Today I had the opportunity to visit the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station to see first hand the significant progress that is being made by TEPCO and the dedicated workers at the Fukushima site cleanup and to gain a better understanding of the challenges that remain. Japan is a close ally and we are committed to making available the full range of U.S. expertise in nuclear energy, remediation, and decommissioning to support this critical cleanup effort.

In three weeks I will co-chair the Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation in Washington, D.C. This Bilateral Commission, which was established following the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, facilitates strong cooperation on civil nuclear energy, addressing issues such as nuclear safety and regulation, clean-up from the Fukushima nuclear accident, nuclear energy research and development, non-proliferation, safeguards and security, and emergency response. This is also a forum through which U.S. and Japanese firms have been able to discuss potential partnerships to assist with the Fukushima recovery.

The U.S. and Japan share a common view that nuclear energy is an important base-load power source that will contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We must learn and apply all of the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident in order for nuclear energy to continue to play a vital role in the transformation to a low-carbon energy future. Success in decommissioning Fukushima Dai-ichi will require decades of investment and hard work, and we look forward to continued close cooperation with our Japanese counterparts in this important endeavor.