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Abes' private opposition party

June 12, 2013


Nuclear advocacy lands Abe in hot water with wife

Staff Writer



Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be pushing to sell Japan’s atomic plants abroad, but his wife, Akie, doesn’t seem to be on the same page, saying her “heart aches” to see him being pronuclear.

“I’m opposed to nuclear power,” she said in a June 6 speech in Tokyo. “My heart aches to see him selling nuclear power overseas.”

Her comment came a day before her husband and French President Francois Hollande agreed to cooperate on developing and exporting nuclear power technologies.

“I think it’s an important technology,” she said. “But it’ll be better if Japan can use part of the money used for nuclear power to develop new energy and sell Japan-made clean energy . . . overseas.”

An ex-radio DJ, Akie Abe said she will say out loud what her hubby may not want to hear. “I’m the opposition party at home. But I try to say it euphemistically so as not to hurt him.”

On when Abe quit as prime minister in 2007, she said she couldn’t go out to face public critics.

June 11, 2013
Abe’s wife casts doubts on nuclear plant exports





Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not have to look far to find an opponent to his policy of exporting nuclear plants as a pillar of Japan's economic growth strategy.

“I am opposed to nuclear power, and my heart aches,” Akie Abe, the prime minister’s wife, said on June 6, questioning her husband's efforts to export nuclear plants.

Akie made the comment in a speech hosted by Furusato TV, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize regional economies. She is an adviser to Furusato TV.

According to a video posted on the group’s website, Akie said nuclear power is an important technology that Japan excels in but proposed exporting renewable energy instead.

“It will be better to use part of the money spent on nuclear plants for the development of new energy and promote the sale of Japanese-born clean energy overseas,” she said.

Akie described herself as “an opposition party within the family.”

“When (the prime minister) gains power, it gradually becomes difficult for those around him to tell him what he does not want to be told,” she said. “He had better hear something he does not want to hear.”

Abe has been accelerating negotiations to conclude a nuclear energy agreement, a precondition for exports of nuclear plants, with India and Middle Eastern countries.


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