Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said that he is "ashamed" of recommending nuclear energy to Turkish officials during his visit to Turkey.
Kan, who was on duty during the March 11, 2011 Fukushima disaster, was asked by the BBC's Turkish service about Japan's nuclear power plant projects that Tokyo sold to various countries, including Turkey.
"I went to Turkey when I was the prime minister - in a period before the Fukushima disaster took place - and attended major sales meetings. I asked Turkish officials to purchase the technology from Japan if they were thinking of introducing nuclear energy to Turkey," Kan said during a press briefing alongside another former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on March 1.
"I'm ashamed of this now. I wouldn't do this today," he said, noting that he would never engage in such sales if he had known what he learned after the Fukushima disaster.
Kan's remarks were backed by Koizumi, who is known for opposing nuclear energy. Koizumi also claimed that Japanese ministerial officials have tricked everyone, including himself, on the issue of nuclear energy for many years.
Turkey and Japan agreed on a nuclear power plant project in the Black Sea province of Sinop in 2013. The agreement was scrapped later on.
Ahead of a 2019 visit to Japan, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the costs and the schedule don't fit those predicted in 2013.