A former Japanese Prime Minister has told a conference in Dublin that Ireland should not go down the nuclear energy route for safety reasons.

Naoto Kan was prime minister during the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

The disaster was a result of the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Japan in which almost 16,000 people died. 

Mr Kan has since campaigned against the use of nuclear energy. 

The conference was organised by Glen Dimplex.

CEO Sean O'Driscoll urged Ireland to reduce its dependency on fossils fuels.

He said the country imports €6bn worth of fossil fuels every year, which amounts to a permanent wealth transfer.

Mr O'Driscoll criticised the lack of a national energy policy and he said the recently published green paper was not ambitious enough.

He said a complete, coherent national energy policy was needed.