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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Local papers criticize gov’t energy plan promoting nuclear energy
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2014 April 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

Local papers criticize gov’t energy plan promoting nuclear energy

April 17, 2014
Local papers are raising voices against the nation’s new basic energy plan which regards nuclear power as an important base load energy source and seeks to restart offline reactors.

In Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate prefectures, which all suffered tremendous damages from the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster, the local press condemns the energy plan from the viewpoint of disaster victims.

Kahoku Shimpo, Miyagi’s local paper, in its editorial on April 12 criticized the government plan by saying, “The disaster victims, who are still living in shelters with few prospects, will not give a passing mark to the government plan.” An editorial of Fukushima Minyu dated on April 13 pointed out that the most important goal in the basic plan should be how to prevent another severe accident from occurring. Iwate Nippo editorial also showed its disapproval to the energy plan by saying that the nation’s return to nuclear power goes counter to the trend of the times.

Local papers in NPP-hosting prefectures also cast a disapproving eye to the government plan.

In Kagoshima Prefecture, where the government seeks to resume the operation of the Sendai nuclear power plant, Minami Nihon Shimbun expressed concerns over the restart of the NPP before addressing serious problems including the safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel (April 11).

Papers in the Shikoku region, which hosts the Ikata NPP, also ran critical editorials against the energy plan. Ehime Shimbun said, “The government energy plan merely states the present situation without remorse over the Fukushima accident,” (April 13). Kochi Shimbun on April 12 said that while the cause of the 2011 meltdown accident has yet to be revealed, it is unacceptable for the government to increase its dependence on nuclear power.

All the local papers severely criticize the government for heading back to a nuclear power dependent society without learning lessons from the Fukushima accident, “as if the 3.11 disaster-resultant accident had not occurred,” (Tokyo Shimbum, April 12). As every recent opinion poll shows that 70-80% of the respondents call for zero-nuke, the government should seriously reconsider the energy plan.
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