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A power company said Thursday it had shut down a nuclear reactor at a plant in western Japan due to water leaks from a pressurizer valve, DPA reported.

Kansai Electric Power Co said it had manually suspended reactor 2 at Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, located on the Sea of Japan coast around 300 kilometres west of Tokyo.

The reactor was scheduled to be shut down on December 18 for a regular checkup. Following the shutdown, only two of the company's 11 reactors in the region are still running.

Those are due to be stopped for maintenance on December 16 and in February, respectively.


The Uzbek Senate (upper house of parliament) has appointed Farrukh Tursunov as the country's ambassador to Japan.

The country's official press published the senate's resolution.

Under the Uzbek legislation, candidacy for the ambassadorial post is approved on the nomination by the country's president.

Farrukh Tursunov was born in 1972, is a career member of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry. Since December 2008, he headed the Uzbek Embassy in Kazakhstan. Prior to his appointment as ambassador to Kazakhstan, he served at the Uzbek Embassy in France.


In Baku, on Thursday, Natig Aliyev, Industry and Energy Minister of Azerbaijan, received a team led by Vice-President of Japan's Itochu Eyzo Kobayashi, who is also the cochairman of the Azerbaijani-Japanese intergovernmental commission, Azer Mensimli, Press Secretary of the Industry and Energy Ministry, told Trend on Thursday.

The sides examined cooperation in the field of power engineering and expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation.


President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received today Yoichi Kobayashi, co-chair of the Azerbaijan-Japan Intergovernmental Commission and executive vice president of Itochu Corporation.

Recalling his previous visit to Azerbaijan, Kobayashi said he saw great changes in Baku.
The sides expressed satisfaction with development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Japan. They exchanged views on expansion of relations in various spheres.


A magnitude-6.8 earthquake jolted the southern Japanese island of Okinawa Tuesday, but no damage or injuries were reported, and no tsunami warning issued, the Meteorological Agency said, DPA reported.

The quake occurred at 11:59 am (0259 GMT) with its epicentre north-west of the island at a depth of 220 kilometres, the agency said.

On March 11, a magnitude-9 quake and tsunami struck the nation's north-east, killing more than 15,800 people and leaving around 3,700 missing.


A Japanese lawmaker drank up a glass of decontaminated water from a crippled nuclear power plant to show it was safe, news reports said Tuesday.

Yasuhiro Sonoda, parliamentary secretary who is a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, drank the water during a news conference at the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

As reporters asked Sonoda about the safety of the decontaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, he responded on Monday by drinking the water to apparently prove it, DPA reported.


It is expected to take more than 30 years to decommission damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in north-eastern Japan, local media reported Friday, citing a draft report by a government panel, DPA reported.

The plant suffered meltdowns at three reactors after it was crippled by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11. It has been leaking radioactive substances into the environment ever since.


Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi received Japan's Ambassador to Tajikistan Hiroyuki Imahashi, Asia-Plus reported on Friday.

The sides discussed a broad range of issues related to state and prospects of the deepening the Tajikistan- Japan bilateral cooperation.

Zarifi expressed hope that Imahashi would make a major contribution to further development of the relations.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was to leave for Seoul Tuesday to hold talks with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on North Korea and free trade.

On Wednesday, the two leaders were expected to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and stalled negotiations on signing a bilateral free trade agreement.

Noda was also likely to renew Japan's invitation for Lee to visit Tokyo by the end of the year when they meet on Wednesday morning.


A huge polyester-fibre cover sheets has been erected over one of the damaged reactor buildings at a nuclear power station in north-eastern Japan, the operator said Monday, dpa reported.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, which runs the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, fixed the cover to steel frames over reactor 1 to prevent further release of radioactive material into the air, company spokesman Takeo Iwamoto said.