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EDITORIAL: LDP candidates debate on nuke power must be based on realities

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24.09.2021

Japan’s nuclear power policy has emerged as one of the main issues for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race.

The four candidates for the party presidential election on Sept. 29 should face up to the lessons from the disaster that unfolded at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant a decade ago and offer specific policy proposals for ensuring in-depth debate on key questions.

Taro Kono, the minister of administrative reform who also served as foreign and defense minister in the past, is the only one among the contenders who has clearly argued for phasing out nuclear power generation.

Kono has stated that Japan should pull the plug on its nuclear fuel recycling program “as soon as possible” while promising to allow offline reactors to be restarted when they are officially endorsed as safe, for the time being.

The other three politicians seeking to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have committed themselves to maintaining the current policy of keeping nuclear reactors running. During a recent debate, they voiced skepticism about Kono’s vow to end the fuel recycling program.

Fumio Kishida, a former........

© The Asahi Shimbun


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