Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that nuclear power should not be the emphasis of the candidates running for the Tokyo gubernatorial race on February 9. Speaking to reporters while on a trip to the capital of Mozambique, he said that while nuclear power is important, other key factors should be discussed and addressed by the future governor. Four influential people have already disclosed their intent to run in the elections including Kenji Utsunomiya, former Japan Federation of Bar Associations President, former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe, former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami, and former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.
The prime minister, a known advocate of nuclear power, stressed the importance of energy policy not just for Tokyo alone, but for the whole country, and said that this issue must be tackled in the Tokyo gubernatorial race, but “balanced debate is also necessary for other issues that must be dealt with by a Tokyo governor.” Among the issues he mentioned are the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and ensuring its success, bringing down the number of children waiting to attend nursery school, and disaster prevention and damage measures. It is speculated that Hosokawa, a strong contender in the elections, is seeking partnership with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is a promoter of a nuclear-free Japan.
Abe also told reporters that while the government has plans of amending the current Constitution to revert to active military self-defense, he has decided on a specific schedule to begin the revisions. However, Abe’s aide and a member of the House of Councilors Yosuke Isozaki said that the revision is expected to be brought up on the next Diet session scheduled on January 24.
[via Jiji Press]
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