Japan to Assist Iraq's Nuclear Ambitions

Japan is ready to boost cooperation and projects in Iraq’s energy sector including rebuilding Iraqi nuclear reactor(s), Hussain Shahristani, Iraqi deputy prime minister for energy,has  told reporters.

Shahristani reportedly said after his meeting with the Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister, Akihiro Ohata, in Baghdad, "we discussed the issue of reconstruction of the nuclear reactor(s) in Iraq... and the Japanese expressed their interest in that. Iraq will study the possibilities of developing its peaceful nuclear industry."

A joint statement was issued after the meeting calling on the two countries to reinforce economic cooperation in areas including postwar reconstruction, oil development and electricity generation in Iraq. Feasibility studies have already started to build an electricity generation station in Iraq, according to the statement.

Additionally, Japan will send a trade delegation to Iraq next month to discuss cooperation in the energy and transportation sectors.

This is the first visit to Iraq by a Japanese Cabinet minister since the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took power in September 2009. Arab diplomats in Tokyo told PanOrient News that the DPJ "has not given Arab countries the attention they used to get from Liberal Democratic Party."

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