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Japan, France sign nuclear export plan

June 7, 2013 at 8:58 AM

TOKYO, June 7 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande signed a plan Friday to join efforts in exporting nuclear infrastructure.

The two leaders held a meeting during Hollande's first visit to Japan since he took office in May 2012, starting bilateral talks on the development of defense equipment and the export of such equipment, Kyodo reported.

In a press conference, the two said in a joint statement they recognize "the international framework the two nations share is undergoing massive change."

"Our partnership is old and traditional but we hope to build a new environment toward the future," Hollande said, acknowledging France had paid too little attention to the world's third-largest economy.

Under the five-year plan, the two countries will cooperatively supply nuclear infrastructure and services to other countries, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The cooperation between the two countries is seen as a response to China, which is offering cheaper products to developing countries, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, Japan is keeping an eye on a French company's plan to sell China equipment enabling Beijing to land helicopters on warships. Hollande said France is committed to upholding the European Union's ban on selling weapons to China, the Journal reported.

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