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France - Japan

Japan and France to strengthen ties in defence equipment

French President Francois Hollande and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Paris, 5 May  2014.
French President Francois Hollande and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Paris, 5 May 2014. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in France on Monday as part of a six-nation tour of Europe. The EU and Japan launched trade talks a year ago, with the aim of coming to an economic partnership.  

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets French President Francois Hollande for talks expected to revolve around security issues amid mounting tensions between Tokyo and Beijing.

But the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun says that while in France, Abe is due to discuss a nuclear test project with French president Francois Hollande.

France would like to test its latest nuclear technology, called Astrid, in Japan’s Monju reactor which been shut down since an industrial accident there in 2010.

The anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucleaire, or Nulcear Phase-out, has called on French lawmakers to stand against any kind of agreement that would further this technology.

In a statement, it said the Astrid reactor uses the same technique as the Superphoenix, a prototype that was tested near Lyon and shut down in 1998.

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