DPJ’s Sengoku describes halt of all nuclear plants ‘mass suicide’


Democratic Party of Japan policymaker Yoshito Sengoku created a stir Monday by describing the looming shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan as “mass suicide.”

“If we don’t think about what the economy and our livelihoods will be like in the event of (a total nuclear) halt, that would be, in a sense, something like the mass suicide of Japan,” Sengoku said during a speech in Nagoya.

Sengoku is one of the ruling DPJ’s core members on the reactor restart issue. Although his comments obviously backed restarts, the comparison with suicide raised eyebrows in political circles.

“I don’t know the context,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said when asked to comment on Sengoku’s analogy. “But judging from the words alone, it is not very good.”