Just a few days after Japanese officials issued a statement that the country plans to end nuclear power usage by 2030, the government has suggested that such plans are not realistic. A cabinet panel has withdrawn the motion to phase out nuclear power, claiming that the decision was hastily made by policy makers. The Japanese Trade and Industry Minister explained that such a shift in power supply would be an arduous undertaking that involves the nation’s business and industry leaders, not just government officials.
The news came after the government’s announcement spurred Japan’s business and industry leaders to react in panic, claiming that such a shift, within in such a short period of time, would be disastrous for Japan’s economy. Nuclear industry representatives cautioned that a quick shift would require that the country source much of its energy from overseas, which would not only be expensive, but could force countless Japanese citizens into unemployment.
Japan’s cabinet came to the initial decision to abandon nuclear power usage by 2030 after two months of meetings between the Japanese public and energy officials. Japan’s energy sources were reviewed after last year’s Fukushima disaster, and the public panel study found a resounding anti-nuclear decision, with 90% calling for total abandonment, and only 4% wanting nuclear energy to remain.
Now, the motion to end nuclear energy is being “considered” by the cabinet, rather than enacted. Katsyua Okada, Japan’s deputy prime minister, stated that Japan “hopes” to end nuclear power by 2030, but never made a commitment to that date.
Anti-nuclear campaigners are already reacting to the decision reversal, and we hope their pressure encourages Japan to take this matter seriously.
Via The Guardian