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Phasing-out nukes just a "springboard for discussion"?

December 3, 2012


Nuclear power phase-out is not a campaign promise: Hashimoto




Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Dec. 2 that phasing out nuclear power by the 2030s is a springboard for discussion and is not a campaign promise of the Japan Restoration Party (JRP) for the Dec. 16 general election.

Appearing on private TV programs, Hashimoto, deputy chief of the JRP, also said his party will approve the restarts of idled nuclear reactors if these reactors meet safety standards and other conditions.

The JRP spelled out a nuclear phase-out by the 2030s as one of its policy examples incorporated in documents attached to an election campaign platform the party released Nov. 29.

But during a debate with 10 other party leaders on Nov. 30, JRP leader and former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara took issue with the nuclear phase-out and said he will change it.

Hashimoto, appearing on a TV Asahi news program, stressed the importance of the election campaign platform and said politicians are not tasked with setting a target year for abandoning nuclear power. He added that a time frame and a road map should be set by bureaucrats and experts.

During a Fuji TV news program, Hashimoto said it will be possible to restart nuclear reactors if Japan draws up safety standards of the highest level in the world, puts a strict checking system in place and decides on ways to handle spent nuclear fuel.

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