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Koizumi, Hosokawa to set up anti-nuclear forum

Kyodo

Former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa will establish an anti-nuclear power forum in May to promote research into renewable energy and support anti-nuclear candidates in elections, sources said Tuesday.

The inaugural meeting will be held May 7, according to the sources.

Hosokawa, who was in power from August 1993 to April 1994, ran in the Tokyo gubernatorial election earlier this year with support from Koizumi on an anti-nuclear platform, but lost to Yoichi Masuzoe. Koizumi served as prime minister from April 2001 to September 2006.

Hosokawa said on Feb. 9 when he knew that former health minister Masuzoe was heading for a landslide victory in the Tokyo gubernatorial election: “I will continue my anti-nuclear activities with those who supported me in this election.”

Given continuing opposition to the Liberal Democratic Party-led government’s move to allow nuclear reactors to resume operations if they clear new safety standards introduced last summer, the gubernatorial election in part took on the appearance of a referendum on the future of the nation’s energy policy when Hosokawa entered the race with the support of the hugely popular Koizumi.

“I will continue to make efforts to create a nuclear-free Japan,” Koizumi also said in a statement on the same day.

The two are mulling supporting anti-nuclear candidates in the gubernatorial election this fall in Fukushima Prefecture, the home of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant,and next spring’s nationwide local elections, the sources said.

Among other founders of the forum are philosopher Takeshi Umehara and kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke, they said.