Illustration - Photo: IAEA

Hungary-Japan seal nuclear industrial cooperation deal

Hungary and Japan have sealed an agreement on nuclear industrial cooperation aimed at ensuring that nuclear energy remains a key part of both countries' energy policies, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, announced in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The purpose of the deal is to ensure both countries continue to enjoy “cheap, safe and environmentally friendly” energy production, he said after talks with the Japanese minister of economy, agriculture and foreign affairs.

Szijjarto also called for “rational international discussions on nuclear energy based on common sense, free from “ideological, emotional attacks” against the nuclear industry.

Meanwhile, the minister said Hungary supports NATO cooperation with countries of the Pacific region as well as closer NATO-Japan ties.

He noted that he met leaders of several companies and the Japan Business Association (Keidanren). Japanese companies are the seventh largest investors in Hungary, he added.

Japanese companies in the food, car and electronics industries have highly praised operating conditions in Hungary, and they are planning more and more investments, he said.

Hungarian exports to Japan were worth a record 940 million US dollars last year, he noted, adding that a 30 percent annual increase is expected this year.

Japan is a key destination for Hungarian food industry exports, he said, highlighting exports of peas, sunflowers, duck meat and foie gras.

Szijjarto referred to an existing agreement that exports will only be banned from the affected areas in the case of an outbreak of animal viruses, adding that poultry and pork exports would become far more flexible in the coming period.

Bilateral relations, he said, were problem-free, and economic ties therefore were developing smoothly. Hungary will soon open a consular mission in Osaka, he noted.

The minister said Japanese credit rating agencies, unlike their Western peers, portrayed the Hungarian economy factually and fairly and did not use ratings for political purposes.

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