Japan, US discuss cooperation in energy sector

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Japanese Industry Minster Hiroshige Seko met to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector including nuclear power, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewables.

Their meeting in Tokyo comes after US President Donald Trump shocked the world, including Japan, with his announcement of his country’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Tokyo has said it will call on Washington to stay in the deal.

Prior to the visit to Japan, Perry said in a statement released Thursday he “fully” supports Trump’s decision and that the US will continue to be “the world leader in the development of next generation technology.”

He said he intends to discuss with Japan the benefits of all forms of energy, including nuclear, fossil, LNG and renewables.

Seko, who is economy, trade and industry minister, and Perry may also exchange views on Toshiba Corp. after the Japanese conglomerate’s US nuclear affiliate Westinghouse Electric Co. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, casting doubt on the future of nuclear power projects Westinghouse was involved in.

US utility firm Southern Co. and others are reportedly in need of some US$3.6 billion from Toshiba to complete two unfinished nuclear reactors in Georgia that were being built by Westinghouse. Toshiba has said it has parent-company guarantees on Westinghouse’s behalf.

Perry said in a previous meeting with Seko in March that the US regards Toshiba’s financial stability as extremely important.

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