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Utilities lobbying LDP to support new nuclear plants

Kyodo

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan is lobbying politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to support the construction of new nuclear power plants, sources said Friday.

The federation’s lobbying comes as the ruling party works on drafting a new national energy plan. All of the nation’s reactors have been shuttered since the Fukushima disaster erupted in March 2011.

In a leaflet poll it distributed to the lawmakers, the federation provides model answers to a list of questions about nuclear energy, the sources said.

“Lawmakers are independently responding to the poll,” LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba told a news conference at the party headquarters Friday. “The party is not involved in providing the model answers.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he has no plans to build new nuclear power plants.

In the leaflet, the federation says Japan should build new nuclear plants to maintain and develop the best safety standards and technologies, the sources said.

It also calls for quick decisions on restarting the nation’s existing reactors, warning that increasing fossil fuel imports to make up for the absence of nuclear power will lead to a national outflow of wealth.

A federation official said the industry body makes use of all opportunities possible to disseminate its views on energy policy.