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Japanese PM Briefs G8 on Nuclear Crisis

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, right, participates in a meeting at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, Thursday, May 26, 2011

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says Japan intends to host a global meeting on nuclear safety with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the second half of next year.

Kan spoke Thursday at the Group of Eight economic summit in France to his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Canada Italy, Russia and the United States. At their luncheon, he briefed the leaders about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis they spawned in northeastern Japan.

The Japanese leader also vowed to make "maximum efforts" to bring the crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant under control by early next year, as previously announced.

Several G8 countries have been re-examining their nuclear power plans since the disaster knocked out cooling systems in nuclear reactors at the plant, triggering what authorities say were meltdowns in three of its reactors.

The nuclear power crisis has sparked renewed demands for plans to meet more of Japan's energy needs with renewable resources, including solar power.

In Paris Wednesday, Kan told the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that his country hopes to eventually meet 20 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy. He also voiced backing for efforts to lower the cost of solar power to one third its current level by 2020, and to one sixth by 2030.