TOKYO: Japan’s prime minister headed to Turkey yesterday 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, 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 $22bn 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.
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.