Japan’s Ruling Party Promises to Phase Out Nuclear Power
From Bangkok Post
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda promised Tuesday to rid Japan of nuclear energy in coming decades as he set out his party’s platform before next month’s general election.
Noda also pledged to conduct “calm and realistic” diplomatic and defence policies, as he tried to counter claims by his opponents that his Democratic Party of Japan does not stand up to foreign powers.
“After the nuclear accident (in Fukushima), we believe the Japanese people wish for and are resolved to have a society that does not rely on nuclear power plants,” Noda told reporters.
“We will put all available policy resources into building a path toward that goal,” he said.
The pledge amounted to a slight hardening of announcements made earlier this year when his cabinet said it would work towards scrapping nuclear power by the end of the 2030s.
A vocal section of Japan’s public has turned against atomic power in the aftermath of the disaster at Fukushima, where reactors were sent into meltdown after cooling systems were knocked out by a tsunami.
However, many in the business community say Japan needs nuclear to power its industries.
In a document that was short on specifics, the DPJ said it would also try to end deflation during fiscal 2014 by working with the Bank of Japan and promised a “large-scale” extra budget in early 2013.
It reiterated a desire to deepen Japan’s alliance with the US, and promised to “promote” Japan’s involvement in talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a wide-ranging free trade agreement that is anathema to the country’s cosseted farmers.
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