“Shinzo Abe, chief of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, said his party would seek to build a society that relies on nuclear power as little as possible” ~ –The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 1, 2012
The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has approved a white paper on the government’s energy policy for fiscal 2012 it was revealed on Friday, which has raised questions to many concerning the future of Japan with regard to nuclear power. It actually promotes the use of nuclear energy and even plans to reactivate Japan’s 48 currently idled reactors. This move is dismissing the previous administration’s aim to go zero-nuclear by the 2030s.
Despite the public support for going zero-nuclear following the tragic Fukushima power plant disaster in 2011, the current administration is still keen to pursue the utilization of nuclear energy. The white paper approved during the administration of previous prime minister Yoshihiko Noda stated that Japan should pursue alternative sources of energy with the aim to put an end to Japan’s reliance and use of nuclear energy. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe boldly spoke against Noda’s policy during his Diet speech in January. According to Noda’s successor, going zero-nuclear has been proposed without solid evidence.
However, an official from the Communications Office of General Policy Division said they do not “deliberately ignore that policy,” referring to Noda’s plan of abandoning nuclear in the 2030s. The approved white paper contains Abe’s directive to review Yoshihiko Noda’s policy on nuclear energy. The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy was responsible for compiling the white paper.