via The Asahi Shimbun / September 4, 2012 /
Japan is scheduled to set national energy policy early next week, national policy minister Motohisa Furukawa said on Sept. 4, although he said the government had not taken any particular position on the main question over the role of nuclear power.
An anti-nuclear clamour has grown in Japan since an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in March last year, triggering the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
The government, mindful of public opinion ahead of an election, had been hinting that it might set a target of eliminating atomic power by 2030 — a big shift for an economy that had planned to boost nuclear energy before last year’s accident.
Furukawa said the ruling Democratic Party would draw up the policy at the end of the week.
“The party plans to compile the policy this week, and based on the party’s discussions, the government is on course to set its policy sometime between this weekend and early next week,” he told reporters.
But he suggested the government might dodge the crucial question over the long-term role of nuclear in the energy mix.
“The government has not adopted any particular stance,” he said when asked if the new policy would contain a reference to “zero nuclear.”