Two Former Japanese Prime Ministers Try to Shake Up Japanese Politics to Kill Nuclear Energy

“The Myth That Nuclear Power Is Clean And Safe Has Collapsed”.  Nuclear Is a “Criminal Act Toward Future Generations”.  “Our Nation’s Survival Is At Stake”

Japan may have enacted a fascist state secrecy law which outlaws independent reporting on Fukushima … but there might be some hope yet.

Specifically, two former Prime Ministers are speaking out on Fukushima and Japan’s energy future.

EneNews gave an excellent roundup last week:

Kyodo, Jan. 14, 2014: Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa said Tuesday he will run in the upcoming Tokyo gubernatorial election with an antinuclear agenda after securing the backing of popular former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi […] The move […] could have game-changing impact on the race for the helm of the Japanese capital […] “I have made my decision to run in the Tokyo governor election,” Hosokawa told reporters after meeting Koizumi. “I have a sense of crisis myself that the country’s various problems, especially nuclear power plants, are matters of survival for the country.” […] Koizumi indicated the main focus of the election will be whether to pursue nuclear power or not, calling the election “a war between the group that says Japan can grow with zero nuclear power plants” and the group that says it cannot. […]

Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 14, 2014: […] “I have a sense of crisis that various problems facing Japan today, especially the issue of nuclear power generation, will endanger the existence of our country,” Hosokawa said, explaining the reason for his candidacy. […] Koizumi said the Tokyo gubernatorial election will be a contest between pro- and anti-nuclear forces. “My belief is that Japan will be able to do without nuclear energy. Hosokawa also has the same belief. That is the biggest reason for my support of him,” he said. […] Koizumi told reporters, “I expressed my respects to Hosokawa from the heart. I will do my utmost so that Hosokawa wins the election.” Koizumi said the Tokyo gubernatorial election could have “the biggest influence ever on national politics.” “If the Tokyo metropolitan government shows that it can go without nuclear power generation, it will certainly be able to change Japan,” he said. Koizumi also said, “If Hosokawa becomes Tokyo governor, he will have a major influence that could shake national politics on the issues of energy and nuclear power generation.” […]

Wall St. Journal, Jan. 14, 2014: [Former Prime Ministers Hosokawa and Koizumi] are expected to stir up the gubernatorial race and bring the energy debate back into the national spotlight. That will likely dismay of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which would rather not have the divisive issue become an election focal point. […] Mr. Hosokawa said […] “I have a sense of crisis that our nation’s survival is at stake over nuclear power.”

And today, EneNews reports:

Wall St. Journal, Jan. 22, 2014: “Restarting nuclear reactors while we still have no place to dispose nuclear waste is a criminal act toward future generations,” [Former Prime Minister Morihiro] Hosokawa said during a news conference where he laid out his campaign promises for the Feb. 9 election.

Bloomberg, Jan. 22, 2014: “The myth that nuclear power is clean and safe has collapsed,” Hosokawa told reporters in Tokyo today. “We don’t even have a place to store nuclear waste. Without that, restarting the plants would be a crime against future generations.”

Kyodo News, Jan. 22, 2014: “Nuclear power is out of date and the most costly source of energy,” Hosokawa said. “The severity of risks associated with nuclear power is high. We have to switch to renewable and environmentally friendly energies, and lead the world in that field.”

Reuters, Jan. 22, 2014: “I foolishly once believed the myth that nuclear energy is clean and safe,” he told a news conference. “That myth has completely broken down.”

Kyodo News, Jan. 22, 2014: “Nuclear power is out of date and the most costly source of energy,” Hosokawa said. “The severity of risks associated with nuclear power is high. We have to switch to renewable and environmentally friendly energies, and lead the world in that field.”

Kyodo News, Jan. 18, 2014: Many voters, however, may cast ballots for anti-nuclear candidates because the man-made Fukushima disaster, triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, raised questions about the viability of Japan’s future. Naoto Kan of the DPJ, also a former prime minister, is urging Tokyo residents in his blog to concentrate on backing Hosokawa if they think Japan should phase out nuclear power, calling Hosokawa’s run “a nightmare for the LDP.” “Japan has faced many problems, and the issue of nuclear power generation leads to the fate of this country,” Hosokawa said after securing Koizumi’s support.

Mainichi, Jan. 15, 2014: […] former prime minister [Hosokawa] said the issue of nuclear power will determine the fate of Japan. […] Despite the outbreak of the unprecedented disaster at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the nuclear power policy was not sufficiently debated in the two post-disaster national elections. […]  As Koizumi points out, the outcome of the election will have a huge impact on the direction of national politics.

Of course, Prime Minister will have to overcome the efforts of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but also the U.S. government, which has long acted as puppet-master and dictated Japanese nuclear policy … even though a former American Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair and Commissioner, as well as nuclear company executives, are now all against nuclear power.

Postscript: Why is the U.S. government – and its Japanese puppet Abe – really so gung ho on nuclear energy?  Perhaps because it’s good for building nuclear weapons.

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