With the ongoing protests in Tokyo against the government and its return to using nuclear power, Japan’s anti-nuclear movement has now grown large enough to establish the nation’s first green political party. Calling themselves Greens Japan, the party promises to voters that its two main focuses will be putting the environment first, and abolishing the country’s use of nuclear power plants. Greens Japan has been formed by a mixture of local-level politicians and activists, and they hope to be legally recognized as a political party by the next general elections.
Following last year’s nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant, all of Japan’s reactors began shutting down, with the final one going offline in early May. After roughly two month of Japan going completely without nuclear power for the first time in over 40 years, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), along with support from the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), ordered the first restart of nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture. The newly formed Greens Japan party wants to be an alternative to these two main parties, which both stand in support of nuclear power. The party’s deputy leader, Akira Miyabe, says that this is the first chance for voters in Japan to support a political party that puts nuclear abolition and other environmental issues first.
Currently standing at around 1,000 members, Greens Japan is looking to emulate the green parties of Germany and many other European nations. The party will no doubt struggle to have any candidates ready if Prime Minister Noda calls for a snap election in the Lower House, which many analysts predict could happen at any time now. But should the general elections take place next summer as scheduled, Greens Japan says it will be prepared with at least 10 candidates.
[via The Guardian]