Keidanren urges DPJ to promptly restart nuclear plants

Kyodo

Keidanren urged the Democratic Party of Japan during a meeting Friday to promptly restart the nation’s idled nuclear reactors, sources said.

Responding to the major business lobby, a senior DPJ official explained that the government has decided on a short-term policy to restart reactors as soon as their safety is confirmed, the sources said.

Keidanren strongly opposes the DPJ’s long-term goal to phase out nuclear plants by the 2030s. Most nuclear plants have stayed offline due to safety concerns after the Fukushima meltdown crisis started, and widespread public opinion opposes further use of atomic power.

At the meeting, Keidanren Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura and other executives also asked the DPJ to swiftly pass the deficit-covering government bond bill and accelerate free-trade talks with other countries, the sources said.

The DPJ officials, including Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi, vowed to seek passage of the bill during the upcoming Diet session, they said. The bill would will allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds to finance the budget for the current fiscal year.

The DPJ side indicated the party’s positive attitude on free-trade talks, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sources said.