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Japanese and Kazakh ministers sign nuclear power agreement

A nuclear energy cooperation agreement has been signed between the relevant Japanese and Kazakh authorities that will see Japan import 30% of uranium for its power plants from Kazakhstan.

The Kyodo news agency reports that, at present, Kazakhstan supplies just 1% of Japan's uranium imports, but this could rise to between 30% and 40% under the proposed new deal. This will make Kazakhstan a key contributor to Japan's nuclear stocks, possibly positioning it ahead of current suppliers Australia and Canada.

The agreement was confirmed in a joint statement signed by Akira Amari, Japan's economy, trade and industry minister, and Karim Masimov, the Kazakh prime minister. The cooperation agreement, which makes the two countries "strategic partners," has also seen a number of deals signed between Japanese and Kazakh nuclear power companies, including state-run Kazatomprom, which has entered into uranium mine and power plant building alliances with Marubeni and Toshiba, respectively. (