Diet approves NRA commissioners

Kyodo

The Lower House on Thursday formally approved the appointment of five experts who have been serving as the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s commissioners since September.

Following the endorsement, the Upper House is also expected to approve the appointments of NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka and four other commissioners, formalizing their status at the new nuclear watchdog.

Diet approval of the appointments is one of the issues left over from the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led government, which was ousted in December’s general election. Some DPJ lawmakers had questioned the qualifications of the five commissioners, stalling their official appointment in the Diet.

Fearing that an internal feud could intensify inside the DPJ, then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda used the authority of his office to appoint Tanaka and the four others in September as an extraordinary measure, rather than seeking a Diet vote.