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Nuclear power is regarded virtually as a core energy source in a bill for Japan’s basic law on energy being prepared by Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers, according to the full text obtained by Kyodo News.

Although the bill stops short of stipulating nuclear power and other specific sources of energy, it clearly promotes a shift in sources to nonfossil fuels, stressing the need for the country to secure a stable supply.

To draw up the bill, the LDP compiled an outline explicitly stating nuclear power as one of the core sources of energy. The lawmakers plan to submit the bill for passage during an extraordinary Diet session in the fall.

The draft — tentatively titled The Basic Law on Stable Supply — deals with such major energy sources as nuclear power and natural gas, LDP sources told Kyodo News.

The 14-article bill stipulates three basic energy policies: a breakaway from heavy dependence on oil supply from a few oil producing countries; diversification of energy sources; and improvement of energy self-sufficiency.

Pointing to the central role energy plays in the steady improvement of the quality of life and the maintenance and development of the economy, the bill requires power companies to strive to secure stable supplies and the government to compile every five years a basic plan.

The planned legislation reflects worries, spurred by California’s energy crisis earlier this year and recent moves by foreign companies to penetrate Japan’s energy market, that a rapid liberalization of the market would undermine stable supplies, the sources said.

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