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Nuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, October 14, 2021 Pro-nuclear lawmakers now hold key positions under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, sparking concern that he will stray from the prior administration’s focus on renewables to help achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

New ministers in charge of Japan’s efforts to fight climate change and energy issues under the Kishida administration have vowed to stick with the net zero target………

The new Basic Energy Plan drafted by the Suga administration made no mention of such nuclear power-related projects despite pressure from pro-nuclear lawmakers within the LDP and the nuclear industry.

LDP lawmakers who support nuclear energy are unhappy about the Basic Energy Plan, which said Japan will “reduce its dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible.”   

……………concerns have been raised over a possible return to reliance on more nuclear power following pro-nuclear lawmakers assuming key posts in the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Koizumi, who as environment minister pushed for renewable energy, and Taro Kono, who served as minister in charge of administrative reform and is a staunch opponent of nuclear energy, were replaced when Kishida formed his Cabinet.

….. Despite his vow against new reactor projects, Hagiuda is a close ally of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who serves as the most senior adviser to a group of lawmakers advocating construction of new reactors to replace aged units.

Akira Amari, the new secretary-general of the LDP, the second most powerful post after the party president, Kishida, is the most senior adviser to the group.

Sanae Takaichi, who proposed bolstering development of new technology to build a nuclear fusion reactor during the LDP

 leadership race last month, landed the position of the party’s policy chief.

…Not surprisingly, the nuclear industry hailed the government and the new party lineup……..

October 16, 2021 - Posted by | Japan, politics

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