French President Nicolas Sarkozy will make a visit to Japan on Thursday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday, making him the first foreign leader to visit the disaster-hit island nation since the March 11 earthquake and following nuclear crisis.
During his stay, Sarkozy will hold talks with his Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the ministry said in a statement.
Upon the massive earthquake in northeastern Japan, Sarkozy has been expressing his intention to visit Japan to express the support and solidarity of the international community to Japan as the chair of the G-8/G-20 summit this year, the ministry said.
The president will make a brief visit to Japan ahead of his scheduled trip to China, where he will attend an international currency conference as chairman of the G-20.
France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, has 58 nuclear reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has asked France’s Areva SA to send experts on removal of radioactive materials contained in water.