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Japan PM urges nuclear-free future

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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