Kansai biz leaders issue urgent petition to restart nuclear reactors

Kyodo

Business leaders in the Kansai region submitted an “emergency petition” to the government Thursday calling for a resumption of nuclear reactors so they will have a stable energy supply.

Jointly compiled by major business communities led by the Kansai Economic Federation, the petition was a quick reaction to a government request the previous day, which called for voluntary efforts in the Kansai region to cut electricity consumption by at least 10 percent from current levels to avert summer blackouts.

The petition, handed over to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama, said the ongoing power-supply woes are preventing Kansai from exerting its economic muscle at a time when western regions are expected to play a key role in leading the country’s economic growth following the March disaster.

It also criticized Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s desire to scale down nuclear power, saying the administration is creating an unstable business environment, which would lead to the loss of companies with good prospects that will opt to go overseas.

On Wednesday evening, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Shigetaka Sato questioned the government’s logic, saying it must prioritize stable energy supply before asking for power-saving. Shinichi Otake, who heads the Kansai Association of Corporate Executives, echoed a similar view.