Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has become the current unofficial poster boy for the anti-nuclear drive, but he is cautious about forming any sort of alliance with any of the parties, lest it be perceived as something political. He also emphasized he is not out to form a new party that will be under the nuclear phase-out slogan.
A few leaders of some parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, have expressed interest in teaming up with the popular former prime minister as he pushes his cause for the abolition of nuclear energy. Koizumi met with opposition Social Democratic Party leader Tadatomo Yoshida to discuss how to promote the phase-out call and pressure the government into taking steps to do so. Koizumi believes that strong public opinion can affect how the current government will make their political decisions regarding the nuclear issue. Yoshida told reporters that their meeting was “a step toward an alliance,” and that they want to work with him “as often as possible” on this anti-nuclear campaign.
Koizumi said he changed his mind about nuclear energy in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. He believes the administration will eventually come to a realization that earthquake-prone Japan cannot continue using nuclear generation as it will continue to pose danger to the general public. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who considers Koizumi his mentor, seems eager to restart the country’s 50 nuclear reactors which are currently offline. Abe has even been promoting the export of Japan’s nuclear technology to boost the country’s economic growth. He has also brushed off the opinions of his mentor, saying it is “irresponsible to promise zero (nuclear power plants),” and that Japan is still not ready to rely on thermal power generation.
[ via Kyodo ]
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