said at a joint news conference in Tokyo.