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Japan MEXT minister visits ITER

Mr Kawabata stressed the importance of ITER for Japan and expressed his appreciation and respect to DG Ikeda ''for having brought the project to its present stage''. (Click to view larger version...)
Mr Kawabata stressed the importance of ITER for Japan and expressed his appreciation and respect to DG Ikeda ''for having brought the project to its present stage''.
The Japanese minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) visited ITER last Wednesday 5 May. Mr Tatsuo Kawabata, who was appointed to MEXT last Septemb
er, was accompanied by an important delegation from his Ministry, namely the Director of the Internal Affairs Division, the Director of International Nuclear and Fusion Energy Affairs Division and representatives from the Japanese embassy in Paris and General Consulate in Marseille.

The Japanese minister was welcomed at the Visitors' Centre by ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda, who later gave a presentation of the project and its present activities. Mr Kawabata stressed the importance of ITER for Japan and expressed his appreciation and respect to DG Ikeda "for having brought the project to its present stage".

Inside the Visitors' Centre, from left to right: Daini Tsukahara, Consul General of Japan in Marseille; Eisuke Tada, head of ITER Central Integration and Engineering; DG Ikeda and Minister Kawabata. (Click to view larger version...)
Inside the Visitors' Centre, from left to right: Daini Tsukahara, Consul General of Japan in Marseille; Eisuke Tada, head of ITER Central Integration and Engineering; DG Ikeda and Minister Kawabata.
When questioned by Japanese journalists about the ongoing review of  Japan's science budgets, Mr Kawabata insisted that "[his] government would carry out its commitment as planned. There are two major programs that we intend to push," he said, "one of them is the next-generation fast breeder reactor, and the other one is ITER."

Mr Kawabata's trip to Europe also included a meeting in Brussels with Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and in Paris with Valérie Pécresse, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research.



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