Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stances of Japanese political parties on nuclear power

The following newspaper clipping taken from the Chunichi Shinbun that also appeared in the Tokyo Shinbun on November 16, 2012 extrapolates party policies based on party manifestos and the stances/statements of their leaders. However, be forewarned- it should not be taken for granted that these are the actual policies of the parties.

For instance, the clipping makes it seem as though the Minshuto is promoting denuclearization, while they have not made any statement in their manifesto to that effect. Governmental decisions by the current Minshuto-led administration have also led to the resumption of construction of the Ohma and Higashidori nuclear power plants in Aomori Prefecture and reactor 3 of the Shimane plant in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. 

"Nuclear power policies of each of the Japanese political parties (derived from campaign pledges and stances of party leaders)- translation of heading"
*Translation of chart- commentary and related links in italics. See here for more analysis in Japanese.

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan/DPJ)-promptly realize the elimination of nuclear power; encourage the introduction of renewable energies to take place of nuclear power ("On Sept. 14, the Noda administration pledged to abandon nuclear power by the 2030s and to build no new reactors in that time, but industry minister Yukio Edano said Sept. 15 the government would authorize the completion of the three reactors currently being built"- see Asahi Shinbun")

Jiminto (Liberal Democratic Party of Japan/LDP)- with safety as a number one guiding principal, decide which plants should be restarted; conclusions to be made about all reactors within 3 years; within ten years conceptualize a new framework for the stable supply of energy.

Kokumin no seikatsu ga daiichi (People's Lives First) - make a dramatic shift of energy policy and permanently halt the use of all nuclear reactors over the next decade (This stance is supported and made clear in their party policies- Toward "Zero Nuclear Power Generation" to Protect People's Life!)

Komeito (New Komeito)- reject all new construction (of nuclear power plants); decommission two-thirds of existing plants by 2030 and decommission all plants in 40 years.

Kyosanto (Communist Party of Japan)- promptly realize a zero-nuclear power Japan; call for a repeal of all restart policies; stop the export of nuclear power (see nuclear export article- Washington Post)

Minna no To (Your Party)- separate power production and supply and liberalize retail energy markets; promote the introduction of renewable energies; allow the elimination of costly and unsafe nuclear power from the markets by natural selection (Although seemingly anti-nuclear, this party once considered making an alliance with the Japan Restoration Party which is pro-nuclear, and is now seeking to find "synergies" with it )

Shamintou (Social Democratic Party/SDP)- realize a nuclear-free Japan by 2020, 100% natural energy by 2050 (natural energy definition, the SDP was pro-denuclearization prior to the nuclear accidents in Fukushima: see article here in Japanese)

Nihon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party)-abolish all current plants by 2030; continue the export of nuclear power (Japan Restoration Party, headed by Osaka mayor Hashimoto, and former Tokyo Govenor Ishihara's party- the Sunrise Party to merge)

Kokumin Shin To (The People's New Party)- make denuclearization a future aim, and promote the research of new forms of energy that are appropriate for a nation founded on education and science/technology

Shin to Daichi - Shinminshu (New Party Daichi/Earth- New Democrats)- "Return to the earth, learn from the earth. We are against nuclear power" -statement by party leader Suzuki Muneo (Suzuki Muneo is well-known for his 2001 statement that Japan is “one state, one language, one nation,” although later his party pledged to protect the indigenous rights of the Ainu people: see footnote 16 in Mark Winchester's for more details and more sources "On the Dawn of a New Ainu Policy")

Taiyo no To (Sunshine Party)- "It is reckless to decide whether it (nuclear energy) is right or wrong without discussing how much energy we need""It would be foolish to give up on all of the technological systems we have developed." Party leader Ishihara Shintaro (This party was formed when former Tokyo mayor Ishihara broke with LDP. This party has been dissolved, and the five lawmakers in this party have merged with the ten in the Japan Restoration Party.)

Genzei Nippon (Tax Cut Japan)- promote technological development for renewable energies by getting rid of nuclear power; take advantage of a nuclear-free Japan for sitting industries

Midori no To (Greens Japan)- "It is an embarrassment internationally and historically that Japan has restarted nuclear reactors even though the accident (reactors at Fukushima) is ongoing. We should eliminate nuclear power, which has undermined the livelihoods of Japanese citizens" (Greens Japan has made denuclearization a core part of their campaign and includes statements declaring its anti-nuclear policy on its campaign signs. See photo below)

Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party)-  "At a bare-minimum, we must further strengthen safety regulations of nuclear power plants while at the same time stop being wasteful in our use of energy" - Party Leader Masuzoe Yoichi

Shinto Nippon (New Party Japan)- party leader Tanaka Yasuo participates in anti-nuclear demos in front of prime minister's residence in Tokyo (This party only has one member- Tanaka Yasuo)

Sign reads: Towards the elimination of nuclear power: LDP = X (does not support elimination), DPJ = △ (unclear of position), Greens Japan = ◎ (no more nuclear power). It is possible to eliminate nuclear power!- Greens Japan

- Posted and translated by Jen Teeter.

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