MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) – Japan and Russia call for stepping up the efforts to carry out a project for creating an international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER), Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“We discussed the project with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Fortov,” Shimomura said, adding, “On September 6 the ITER Council will gather in France. Unfortunately, I can’t attend the session because I’ll take part in a sitting of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires. I delegate my powers at the ITER Council to my deputy. This issue was in the focus of my talk with the head of this project.”

“I talked about the delay. I said it was necessary to exert maximum effort to implement the project within the shortest period of time. The director of the project shared my point of view. I informed the Russian colleague about this,” the Japanese minister said.

“The Russian colleagues upheld my view. I hope that we’ll succeed in carrying out the project in time,” he said.

During the visit to Russia by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, both parties signed a statement on the need to develop scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries. “We pin big hopes on such cooperation. I’ve succeeded in meeting Russian specialists. Now we cooperate closely in such areas as the joint space exploration, nuclear fusion, high energy accelerator and the development of the Arctic Region and the Arctic Ocean. I believe that cooperation should be optimized in such areas because science and technology are the driving force for the economic development,” the Japanese minister said.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is the major project in the world to create a nuclear synthesis facility. It is being created in Cadarache, the south of France, by Russia, the European Union, the United States, Japan, China, South Korea and India. The project is based on the USSR-made Tokamak system.

Earlier, it was planned that the reactor would emerge in 2019. Now its production is scheduled for 2020.