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IAEA chief vows support for Japan on Fukushima plant decommission via Japan Today

TOKYOThe head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday promised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe its continued support for Japan’s efforts to safely decommission the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and Abe also agreed to cooperate in tackling challenges including Iran’s rejection of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal and stalled denuclearization talks with North Korea, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In their meeting at the premier’s office in Tokyo, Abe briefed Grossi on the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which suffered a triple meltdown following a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

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Grossi said the IAEA backs Japan’s dual-track approach of decommissioning the plant while revitalizing the local community, which remains fractured after seeing numerous casualties and an exodus of survivors to other parts of the country, according to the ministry.

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At the outset of the meeting, which was open to reporters, Abe said Japan has a special relationship with the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog because of its experience with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“As the only country which has experienced the devastation of nuclear weapons in war, Japan attaches great importance to the activities of the IAEA, which is the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,” Abe said.

Grossi replied, “You mentioned history, history is of course part of that but…I think it’s also the present and the future where this organization and Japan have a lot to do together in so many areas.”

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