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Koizumi's troubling remarks

October 17, 2013


Mixed reactions to Koizumi's view on nuclear power


Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's call for Japan to end its reliance on nuclear power is causing a stir as the country discusses future energy policies.

Koizumi, who is retired from politics, has recently been voicing his views against nuclear power in public.

In a speech on Wednesday, he reiterated his position.

Koizumi said if the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party decide that Japan should end nuclear power generation and use renewable energy instead, most of the Japanese people would endorse the policy.

LDP members are troubled by their former leader's remarks.

Some say Koizumi's position is incompatible with the party policy to promote the resumption of the country's idled nuclear plants while respecting the nuclear regulation body's safety assessments. Others worry that Koizumi's remarks could give the impression to the public that the party is divided on the issue.

LDP leaders say it is not wise for them to be seen in conflict with Koizumi, who still draws wide attention when he speaks.

They say they will try to explain that the party's and Koizumi's position do not differ in seeking to reduce Japan's dependency on nuclear power.

The opposition generally welcomes Koizumi's calls, although some doubt his sincerity because he promoted nuclear power generation as prime minister. Some are hoping to work with Koizumi on the matter.

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