The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has urged Japan to continue its role on the world stage despite grappling with the effects of a triple disaster at home.
After meeting Japan’s foreign minister Takeaki Matsumoto, Clinton said Japan is ‘indispensible to global problem-solving, security and progress.’
She announced the creation of a public-private partnership to help Japan re-build from the world’s most expensive natural disaster.
Her flying visit came as TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, announced that it hopes to achieve what it calls ‘cold shutdown’ within six to nine months.
That would effectively end the crisis there.
The company said the first step would be to cool the reactors and spent fuel to a stable level in the first three months before finally making them safe.
Later it plans to put a cover over the shattered reactor buildings.