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Ishihara now ambivalent about nuclear power, and considers nuclear weapons for japan

ballot-boxSmPro-nuclear Ishihara already wants to rewrite party platform
December 01, 2012 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Japan Restoration Party leader Shintaro Ishihara on Nov. 30 suggested
hflag-japane will rewrite the party’s day-old campaign promises for the Dec. 16
Lower House election to better reflect his pro-nuclear stance.

In a debate among the chiefs of 11 political parties at the Japan National Press Club, Ishihara was asked about his party’s platform that said “nuclear power generation at existing reactors would fade out by the 2030s.”

Ishihara, a former Tokyo governor, suggested that he will review the platform that he and acting leader Toru Hashimoto, the popular Osaka mayor, announced just the previous day.

He said the party will “think about” stopping some nuclear reactors through simulations.

The conservative hawk also expressed his opposition to Japan losing
the option of possessing nuclear weapons by abandoning nuclear power
generation. He told reporters on Nov. 20 that Japan should “simulate”
the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent because non-nuclear
states lack international clout.

Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui, the party’s secretary-general,
immediately rejected Ishihara’s suggestion for a review.

“(The platform) was decided by the party,” Matsui told reporters in
Osaka on the night of Nov. 30. “We want voters to judge our stance
based on the current platform.”

Official campaigning for the election will start on Dec. 4.Although
the Japan Restoration Party has been gaining public support, nuclear
policy has divided the party.

Hashimoto, who formed the party, had repeatedly said the Japan
Restoration Party intends to scrap nuclear power in the 2030s. But he
dropped the policy on Nov. 17 when the party merged with the Sunrise
Party, founded by Ishihara.

The vague “fade out” phrase was included in the party platform.

Despite Matsui’s opposition, Ishihara may get his way.

At a news conference after the Japan Restoration Party and the SunriseParty merged on Nov. 17, Hashimoto said the party leader would decide
if he and Ishihara cannot reach an agreement.

During the Nov. 30 debate, the other leaders stuck to their platforms
on nuclear power for the election, the first national vote since the
accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said his ruling Democratic Party of
Japan plans to scrap nuclear power in the 2030s by mobilizing all
policy means.

Yukiko Kada, leader of the newly formed anti-nuclear Nippon Mirai no
To (Japan Future Party), said the party plans to have Japan “graduate
from” nuclear power within 10 years.

Shinzo Abe, president of the main opposition Liberal Democrat

December 3, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, politics

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