Monday, October 28, 2013

Japan PM heads to Turkey to push nuclear exports. His second visit since coming to power less than a year ago.

AFP - Japan's prime minister headed to Turkey Monday to cement nuclear contracts and push the export of more reactors as the industry tries to emerge from the shadow of the Fukushima atomic crisis.
Shinzo Abe left Tokyo bound for Istanbul (Constantinople), his second visit since coming to power less than a year ago, where he was expected to meet his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for discussions on Turkish atomic reactor orders.
The trip came as the head of global investment giant Blackstone gave the thumbs up to "Abenomics", the latest evidence that Abe is winning over the global business community with an economic policy blitz aimed at getting Japan Inc. moving again.
Turkey is "an extremely important country", Abe told reporters at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Kyodo News reported. "I would like to solidify the relationship of mutual trust between the leaders."

During Abe's previous visit a Japanese-French consortium won a $22 billion deal to build Turkey's second nuclear plant on the Black Sea coast, a milestone for the Japanese nuclear industry as it tries to get back on its feet after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.
He and Erdogan also penned an agreement that allows Japanese manufacturers to build nuclear power plants in Turkey.
Abe has travelled the globe since coming to power in December last year selling Japan's infrastructure as part of his bid to dramatically hike exports and light a fire under the country's long-slumbering economy.
His drive comes even as all nuclear reactors at home remain offline amid continuing nervousness about atomic power in post-Fukushima Japan.
  • John Studzinski, senior managing director and global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners, told journalists in Tokyo that despite the catastrophe on the Pacific coast, Japanese engineering remained well-respected.
And he said Abe's role as travelling-salesman-in-chief was giving investors confidence in Japan again.
"When you listen to him talk, listen to many of his interviews, many of his speeches he is very good at explaining how he thinks," he said.
"As a result, to other leaders around the world, there is a strong leader... people respect that."
The endorsement from Blackstone, which manages $220 billion of assets, is a further feather in Abe's cap as he works to turn around perceptions about Japan's sluggish economy.
  • "I think... Abe has really reinstalled in this country a sense of passion for investment, a sense of confidence and conviction, we see much more robust confidence in Japanese companies particularly trading companies investing in North America, and also investing in other parts of the world, particularly in Europe," Studzinski said.
Japan's 3.8 percent annualised growth in the first half of the year is far outpacing other G7 nations as Tokyo's efforts have helped stoke a 38 percent rally in the Nikkei stock index.


  1. Japan, Turkey sign agreement on start of talks on building NPS in Sinop ...

    ANKARA, October 30 (Itar-Tass) - Japan and Turkey have signed an agrerment on the start of negotiations on the implementation of a project to build an nuclear power plant (NPP) in the city of Sinop.

    The Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday that the respective accord was reached as a result of talks held on Tuesday night between the Premiers of the two countries, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Shinzo Abe.

    Erdogan recalled that the first-ever agreement on the construction of an NPP had been signed by Turkey with Russia. This refers to the Akkuyu NPP in Mersin province, on the south-eastern coast of Turkey. "We are now taking such a step together with Japan," he said. The Turkish Premier pointed out that Japan possesses developed nuclear power engineering technologies, which was known to the Turkish side and which influenced the decision to conclude an agreement with the Japanese side.

    Abe, for his part, expressed satisfaction with the signing of the document. "We bear responsibility for informing the whole world of the lessons which we endured in connection with the breakdown at 'Fukushima'," he said. The Premier added that Turkey's choice is indicative of a high trust placed in Japan

    Erdogan said, "There is likelihood that a breakdown would occur once in a million". "However, investments are not made without running a risk. In this case it is important to minimize probable errors," he said.

    The NPP at Sinop is expected to be built by Japan's Mitsubishi Group in cooperation with the French Areva Company. In May this year, Turkey and Japan signed an agreement envisaging the investment of $22 billion in the implementation of the NPS project.

  2. Japan, Turkey agree on trade, nuclear power tie-ups...

    Japan and Turkey agreed on Jan. 7 to begin talks on an economic partnership agreement, part of a drive to build closer ties as they also step up cooperation on nuclear technology.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, agreed during talks in Tokyo to launch negotiations on the partnership pact.

    We agreed to start inter-governmental negotiations on an economic partnership agreement,” Abe told reporters.

    Erdoğan added that “we will make efforts toward an early completion of the talks”, saying the nations’ $4.0 billion annual trading relationship “doesn’t match the potential of either country”.

    The two sides also signed an agreement to set up a science and technology university in Istanbul which is expected to facilitate technology transfers and help Turkey build expertise in nuclear energy. Japan pledged support for the project in May.

    Abe and Erdoğan also agreed to push for faster approvals for construction of a $22 billion nuclear plant involving Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva of France.

    Since taking office just over a year ago, Abe has sought to raise Japan’s global profile, build economic ties and drum up business for major Japanese corporations. He jokes that he is the country’s top salesman.

    Turkey is modernizing its infrastructure and energy sector and thus is a key market for major Japanese industrial groups such as Mitsubishi and Sumitomo. Japanese exports of vehicles, electronics and energy equipment gave it a trade surplus of about $3 billion with Turkey in 2012.

    However, Japan’s $1 billion cumulative investment in Turkey is a tiny fraction of total foreign investment.

    “Both sides recognize that this is not realizing our full potential,” Erdoğan said................


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