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Japan’s government on shaky ground as it promotes nuclear power

In another development that could fan public concerns about nuclear safety, Trade and industry minister Yukio Edano said the government would review seismological data for nuclear plants to assess whether any are built on active fault lines.

He was responding to media reports that a review by the nuclear watchdog indicated Hokuriku Electric Power Co’s Shika station northwest of Tokyo sits atop a faultline……

Nuclear issue puts increasing pressure on Japan government By Linda Sieg, additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Risa Maeda TOKYO   Jul 18, 2012 (Reuters) – Japan’s government came under fire on Tuesday over its handling of public hearings on nuclear energy policy, threatening to dent already sagging support for the ruling party ahead of an election many expect to be this year.

The latest furor follows Monday’s massive rally in Tokyo against nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, an issue now so contentious that lawmakers and analysts say it could trump taxes as the focus of lower house elections, which must be held by September 2013 but could come sooner.

“This gives the impression that they haven’t learned anything,” said
Koichi Nakano, a professor at Sophia University, after news that power
companies’ employees were among the few chosen to speak at hearings on
changes to energy policy after Fukushima, the world’s worst atomic
disaster in 25 years.

It was an echo of a scandal just one year ago, when Kyushu Electric
Power sought to sway public opinion at a hearing on restarting
reactors in southern Japan.

In a sign of the growing discontent, more than 100,000 anti-nuclear protesters marched in Tokyo on Monday, adding to pressure on Prime
Minister Yoshihiko Noda, already struggling as his Democratic Party
unravels over plans to hike the sales tax to curb public debt.

“The anti-nuclear people are calling for the Democrats to be voted
out,” Nakano added.

The rally was the biggest since Noda said last month Japan needs to
restart idled nuclear reactors to protect jobs and the economy……
In another development that could fan public concerns about nuclear safety, Trade and industry minister Yukio Edano said the government would review seismological data for nuclear plants to assess whether any are built on active fault lines.

He was responding to media reports that a review by the nuclear watchdog indicated Hokuriku Electric Power Co’s Shika station northwest of Tokyo sits atop a faultline……
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/18/japan-nuclear-idINDEE86H03020120718

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July 19, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, politics

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