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Japan, Brazil likely to agree to resume talks on nuclear development


Japan and Brazil will likely agree to resume talks on a civil nuclear cooperation pact at a summit meeting next week, a Japanese government source said Thursday, paving the way for Japanese companies to export atomic power generation technology and equipment.

The agreement is expected to come when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff meet next Thursday in Tokyo to discuss enhancing bilateral economic ties, according to the source.

With two nuclear power plants currently online, Brazil is hoping to increase the number and shift its focus from hydropower to nuclear energy.

Japan and Brazil began talks in January 2011 with an eye to signing a civil nuclear cooperation pact for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The talks, however, have been stalled since the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture, triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

A civil nuclear cooperation pact sets a legal framework for the peaceful use and transfer of atomic-power technologies and equipment as well as nuclear materials to ensure nonproliferation.

Abe hopes to boost exports of nuclear power technologies and equipment as one of the key areas in Japan's growth strategy.

In May, Japan signed civil nuclear power cooperation pacts with the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, and agreed to accelerate talks on such an accord with India.

Japan agreed on Sunday to deepen cooperation in the field of nuclear power with the so-called Visegrad Group of Eastern European nations -- Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.