Japan hails Amano's selection as atomic energy watchdog chief | world | Hindustan Times
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Japan hails Amano's selection as atomic energy watchdog chief

world Updated: Jul 03, 2009 12:51 IST
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Japan on Friday welcomed the choice of Yukiya Amano as the next head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, stressing that he comes from the only country to have been attacked by atom bombs.

The veteran Japanese diplomat won the contest in Vienna on Thursday to lead the UN nuclear watchdog, giving him a pivotal role in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"It is very significant that the head was selected from the only atomic-bombed country," top government spokesman Takeo Kawamura told reporters, noting that Amano's selection also boosted Japan's international profile.

"We hope he will make the IAEA fully perform its role when nuclear disarmament is being called into question," Kawamura said.

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said Japan would support Amano in various ways but stopped short of saying whether this would include financial aid to the body.

Japan suffered US atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing days of World War II in August 1945. The nation surrendered a few days after the attacks.

Hiroshima Major Tadatoshi Akiba also welcomed Amano's win.

"We have high hopes that he will work toward creating a concrete roadmap for abolishing nuclear weapons," Akiba said in a statement.