12 Avril 2012
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and three other Cabinet members put off their decision on Thursday as to whether to approve the safety of two suspended nuclear reactors at the Oi power station in central Japan.
At their fifth meeting on the issue, the four had been expected to give their approval of safety measures drawn up by Kansai Electric Power Co. for the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the power plant, which the company operates in Fukui Prefecture.
But industry minister Yukio Edano said after the talks that the participants were unable to reach a conclusion.
Edano added that he hopes to hold a meeting of the four ministers again on Friday if possible.
The remaining two meeting participants were Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura and nuclear disaster management minister Goshi Hosono.
If the four ministers approve the safety measures for the two reactors, they would adopt a plan to send Edano to Fukui Prefecture in an attempt to overcome local opposition to the restart of the two facilities.
They are expected to meet again once Edano returns to Tokyo and finalize their decision on the restart if they believe the plan has local understanding.
At a meeting held Monday, the four ministers broadly agreed that Kansai Electric's safety measures for the two reactors are adequate to warrant a resumption of operations.
Kansai Electric has been instructed to take steps to reduce power supply shortages that are expected in the summer. The power utility's service areas are mostly in western Japan.