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Chaos in Japan Restoration Party as leader backtracks on abolishing nuclear power

ballot-boxSmIshihara nuke flip-flop puts party in crisis Japan Times , 2 Dec 12 By ERIC JOHNSTON
Staff writer OSAKA — With the kickoff of the Dec. 16 Lower House election campaign
just one day away, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) is in chaos after party leader Shintaro Ishihara declared Friday that he would revise a promise to abolish nuclear power by the 2030s. The
flag-japanformer Tokyo governor’s declaration is adding to a growing sense in
and outside the party that the decision to merge with Osaka Mayor Toru
Hashimoto’s party was a mistake.

At a debate involving 11 party leaders Friday, Ishihara surprised
everyone when he said he would revise its promise to phase out nuclear
power.

The staunchly pronuclear Ishihara has long had differences on this
issue with party founder Toru Hashimoto, who pushed for abandoning
atomic power by the 2030s before joining forces with Ishihara last
month.

Nippon Ishin’s No. 3 man, Ichiro Matsui, said in Osaka later Friday
that the party’s manifesto would not be revised…….
Finally, Hashimoto responded to Ishihara’s statement Sunday by saying
the party “aimed” to see nuclear power abolished by the 2030s, but
that there would be no revision to the manifesto wording.

He also conceded that if stringent safety conditions were met it wouldbe possible to restart the existing nuclear reactors.

“If the world’s highest safety standards are in place, along with a
system to check the reactors, and a method of disposing of spent
nuclear fuel is established, a restart is possible,” Hashimoto said on
a TV program Sunday.

But perhaps worse for Nippon Ishin than the nuclear tussle is the
growing number of people calling on Hashimoto, publicly and privately,
to lead the party back to its roots by cutting ties with Ishihara.

Former trade minister Shigeaki Koga, formerly a close adviser to
Hashimoto, spoke for many in the party when he said on his Twitter
account that Hashimoto needs to admit he shouldn’t have joined forces
with Ishihara and his allies.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121203a3.html

December 3, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, politics

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