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CIVIL NUCLEAR
Hundreds rally against Taiwan nuclear referendum
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) May 26, 2013


India PM calls for nuclear deal, more Japan investment
Tokyo (AFP) May 26, 2013 - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for an early accord on civil nuclear cooperation with Tokyo and more Japanese investment ahead of an official visit, reports said Sunday.

Singh, who will travel to Japan in the coming week for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made the remarks during an interview with Japanese media in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Indian leader said he would "use this visit to strengthen our strategic and global partnership, which also includes trying to reach an agreement with regard to civil nuclear energy cooperation," according to Kyodo News.

Japan-India negotiations on a civil nuclear energy agreement have been suspended since Japan suffered a nuclear crisis triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Singh also called on Japanese industry to boost investment and contribute toward India's economic growth, describing his country's inadequate infrastructure as "a big bottleneck".

"I see an enormous role for Japanese industry to contribute not only to infrastructure development of India, but also to accelerate the tempo of the manufacturing sector," he said.

The premier said that to help Japanese and other foreign investors, he had set up a cabinet committee on investment to look at those bottlenecks that hamper development of the infrastructure sector.

Singh will arrive in Tokyo on Monday for a four-day visit during which he will also meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

His trip was originally scheduled for November when Japanese premier Yoshihiko Noda was in power, and had been expected to include the signing of infrastructure projects deals worth $15 billion.

However, the visit was postponed after Noda called December elections which saw him ousted and Abe installed in the top spot.

Hundreds of Taiwanese protested in the capital Taipei on Sunday over government plans to hold what they call an unfair referendum on the fate of a nearly-completed nuclear power plant.

Chanting slogans like "Stop dangerous nuclear power", the protestors stood together in front of parliament to spell out the word "STOP" and held up black and yellow signs.

The demonstration came a few days before the ruling Kuomintang party plans to push through a bill to host a nationwide referendum that will decide whether the the island's fourth nuclear plant should be completed.

A "No" vote would only be accepted if turnout reaches 50 percent of the island's 18 million people, rather than a poll based on a simple majority.

"Such a design is unfair," Liu Hui-min, a spokeswoman for the protest, told AFP.

"Since so many people have voiced against the risky power plant, the government should scrap the project instead," referring to several public surveys which indicated around 70 percent of respondents opposed the plant.

Concerns about the island's nuclear power plants have been mounting since the March 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In September 1999 a 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people the deadliest natural disaster in the island's recent history.

The controversial plant, in the coastal Kungliao district near Taipei, is about 90 percent completed and due to come online in 2015, according to its operator the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower).

Construction began in 1999 but the plant has been the subject of intense political wrangling ever since.

In February Premier Jiang Yi-huah said for the first time that the government may support holding a referendum on its future amid growing public concern.

Taipower says the island will face power shortages without a new nuclear plant.

The three existing nuclear plants supply about 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity. But the first and second atomic plants and several other power stations are due to be shut down in the near future.

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CIVIL NUCLEAR
India PM calls for nuclear deal, more Japan investment
Tokyo (AFP) May 26, 2013
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for an early accord on civil nuclear cooperation with Tokyo and more Japanese investment ahead of an official visit, reports said Sunday. Singh, who will travel to Japan in the coming week for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made the remarks during an interview with Japanese media in New Delhi on Saturday. The Indian leader said he wo ... read more


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