原発ゼロ方針 「戦略」の練り直しが不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 21, 2012)
Govt must retract zero nuclear target for good of economy
原発ゼロ方針 「戦略」の練り直しが不可欠だ(9月20日付・読売社説)

What was the conclusion of the recent Cabinet meeting on the government’s “zero nuclear” target? It is unclear whether the government has decided to review the policy or push it through.

The government should clearly retract the zero nuclear target, which could deal a serious blow to the economy and employment if implemented, and instead come up with a feasible energy strategy.

The Cabinet refrained from approving the government’s “innovative energy and environmental strategy,” which sets a target of “zero nuclear power plants operating” in the 2030s, at the meeting Wednesday.

Instead, the Cabinet merely approved the government’s policy to “conduct responsible discussions with related local governments and the international community based on the strategy” and implement future energy and environmental policies “while making tireless efforts to examine and revise them.”

The new energy strategy has drawn angry reactions from the business community as well as local governments that host nuclear power plants. The United States, which concluded a cooperation agreement on nuclear energy with Japan, has also expressed strong concerns over the plan.


Economic losses ‘unavoidable’

Ahead of the Cabinet meeting, heads of the nation’s top three business organizations–the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Japan Association of Corporate Executives–held a joint emergency press conference Tuesday to demand the government retract the zero nuclear target.

It was unusual for the heads of the three top business organizations to jointly express their dissatisfaction with government policy. The demand reflected their fears that electricity charges may double if the government implements a zero nuclear policy, and unavoidably force companies to relocate production overseas, leading to massive employment losses.

The government has so far failed to work out how to secure viable alternatives to nuclear energy, such as methods to further utilize renewable energy, mainly solar and wind power. The zero nuclear target may threaten the country’s ability to secure a stable supply of electricity.

Considering these concerns, it was entirely appropriate for the Cabinet to refrain from quickly approving the new energy strategy.

However, Motohisa Furukawa, state minister in charge of national policy, said at a press conference that the Cabinet meeting “did not change the decisions made regarding the strategy.” It was problematic for him to make remarks that can be interpreted as the government maintaining the zero nuclear target.

Without assuaging the deep resentment of the business community, it will be almost impossible for the government to implement its energy strategy smoothly. The government should sincerely listen to the opinions of businesses and improve soured relationships with them soon.


Energy policies not political tool

Energy policies should not be made to please voters in the upcoming general election–far-sighted initiatives concerning the nation’s future are necessary.

All candidates of the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential race have carefully avoided expressing opinions in favor of the zero nuclear target. We believe they made appropriate decisions.

Meanwhile, during the election campaign for the Democratic Party of Japan’s presidential race, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said: “The public has expressed its resolve [to abolish all nuclear power plants]. Based on the wishes of the people, the government has also made its decision.”

However, we doubt whether there is a sufficient number of people who understand the risks of a zero nuclear policy–such as unemployment and poverty–and would be willing to undergo the hardships involved.

The government has a responsibility to choose the best national policy. It is a mistake for the government to pass the responsibility to the public and justify it as the “will of the people.”

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 20, 2012)
(2012年9月20日01時21分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



WordPress.com ロゴ

WordPress.com アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Google フォト

Google アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Twitter 画像

Twitter アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Facebook の写真

Facebook アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

%s と連携中

このサイトはスパムを低減するために Akismet を使っています。コメントデータの処理方法の詳細はこちらをご覧ください