JAPAN | Kan repeats pledge to reduce reliance on nuclear power

Posted on August 1, 2011


JAPAN | MAINICHI | 1 August 2011

Japanese Prime Minister Nato Kan speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

CHINO (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday repeated his pledge to lower Japan’s dependence on nuclear power as a national policy, standing firm on his push for the country’s exit from nuclear power generation.

“We cannot take a risk that could destroy the Earth even if it is a one in a hundred million chance,” Kan told an energy symposium in Chino, Nagano Prefecture.

The earthquake and tsunami in March, which crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, changed his view of nuclear power as the crisis showed that risks could outweigh benefits, Kan said.

“Renewable energy will lead to Japan’s new industrial revolution” and it will be possible for renewable energy sources to meet the country’s entire power demand, he said.

His remarks came after a governmental panel on energy and the environment drew up a plan Friday to reduce reliance on nuclear energy following the crisis at the Fukushima complex.

The draft of its energy strategy supported the use of nuclear reactors to deal with imminent power shortages, but it did not refer to what Kan called a goal, which he later rephrased as a personal aspiration, of seeking a society that does not rely on nuclear energy.

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