Japan, Armenia Agree To Cooperate On Disaster Prevention


Japan Economic Newswire
June 6, 2012 Wednesday 9:54 AM GMT

Japan and Armenia agreed Wednesday to cooperate on disaster prevention
and nuclear safety, as the two countries mark the 20th anniversary
this year of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan,
who is visiting Tokyo on the occasion of the anniversary, signed a
joint statement to elevate the countries’ partnership to a new level.

Noda conveyed Japan’s intention to provide human resources and
expertise to improve Armenia’s disaster preparedness. Like Japan,
Armenia lies in one of the world’s most active seismic zones.

On behalf of Armenia, the Japan International Cooperation Agency has
been formulating seismic risk assessment and necessary emergency
response measures for the capital city of Yerevan, where about 30
percent of the country’s population is concentrated.

Among other issues, the president said he will do his best to ensure
the safety of Armenia’s nuclear power plant by learning lessons
from Japan.

Armenia, which became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the
Soviet Union, has an old nuclear power station without a primary
containment structure.

The Soviet-designed Metsamor plant, located about 15 kilometers from
the Turkish border, stands in a region prone to earthquakes and is
often described as the world’s most dangerous atomic facility.

Turkey and European countries have been calling for many years for
Armenia to close the 32-year-old plant. But Armenia has said that it
has no immediate plans to shut the plant, which generates around 40
percent of its electricity.

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