Toshiba, MHI to join Japan nuclear mission to Vietnam

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Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., and Tokyo Electric Power Co. will send representatives on a government-led mission to Vietnam to sell nuclear technology.

Trade Minister Masayuki Naoshima plans to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other officials during the three-day visit, according to a ministry statement released in Tokyo Friday. The delegation will also include Kansai Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co.

Japan, which lost out to South Korea in December on a $20 billion atomic contract with the United Arab Emirates, is competing in the expanding global reactor market with France, Russia, Canada, and the US. Prime Minister Naoto Kan is due to meet Dung at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Hanoi in October as he seeks buyers for Japan's infrastructure and technology exports.

"By going with all the executives, the Vietnamese government would understand how serious we are," Tomoyoshi Yahagi, director of international nuclear energy cooperation office at the trade ministry, told reporters in Tokyo. "It may help to produce some results at the bilateral meeting."

Russia's state-run Rosatom Corp. has been selected to build the first of as many as 13 atomic plants planned in Vietnam by 2030.

Tokyo Electric and Toshiba together with other companies set up an office last month ahead of forming a joint nuclear export venture this autumn. Japan has begun preliminary talks with Vietnam for a atomic cooperation treaty, which would allow Japanese companies to export technology.

The delegation will include Tokyo Electric Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, Toshiba President Norio Sasaki, Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Chiarman Kazuo Tsukuda, Kansai Electric President Makoto Yagi, Chubu Electric President Akihisa Mizuno, Japan Atomic Power Co. President Hiroshi Morimoto, and Ichiro Takekuro, who will be a president of the joint venture, according to the statement.

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