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Japanese Prime Minister Abe Highlights Important Role of IAEA in Talks with Director General Grossi

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IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met with Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe during his official visit to Tokyo, Japan, 25 February 2020. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Tokyo, Japan – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other senior Japanese officials voiced strong support for the important work of the IAEA during the first official visit of Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to Tokyo today.  

Both sides pledged to continue working closely together to promote peace and development around world, with Mr Grossi stressing Japan’s central role on non-proliferation matters as well as in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.  

Holding talks also with Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, other Government Ministers as well as representatives of nuclear-related organizations and industry, Mr Grossi said he was encouraged by their deep appreciation for the IAEA’s scientific and objective approach in carrying out its mandate.

Thanking the Japanese Government for its generous support to the Agency’s activities, Mr Grossi also paid tribute to his predecessor, late Director General Yukiya Amano of Japan who led the IAEA for a decade.

“It was a big priority for me to travel to Japan early in my tenure. The IAEA and Japan have an excellent and intense relationship and I aim to build on that in the years to come,” he said. “This visit has enabled me to establish good personal relations at the highest level of Government in Japan.”

Japan is the third largest contributor to the IAEA’s regular budget and also provides significant extra-budgetary funding.

They also discussed progress made so far towards decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which Mr Grossi will visit on Wednesday. The IAEA and the Japanese Government have been cooperating extensively to deal with the aftermath of the 2011 accident, in areas such as radiation monitoring, remediation, waste management and decommissioning.

Mr Grossi also discussed topical safeguards issues with Japanese officials, as well as the Agency’s work on cancer care, food security, water management and other development areas.

Among other senior officials, he met Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Takeo Akiba, and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Naokazu Takemoto. He discussed issues of mutual interest with senior representatives of nuclear-related organizations and companies.

“It is very important for the IAEA to interact not only with governments, but also with industry and the wider private sector. Reaching out to such groups is a priority for me,” said Mr Grossi.

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