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Abe vs. Ex PMs on Japanese nuclear power plant

Posted July. 21, 2014 05:09,   


While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shows strong will to restart nuclear power plants, the four former Prime Ministers join forces together to oppose Abe’s pro-nuclear stance. Following collision between the current and former Prime Ministers over nuclear energy in the Tokyo gubernatorial election in February, the confrontation seems to be repeated.

Asahi Shimbun reported on July 19 that Shinzo Abe Prime Minister met with Masayoshi Nuki, Kyushu Electric Power’s chairman, and other nuclear power plant business owners at a restaurant in Hakata, Fukuoka, on the previous day. According to the news media, Abe said “I will make it work for Sendai anyhow. I will make sure.” The Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso sat at diner in company with Abe. In this remark, Sendai means the Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear power plant unit 1 and 2 in the Kagoshima Prefecture. Sendai nuclear power plants recently won preliminary approval for meeting the safety regulations by Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority. If Sendai plant wins the final approval, it will become the first nuclear power plant that meets the stringent post-Fukushima safety standards after the deadly accident in 2011.

Anti-nuclear energy politicians are gathering forces together. The former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who campaigned on abandoning nuclear energy in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, and Junichiro Koizumi, another ex-Prime Minister who supported Hosokawa, recently established a corporation called ‘Natural Energy Council.’ The former Prime Ministers Kan Naoto and Hatoyama yukio also attended an event held by the pro-natural energy corporation on July 18.

The former Prime Minsiter Kan said, “I will collaborate what I can do in my position. We are sharing a common belief that Japan should move forward in the direction of zero-nuclear power plant.” Another former Prime Minister Hatoyama makes strong voices over zero-nuclear policy by attending an anti-nuclear power plant rally held in front of Prime Minister official residence. These two ex-Prime Ministers are also supporters of the Natural Energy Council.