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Interior minister to visit Japan on nuclear energy trip

2013/07/18 21:27:24

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) Taiwan's Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan, will visit Japan next week to learn more about how nuclear energy is used for the country's development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday.

Lee will depart for Japan next week and stay there for a couple of days, during which he will meet with officials from Japanese regulatory agencies for nuclear power, said Su Chii-cherng, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Su's statement was in response to a local media report, released earlier in the day, that said Lee will visit Japan July 22-26 to learn more about Japan's nuclear disaster prevention and relief efforts.

Lee's visit to Japan comes amid a heated debate in Taiwan on whether the controversial fourth nuclear power plant in Gongliao, New Taipei City, should be made operational.

A proposal to hold a national referendum on the fate of the fourth nuclear power plant in Taiwan has been sent to the Legislature and awaiting the final decision of lawmakers.

Nuclear power is among Japan's main energy resources. The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 triggered a meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the country, causing radiation leaks.

(By Elaine Hou)