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Koizumi hopes son will push for abandonment of nuclear power

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi gives a speech in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Sept. 15.
September 16, 2019
HITACHI, Ibaraki Prefecture–Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he hopes his son in his new position in the Cabinet will wean Japan from nuclear power and expand the use of natural energy.
In a speech here on Sept. 15, Koizumi said he was happy that his son, Shinjiro, 38, was appointed environment minister, his first Cabinet post, last week.
“He has studied things more than I did,” Koizumi said. “The environment is the most pressing issue. I want him to abandon nuclear power and turn Japan into a nation that can develop on natural energy.”
Koizumi also reiterated that he made a mistake when he promoted nuclear power when he was prime minister from 2001 to 2006.
Pro-nuclear advocates had said that nuclear power was safe, low-cost and clean, but Koizumi said the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011 “proved all three ‘virtues’ false.”
He said Japan has abundant natural energy and should seek a path that does not rely on nuclear power.

September 26, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan clarifies goal of eliminating nuclear power in policy draft

CDP draft 25 dec 2017.jpg
In this file photo taken on Dec. 16, 2017, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano delivers a speech in Aoba Ward, Sendai
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), the largest opposition party in the powerful House of Representatives, specified its goal of eliminating nuclear power by 2040 in a draft of its basic policy that was revealed on Dec. 24.
The draft states that the CDP seeks to stop the installation of new nuclear reactors as the necessity for such facilities “cannot be recognized,” and will not agree on reactivation of idled nuclear reactors unless the national government works out effective evacuation plans, for which the state can be responsible.
It then pledges to stick to its goal of decommissioning all nuclear reactors by 2040 in principle, reinforcing its goal of achieving a society without atomic power as early as possible, which the party declared in its campaign pledge for the lower house election in October.
With regard to constitutional amendment, the draft says the party will consider clauses that actually require revisions from the standpoint of putting the brakes on the authorities and protecting the rights of the people.
Under the policy draft, the party regards the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japan’s diplomatic and security policy and pursues the sound development of the pact, while proposing revisions to the Status of Forces Agreement between the two countries to reduce the burden of hosting U.S. military bases.
On the economic front, the draft states that the party will seek to set mid- and long-term targets of achieving fiscal health and strengthen the system of redistribution of wealth through a review of the entire tax system, including the consumption tax. The policy draft also includes the goal of raising the minimum wage to at least 1,000 yen an hour, enacting legislation to ban corporate political donations while promoting individual political donations. The party also aims to lower the minimum age at which people can run for public office by 5 years.
The CDP is also poised to incorporate its goal of phasing out nuclear power in a draft of its platform to be compiled by the end of this year. The party aims to demonstrate originality in its draft platform using phrases such as “bottom-up politics” and “grass-root democracy,” which CDP leader Yukio Edano pledged to carry out when the party was launched.

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Woman gives up electricity and goes ‘off grid’ for 4 years


Chikako Fujii says she uses a human-powered dynamo remodeled from a bike-type training machine to generate power in emergencies


Chikako Fujii used to leave the TV on all the time, but since the Fukushima nuclear disaster inspired her to go “off grid” nearly four years ago, she has consumed literally no energy supplied from her regional power company.

Fujii, 55, a textile dyeing artist, uses a tiny amount of electricity generated primarily by solar panels set up on her veranda that measure a total of just 1.6 square meters.

The lifestyle choice means that Fujii cannot power an air conditioner, a refrigerator or a TV with such a small quantity of energy, but those things don’t concern her.

“I enjoy working out how to lead a life without using electricity,” she said.

A resident of Kunitachi, western Tokyo, Fujii terminated her contract with Tokyo Electric Power Co. in September 2012, after rolling blackouts were implemented in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Fujii said that before the disaster struck, she habitually left the TV on so that she could check the time whenever she wanted.

But when she stopped using her home appliances one by one, she found her electricity bill could be reduced.

While she paid more than 4,000 yen ($36) per month for electricity before the disaster, the figure gradually dropped to around 2,000 yen. When she finally unplugged the refrigerator, which requires much power, the bill reached 800 yen.

“I thought I might be able to live without relying on the power company, and decided to start an off-grid life for the fun of it,” Fujii said.

The solar panels installed on the veranda have a power production capacity of 260 watts and can generate more than 1 kilowatt-hour of power on a typical sunny day–enough to operate a washing machine for three hours to dye fabrics with plant-derived materials.

However, when cloudy weather continues for a week during the June rainy season or due to a typhoon, the electricity stored in the battery dries up. When that happens, Fujii uses a pedal-operated sewing machine and an old charcoal-powered iron for her work instead of electric ones.

One night, Fujii was asked by a business partner to send a document by e-mail on short notice.

She pedaled hard a human-powered dynamo remodeled from a bike-type training machine to generate electricity to use her computer.

As Fujii cannot use an air conditioner, she made small holes in a plastic bag containing water and hung it above the veranda to sprinkle water automatically to cool the surrounding air.

In lieu of an electric kettle, she painted plastic bottles black and exposed them to sunlight to heat the water inside.

In December last year, Fujii also introduced a handmade heater made out of a used tempura oil-based lamp and a flowerpot put over the lamp upside down. According to Fujii, 20 milliliters of oil can keep the flowerpot hot for three to four hours.

She said she daily consumes only 500 to 800 watt-hours of power at home, about one-12th that for an ordinary household.

“I always live while being conscious of the weather,” Fujii said. “For example, when I wake up to find it is sunny, I think I should use the washer today. Thinking this way is fun for me.”


The water heater made of glass tubes can increase the water temperature to 85 degrees in two hours even during winter if it is exposed to sufficient sunlight.


A handmade evaporation heat-based cooler designed to remove heat from flowerpots when water evaporates


June 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment