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Thursday, 31st July 2008
In General Japan News,

Firm raided on suspicion of exporting nuke tools

A machine tool manufacturer in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, has been raided by police on suspicion of exporting tools for use in the development of nuclear weapons.

Horkos Corp was raided after it was believed to be exporting the tools without the authorisation of Japan's trade minister, police claimed.

Japan Today reports that local and prefectural police are conducting an investigation into the possibility that the tools have been exported to North Korea through South Korea or countries in the middle east.

Known as machining centres, the tools are priced on the open market at several tens of million yen each and are capable of making components for centrifuge separation devices used for enriching uranium.

The tools are listed as export-controlled by Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry.

In 1974, former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Sato won the Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to plans for a nuclear weapons programme in the country.

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