Japan, France finance chiefs eye greater nuclear cooperation

Finance Minister Taro Aso and his French counterpart Pierre Moscovici shared at a meeting in Tokyo on Monday the need to strengthen cooperation in civil nuclear power and in expanding business into Africa, Japanese officials said.

In the talks, Moscovici said France hopes to strengthen cooperative relations with Japan in nuclear power given that a joint venture between Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and France's Areva SA is pursuing the project to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Also on expanding business into Africa, Moscovici said France hopes to work with Japan, noting that his country has some experience in the continent, according to the officials.

Aso showed his willingness, saying that they are both "good proposals," the officials said.

Moscovici later met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Japanese leader expressed hope that Japan and France will strengthen relations in various areas, the officials said.

The French minister expressed confidence about the 18-nation eurozone meeting the goal of boosting collective gross domestic product by more than 2 percentage points over the next five years, which was set forth in a communique released after Group of 20 finance chiefs met in Sydney over the weekend.