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Published: 11 october 2013 11:31

Japanese diplomat: Hitachi experience shouldn't affect Japanese investments in Lithuania

„Hitachi“
BFL nuotr. / „Hitachi“

The experience of the Japanese company Hitachi in the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) construction project should not have a negative effect on Japan's future investments in Lithuania, says Ambassador Norio Maruyama, deputy director general at the Japanese Foreign Ministry's European Bureau.

"I don't think that this experience will have a negative impact, not at all," the Japanese diplomat told a Vilnius news conference on Friday.

He is in Lithuania to attend a symposium on EU Eastern Partnership and security situation in East Asia.

In his words, Japan and the country's businessmen respect Lithuania's decisions and are not frightened.

"Japan and Japan businessmen respect the decisions of Lithuania, so this is not exactly something that can be scary. (…) You make the decisions, we respect them. We consider we have something that will help you if you have some good plan to have economical development," Maruyama said.

In his words, Japanese technologies have an added value and can benefit Lithuania. At the same time, the diplomat said he understood that Visaginas NPP was not just an economic matter but involved other aspects as well.

Benediktas Juodka, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, apologized to Japan over the Lithuanian government's procrastination to make the decision on the future of Visaginas NPP.

"Japan's investments are very important for Lithuania, I would like to deliver an apology to Japan over our nuclear energy project, which has taken too long without any clarity. Governments changed, a referendum was even organized on the matter, and it somewhat changed the beliefs. (…) But I believe the government will soon dot the i's on the matter," said the Lithuanian MP.

Lithuania's government has not yet made its final decision on construction of the new nuclear utility. In May, it authorized the energy minister to hold discussions with regional partners – Latvia and Estonia – along with Japan's Hitachi on whether they found the new conditions of the project acceptable. An agreement was expected by July, however, no results have been published so far.

Set up by the prime minister, a task force concluded in spring that the nuclear utility would be too expensive for Lithuania, and the electricity price would not be competitive. Afterwards the government said that the project would be continued with improved conditions, which would be discussed with the Latvian and Estonian energy companies and Hitachi.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė said that the country's failure to decide on the new nuclear utility makes it look “pathetic” on the international arena.

BNS
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