Japanese big business rips into zero nuclear plan

JIJI

The leaders of three large business organizations in Japan held a joint news conference Tuesday to voice their strong opposition to the government’s plan to abandon nuclear power by the 2030s.

The news conference was held by Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren, the nation’s biggest business association, Tadashi Okamura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai.

The three top officials rarely meet the press together except at the beginning of the year.

Yonekura said he would consider a number of options in responding to the government’s new energy policy, hinting he may resign from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s National Policy Unit.

He was absent from the policy group’s meeting earlier in the day, to which the new energy policy was reported, to protest the decision.

The three said they were concerned about an unstable electricity supply and rising electricity charges dependence on nuclear power is reduced to zero.

Considering the impact the plan could have on the economy and people’s lives, “Japan’s business circle can hardly accept the plan,” Yonekura said.

Echoing Yonekura, Hasegawa said he is “adamantly opposed” to the plan. Okamura stressed it is “totally unacceptable.”

Yonekura urged the government to “build a responsible energy policy from scratch,” calling for a review of the new policy.