A French minister Tuesday became the first foreign politician to enter the crippled Fukushima plant since last year's disaster, telling workers they must revive atomic energy in Japan.
Industry and Energy Minister Eric Besson told workers battling to contain the worst atomic accident in a generation that it was up to them to reinvigorate an industry that suffered a battering from meltdowns at the plant.
Besson, who was accompanied on his tour of the plant by an AFP journalist, said nuclear power was too important a source of energy to abandon.
"I come from a country that produces most of its electricity from nuclear power," he said.
"We continue to believe in a civilian nuclear energy programme operated in the safest possible way. We are relying on you to revive this sector."
Besson's tour of the plant came just ahead of the first anniversary of the March 11 tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast and knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The natural disaster left more than 19,000 dead, but the nuclear accident has so far not directly claimed any lives.
However, radiation that spewed from the plant in the days and weeks after the accident infected the air, sea and food chain and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes.
Source: AFP Asian Edition