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Rengo on the dependence on nuclear energy

July 18, 2012



Japan's main labor group to pursue end to dependence on nuclear power



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's biggest labor organization has drafted an energy policy that pursues the eventual end to the nation's dependence on nuclear energy, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The Japanese Trade Union Conference, which is known as Rengo and has supported the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, has thus shifted from its acceptance of new nuclear plant construction plans in response to the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Rengo Chairman Nobuaki Koga has vowed to eventually push for a society free from dependence on nuclear energy.

The draft policy, made available to Kyodo News, tolerates the DPJ government's recent decision to restart some nuclear power plants despite fears about their safety.

The government should make such decisions in consideration of the impact on citizens' lives, industrial operations and employment, the draft says.

It cites relevant residents' consent, the general public's acceptance and the enhancement of safety as preconditions for restarting nuclear plants.

The draft policy points out that energy supply constraints and fears about electricity charge hikes have made it difficult for companies to maintain domestic employment.

Japan should effectively use existing power generation facilities and adopt realistic energy conservation measures to support employment, it says.

The draft also says the government should secure technologies and human resources for decommissioning nuclear reactors and cleaning up radioactive contamination in preparing for nuclear plant accidents.


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