Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Closedown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

December 15, 2000

  1. The Government of Japan underscores the importance of achieving nuclear safety and in this regard welcomes the termination by the Government of Ukraine of the operation of the Unit 3 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, marking the final closure of the Plant.

  2. It is Japan's continuing policy to develop and utilize nuclear energy with a view to ensuring stable energy supply and improving the quality of life of the nation, while placing utmost importance on limiting its nuclear activities to peaceful purpose and on securing the safety in all aspects of such activities. Japan has therefore maintained keen interest in the issue of nuclear safety in former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

  3. Based on a recognition that the issues related to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, in particular, are among important nuclear safety agenda, Japan has provided financial assistance for enhanced safety through the Nuclear Safety Account established in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This year, Japan has also made great efforts as the Chair of the G8 for the success of the pledging conference for the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.

  4. The Closure will bring about a new set of challenges to be overcome such as substitute power source and discharged plant workers. Japan will continue to provide assistance toward resolution of these problems in cooperation with other G7 countries.

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