“Zero nuclear plants.” With this recent call, Japan’s very popular former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, is again in the limelight…. Japan should welcome Mr. Koizumi’s intervention and begin a healthy debate on the future of nuclear power that has not occurred in the two and a half years since the Fukushima disaster….
Mr. Koizumi, whose change of views is startling, shows that there is quite a split on the issue in the political class. As a pro-growth prime minister from 2001 to 2006, he was an enthusiastic proponent of cheap and clean nuclear power. Now he declares that it is the most expensive form of energy, citing not only the many billions of dollars needed to clean up Fukushima but also the unknown cost and method of dealing with nuclear waste.
He also criticizes the current government’s assumption that nuclear power is essential for economic growth. Ever the acute reader of political moods, Mr. Koizumi argues that a zero nuclear policy could be cause for a great social movement in a country still gripped by economic gloom after 15 years of deflation….Mr. Koizumi makes a compelling argument that if the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were to announce a zero nuclear policy, “the nation could come together in the creation of a recyclable society unseen in the world,” and the public mood would rise in an instant.
It is good that the paper of record can advocate for a no-nuke policy. My hope is that their courage about pointing out problems in Japan will give them the courage to speak out against the reactor at Indian Point, which threatens Manhattan.
- Fukushima Politics (nytimes.com)
- Former PM Koisumi denounces nuclear energy 10/2/13 (vernonradiationsafety.wordpress.com)
- Ex-PM Koizumi raps government push for nuclear power as ‘irresponsible’ (japantimes.co.jp)
- Former Japanese PM Koizumi Calls for End to Nuclear Power (fukushimaupdate.com)