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Koizumi condemns Abe’s policy of continuing use of nuclear power

Kyodo

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who has become a resolute anti-nuclear campaigner following the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 meltdowns, criticized on Thursday the government’s plan to continue using nuclear power, saying it is “in breach of the election pledge” to lower reliance on nuclear power generation.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who sees Koizumi as a political mentor, plans for nuclear power to account for 20 percent to 22 percent of Japan’s total electricity output in 2030, compared with around 30 percent before the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Speaking at a press conference in Kagoshima Prefecture, Koizumi said the prime minister is “moving against the direction of lowering reliance on nuclear power as much as possible” as pledged by Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party during campaigning for the lower house election last year.

“Has he already forgotten what he said during the election?” asked Koizumi.

The former prime minister also criticized the government’s plan to reactivate Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant located in Kagoshima as early as this summer. The complex is expected to become the first nuclear facility to be restarted under a new set of tighter safety regulations introduced after the Fukushima crisis started.

Koizumi said Japan could “go without nuclear power” if Abe made up his mind to do so, urging him to reconsider the resumption plan. It is one of the very rare occasions “when a prime minister can play a historic role,” Koizumi said.

Referring to the recent volcanic eruption on a small, remote island in Kagoshima that forced all of the residents to evacuate, Koizumi added Japan is a “country which should not have nuclear power” given Japan is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and eruptions.

  • Starviking

    Koizumi said Japan could “go without nuclear power” if Abe made up his mind to do so

    Yes, lets keep burning more fossil fuels than we have to. We can celebrate the wisdom of Koizumi with every air-pollution related death.

    Referring to the recent volcanic eruption on a small, remote island in Kagoshima that forced all of the residents to evacuate, Koizumi added Japan is a “country which should not have nuclear power” given Japan is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and eruptions.

    Koizumi is soo insightful. I await his anti-dam campaign, and his “evacuate Japan” campaign.

  • Sam Gilman

    We can go without nuclear power if we choose to burn lots of coal instead. Renewables, because of Japan’s geography, are not going to make a big impact – not unless you want to concrete over very large areas of forested mountains (chopping the tops off many) and ruin the environment trying to save it.

    Burning coal instead would guarantee deaths from pollution every year that far outweigh all likely deaths from the Fukushima releases into the future. Coal too dangerous? How about oil? More people were killed from oil and gasoline catching fire in the earthquake and tsunami than will ever be killed by Fukushima releases. It’s far more dangerous in a quake. Gas? Well, I look forward to Koizumi joining the pro-fracking brigade.

    And all of that is before we take global warming into account.

    How long are such people going to do battle with basic arithmetic? How long are they going to fail to show leadership and pretend we have easy sugar sweet choices to make?

  • Michael Mann

    Fear is a politicians biggest ally, if you can convince the people to be afraid and then save them from that overblown threat, you become a hero. The fact there is more money (taxes) to be made on the continued use of fossil fuels is just icing on the cake. What is a little air pollution and hardship for the rest of the people of Japan when compared to the benefits to those in power?