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Business lobby says Abe gov't can't rely on nuclear energy

By Osamu Tsukimori and Aaron Sheldrick

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Andrew DeWit, a professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo focusing on energy issues, said the push signaled “a profound change in thinking among blue-chip business executives.”

But in his own words, he is an expert in "Political Communication, Political Organizations and Parties, Comparative Politics"


Fancy that!


The Asian super grid would supply renewable energy for much of Asia ...The only thing is that it would require international cooperation.

It would only International cooperation in Asia? Do you every read the news?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nuclear needs adherence to local safety plans in ways renewables never will. By having to spend more money beforehand to meet health and safety needs and ignoring those needs, courts can clearly see nothing has been done and nuclear can continue to be blocked for mismanagement.

Nukes are lemons. They can't exist without public money and are just a money pit. For the cost of one nuke though you could remove thousands of people from the current energy paradigm with renewables but also better housing construction, heat pumps, and the like. It doesn't need to all be solar panels but put all variations on the table and it could be very interesting.

some people are stuck in techno-trumphalism, the need to create radioactive waste without caring about current or future generations. That also has to end and replace it with localized energy systems needed in a resilient manner for an earthquake prone country. For once, the design requirements will be able to be met rather than the preposterous notion that nuclear is good for Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope to see more and more protestors who live in the areas with nuclear power plants. Don't obey Abe's unwise plan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“The Japanese government will aim for the maximum introduction of renewable energy but renewable energy has a cost issue,” said Yohei Ogino, a deputy director for energy policy

Ogino, seems you have NOT heard what happened on March 11, 2011...........I think you NEED to check that out wrt to dealing with COST issues up in ohhhh say Fukushima prefecture!!

What a moron!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is not a nuclear FUSION reactor safer than the traditional FISSION reactor? Being the main advantage in terms of SAFETY that if you pull the plug on FUSION, it stops? Pull the plug on FISSION and it just keeps on FISSION. Another considerable plus is that the radioactive elements at play in a FUSION reaction,decays over a matter of years rather than centuries or more as they do in a FISSION reaction.A middle option should also be considered as an alternative at the meantime, until the most suitable solution is found.With all the present technological advancements it will be for almost certain,just a matter of time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The reality is that although there are alternative energy sources and options available, the current infrastructure built after WWII and the Vietnam war which included nuclear power brought prosperity and growth. The rapidly changing technology industry and growth since did not take into account alternative energy till about 20 years ago.

However, electricity is the basic energy that runs and operates everything from the industrial complexes, transportation, communication to the domestic appliance which keeps the entire nation working. The need and demand is "constant" and ever "growing". Nuclear energy just happens to be the most efficient and most practical energy source available with the current technology and infrastructure that can meet the demand. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous, because of the nature of the source material involved and the extremely high degree of technology and efficiency needed to control and maintain the safety level. It is also the most difficult because in order for the facility to be cost effective, it must be located and placed in areas where it is easy to construct, close to other resources needed for operation, as well as to the existing infrastructure.

It just happens that in most countries that will be near rovers, lakes and oceans where such infrastructures exists. For Japan surrounded by ocean with many rivers that support the population with existing infrastructure along the coastline, all of the reactors are near the ocean. Sadly Japan also is exposed to volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, making it extremely difficult o have a guarantee-ably safe nuclear reactor.

Given those circumstances the government plays only a small part of the total equation. The most important part being the consumers, the people themselves. The government can legislate, enforce and spend a lot of money for everything from requiring energy providers to change and build and improve the infrastructure, but the people must first be willing and able to take such action that will "allow" and "assist" such changes to happen.

That means the media must play a part. The educational system must include cooperative effort to change to to alternate energy sources as well as how to proceed and effectively make such changes. Public works, everything from rail to roads and rivers to streams must be coordinated to accommodate such changes. And corporations that manufacture to those that provide services must also coordinate and allow changes to happen. All in all it is a massive undertaking to change and correct decades of reliance on nuclear energy.

Not that it cannot be done. Japan has been one of the leading innovators in alternative energy research and its practical application. However, the key is still with the consumers that must be able to adjust, change and adopt through cooperative effort. Interestingly Japan is one of the quickest and fastest nation with a culture than can change and adopt.

Should a viable plan be made available with the proper planning and funding that will not significantly and negatively disrupt the daily lives of the population to move into alternative energy, Japan may be the first to do so.

However, Abe and the current government cannot stop the engines of the entire nation, just to please those who do not want nuclear energy. It will take many decades, possibly a century or more before a nuclear free Japan can be realized. Who knows, during the meantime, technology may solve the problem with radioactivity and the harmful aspects of nuclear energy. At least for now, there are such things as nuclear powered warships and submarines.

That means criticizing Abe or the Japanese government really does not make much sense. The protests should concentrate on coordinating the public to use and further alternate energy sources and development. Most heavy industries in Japan has already started their own energy production and recycling plants and programs, even without government interference. They have started to produce enough energy to provide additional energy for public use.

Most new residential construction not only recommend solar and other independent alternate energy production for homes, but also have them already designed and built in with very reasonable costs. The very fact that homes of solar and other energy sources built in increases the number of users and thus reduce the cost of such alternate energy technology.

Personally I think that is the better way to go. If the industries can get of the common energy grid as users and become independent as well as providers, the reliance on centralized nuclear energy becomes less. That will allow the reduction of nuclear power plants and alternative energy sources to grow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“We have a sense of crisis that Japan will become a laughing stock if we do not encourage renewable power,” said Asada, who is also chairman of trading house Marubeni Corp.

These aren't randomly chosen words.

Great to see Japan Inc. push back at paternalistic, dinosaur government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“We have a sense of crisis that Japan will become a laughing stock if we do not encourage renewable power,”

It's a shame that reputation is the only thing seriously driving all this, but if that's the case then it beats nothing pushing it at all. Abe's probably imploding right now because he never has any ideas but old, failed models, and usually has big business backing him in order to easily disagree with the majority of the nation. But if big business is not behind him....

And yes, Japan will be a laughing stock, as well as just being poor, environmentally unfriendly, and holding a match over a giant pool of gasoline (with the NPPs) until it gets serious about renewables.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At a minimum, Japan needs to generate enough electricity from renewable sources to keep its ageing plants in cold shutdown until they can be decommissioned. Given the shrinking population and faltering economy, the govt should acknowledge that Japan's days as an economic superpower are 20 years in the past, and that future needs for energy will be curtailed by an ever-decreasing population and shrinking GDP. Given the potential to develop Japan's solar, wind, geothermal and hydro/tidal energy resources, spending money here rather than on QE, tax rebates or military spending should be a national priority.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Considering most of Japan's reactors are reaching (or past) their original lifespan and to keep using them means changing the legislation to extend their lifespans it should be no surprise that nearly everybody is against Japan's continued reliance on nuclear power.You can then add all the false reports and fiddled books for safety procedures and it's pretty obvious they cannot be trusted to operate safely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe is bought and Paid for by TEPCO and the other nuke operators

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan has also promoted renewables but most investment has been in solar and in recent years it has cut incentives. “There are too many hurdles for other sources of renewable power,” Asada said.

Funny thing is not very long ago, a guy owning a solar panel farm said that there was enough solar farms around Tokyo to maintain it with electricity. But the gov didn't want to hook them up. Because there should be space for nuke energy.

Abe and co still lives in 1940. Seriously when is somebody gonna tell them it's 2016?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The only thing in the way is government, not actual technology or options

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There seems to be a lot of "hurdles" popping up everywhere as far as the government is concerned. Some thrown up in front of the emperor abdication issue and this renewable energy situation.

Govt. subsidies have really helped spread the building of solar panels and related businesses take off in the last few years and now they've cut theses subsidies.

The Japanese government doesn't really have the environment nor the safety of its citizens in mind when making policy and long term plans.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear power in a country where earthquakes occur so frequently is a crazy idea. Large areas of Fukushima are uninhabitable and thyroid cancer is on the increase. There is no room for choice. Sustainable power production must be implemented. As kurisupisu points out, there are several excellent alternatives. The Asian super grid would supply renewable energy for much of Asia:


The only thing is that it would require international cooperation. Something neither Abe nor the USA seem very keen on.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's strange how many of these rightist politicians are also in bed with the nuclear industry. I would have thought renewables generated right here in this sacred air, earth and water would be more ideologically compatible with the fundamentalist shinto they seem to believe in. Unless, of course, beliefs play second fiddle to personal gain.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Can't rely on Abe Govt*

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And how many of these executives voted LDP in the last election?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has also promoted renewables but most investment has been in solar and in recent years it has cut incentives.

“There are too many hurdles for other sources of renewable power,” Asada said.

Why would a government cut incentives for renewable power unless it was not interested in alternative power generation? The only 'hurdles' are those that the Japanese have are those they make by their over regulation of the alternative power industry.

Wind power generates roughly double what solar does with newer turbine designs being added to yearly.

Northern Honshu and above have some of the best conditions in Asia for electricity generation.

Spain is powered by wind and solar as Japan could be .....,

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Like Abe is going to listen.....better luck somewhere else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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