ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, May 3 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the United Arab Emirates produced a deal allowing Japan to sell nuclear power technologies, officials said.
The civil nuclear agreement signed in Abu Dhabi with the oil-rich Emirates is important for Japan as its oil demand has gone up due to growing reliance on thermal power with the curtailment of nuclear power. Japan has had to idle 48 of its 50 nuclear reactors since the March 2011 earthquake catastrophe crippled the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant.
Japan also needs to boost exports for its economic recovery and needs assured supplies of energy.
In his efforts to promote export of Japanese nuclear power technologies, Abe has been saying Japan has been enhancing safety at its nuclear plants since the earthquake.
The deal with the United Arab Emirates the first bilateral nuclear agreement signed by Japan since the 2011 disaster, Kyodo News reported.
"There are high expectations that Japan has a considerably high level of safety standards" since the Fukushima disaster, Abe said in Abu Dhabi. "I want to provide Japan's safe and high-standard nuclear technologies."
Gulf News reported the United Arab Emirates has signed similar accords with other countries. It began constructing nuclear power plants in western Abu Dhabi to diversify energy sources and minimize power generation from natural gas and oil, the report said.