Japan PM urges nuclear-free future
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 19:24
Tokyo: Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Wednesday that the country must gradually reduce its reliance on atomic power with the eventual goal of becoming nuclear-free.

Four months after the March 11 quake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear accident, the world's worst since Chernobyl 25 years ago, Kan has repeatedly argued that Japan must focus more on renewables.

Speaking in a televised press conference, he said: "By reducing its reliance on nuclear power gradually, we will aim to become a society which can exist without nuclear power."

"Considering the grave risk of nuclear accidents, we strongly feel that we cannot just carry on based on the belief that we must only try to ensure (nuclear) safety."

Kan had earlier announced a full review of Japan's energy plan, under which atomic power had been set to meet over half of demand by 2030, up from about one third before the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

The premier has said that he wants to make clean energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal a new "major pillar" of the industrial power's energy mix.

"If everything goes as scheduled, a renewable energy bill will be discussed in the Diet (legislature) starting

The premier, Japan's fifth in as many years, made the speech at a time when he is under intense pressure to step down from political adversaries who accuse him of having bungled Japan's response to the tsunami.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 18:49

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