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Japan’s Prime Minister Kan for a Nuclear-Free Society

Susanne Gerber

14.07.2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday that Japan should aim for a society that does not depend on nuclear power in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Kan made his strongest pledge to reduce Japan’s reliance on nuclear power since he took office a little over a year ago. He is calling for more conservation efforts and use of renewable energy. Environmentalists said Kan’s commitment is historic and should merit high praise. „Considering the huge risk of a nuclear accident, I have really felt that this technology cannot be controlled by conventional safety measures,“ Kan said at a news conference, held for the first time since June 27. „So I have come to realize…that Japan should aim for a society that does not depend on nuclear power generation“ by phasing out such energy „systematically and in stages.“ And Kan said he is not „at all considering whether to dissolve“ the chamber in connection with nuclear issues, although he said Japan’s future energy policy needs to be eventually decided by the public. Kan, who could resign next month, said Japan is capable of overcoming power shortages in the summer and winter peak seasons as long as the public and the industry continue to cooperate in saving energy. He said the government is preparing to release electricity supply forecasts for this year „in the not-too-distant future“ and from next year plans must be made by thinking of using more natural gas to help offset a power shortage by nuclear generation facilities. Four months after the Fukushima plant was crippled by a tsunami, only 19 reactors are running in Japan, while local governments have been reluctant to allow those that have been taken offline to resume as many residents are concerned about their safety. In his previous news conference, Kan said he would step down after securing parliamentary passage of the forthcoming extra budget for additional disaster-relief measures, a bill to enable the government to issue bonds to fund about 40 percent of the revenue planned in this fiscal year’s annual budget through March 31 and a bill to promote the use of renewable energy.The second extra budget for fiscal 2011 is expected to be enacted this month.

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110714p2g00m0dm009000c.html

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Einsortiert unter:Accident, Fukushima, Politics, Reflection

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