Japan’s Former PM Challenges Abe’s Energy Policy in Tokyo Race

From Reuters


By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg

Former Japanese premier Morihiro Hosokawa pledged on Wednesday to push the nation to abandon nuclear power if elected governor of Tokyo next month in a race that could affect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s energy policy and political clout.

Hosokawa, 76, backed by charismatic former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, is billing the February 9 vote as a referendum on Abe’s efforts to restart reactors taken offline after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and to make atomic energy a key power source.

“We need to turn around by 180 degrees the current energy-guzzling society dependent on nuclear power,” said Hosokawa, unveiling his platform opposing reactor restarts and calling for Japan to put renewables at the core of its growth strategy.

“I foolishly once believed the myth that nuclear energy is clean and safe,” he told a news conference. “That myth has completely broken down.”

© 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions

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