The energy minister, Stephen Timms, will next month attempt to persuade the Japanese government to end it four-year ban on buying fuel from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL).
Securing new contracts for the so-called Mox fuel will help to safeguard the future of BNFL, which last year went £1.09bn into the red and is subject to a government review of its future.
BNFL lost one of its major markets in 1999 after quality assurance documents relating to a shipment of Mox to Japan were found to be falsified.
But Mr Timms, who is due to arrive in Japan on 3 November, is expected to persuade officials that BNFL has cleaned up its act.
Mr Timms said: "I imagine that there will be some discussion about [BNFL]. It is a rather historic issue, but one I know about. Quite understandably, it does give rise to a good deal of concern in Japan. My visit to Japan will cover a range of topics, but that is one I will cover."
This summer, the Trade Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, abandoned plans to part-privatise BNFL. But in a further sign the Government doesn't see BNFL as a lost cause, Mr Timms said that he thought that "there is a long-term future" for the company.
Mr Timms' Japanese trip will follow a visit by former energy minister Brian Wilson in 2001. Mr Wilson met with the heads of BNFL's former clients Kansai Electric and Tokyo Electric Power to apologise for the scandal.Reuse content