Two former Prime Ministers of Japan are making good on their promise to spearhead the anti-nuclear campaign but both are saying they will do their best to stay out of the political game. Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa on May 7 launched the Japan Assembly for Nuclear Free Renewable Energy, a non-profit organization that calls for the eventual abolition of nuclear energy dependence in Japan.
Koizumi emphasized during the launch, attended by around 300 supporters, that the idea being propagated that nuclear power is safe, cheap and clean is a “blatant lie.” Hosokawa, who lost heavily in the Tokyo gubernatorial elections earlier this year, criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s government for continuing to push a nuclear agenda, saying it contradicts the premier’s promise that he would “lower the country’s dependence on nuclear energy.” He also cited surveys which showed that 60% of the respondents are opposed to the restart of the offline nuclear reactors while 80% believe that the country should eventually get rid of all forms of nuclear energy.
“We lost a battle but are standing up with an unyielding spirit to create a nuclear-free country,” Koizumi stressed, echoing the battle cry of the organization’s co-founders, which includes noted philosopher Takeshi Umehara, writer Jakucho Setouchi, scholar Donald Keene and Minami-Soma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai. Other influential people from the entertainment industry, with the likes of actress Sayuri Yoshinaga and Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke are among the organization’s many supporters.
After the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, there was also a symposium on the side where there were calls for the organization to keep an active role in upcoming local elections and support candidates who have a strong anti-nuclear agenda. But the still popular Koizumi said that they are weary of involving themselves in politics, saying that this might cause “power struggles and friction” within the organization. Hosokawa says that their primary goal is to create a national-level movement that will stand firm on anti-nuclear policies. Their first activity as an organization would be to show anti-nuclear films and to organize discussion meetings with residents who live near nuclear plants.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]