Brussels, 07 Oct 2005
EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik met with Japan's Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Nariaki Nakayama in Brussels on 6 October. EU-Japan scientific cooperation were discussed, and in particular, cooperation within the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) project.
Both Mr Nakayama and Mr Potocnik welcomed the progress made in technical discussions on ITER. Since the decision was taken to locate the reactor in France - a decision that allows for a 'privileged partnership' between the EU and Japan - experts from the six ITER partners have been working on the final details that need to be decided before an agreement can be signed.
Mr Nakayama brought the Commissioner up to date on current discussions in Japan on the selection of scientific projects to be undertaken with the EU as part of the 'international broader approach' to fusion energy. The approach is aimed at the rapid realisation of fusion energy for commercial use. The Commissioner reiterated the EU's conviction that the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility forms an essential part of a fast track approach to fusion energy.
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss broadening and intensifying cooperation between the EU and Japan. Mr Potocnik told his visitor of his hope that Japan will soon complete the remaining procedural steps needed for the conclusion of Science and Technology Agreement between the two parties