Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa has criticized Tokyo’s nuclear energy consumption and called it “selfish” and unsustainable. Hosokawa, who is running for Tokyo governor in February, is rallying to abolish the use of nuclear power.
The 76-year old former prime minister attacked the city’s use of nuclear energy saying, “Tokyo is shoving nuclear power plants and nuclear waste to other regions, while enjoying the convenience (of electricity) as a big consumer.” Supported by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Hosokawa is currently second in an elections survey after Liberal Democratic Party member and former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe.
Hosokawa also lambasted current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s foreign policy, calling it as “pugnacious diplomacy,” which is hurting ties with neighbors. Referring to the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, Hosokawa expressed his apprehensions, “One thing I’m concerned about is whether pugnacious diplomacy will help the festival of peace to be held smoothly.” Tensions have been increasing between Japan and China for the past year over a territorial dispute on the Senkaku Islands, which China claims as theirs and calls Diaoyu. South Korea, alongside China, has also expressed anger over Abe’s recent visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which serves as a symbol of wartime aggression to Japan’s former colonies.
A voters-support survey showed that Hosokawa is second after the LDP-supported Masuzoe, who is popular with those who want to maintain the use of nuclear power. However, Hosokawa’s vision for Tokyo is towards the use of natural energy. “A top leader’s task is to set an overall direction,” he said. “If a decision is made now to put an end to nuclear energy, many companies will stampede to natural energy so as not to fall behind the trend, making natural energy grow at an astonishing rate,” he further commented.
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