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Grassroots Power Pushing Japan Towards Nuclear-Free Future

Common Dreams staff

An anti-nuclear protest at the Prime Minister’s official residence, July 13, 2012. (photo: TomoyukiTsuchiya / Flickr)

Public pressure to abandon nuclear power may be prompting a rethink in Japan's energy future.

The Japanese people made their nuclear-free wish clear after the government conducted polls, hearings and solicited comments in July and August on the country's future energy policy. The panel analyzing the results said, "We can say with certainty that a majority of citizens want to achieve a society that does not rely on nuclear power generation."

And Economics Minister Motohisa Furukawa confirmed to reporters on Tuesday, "A majority of people are eager to get rid of nuclear power -- that is our conclusion after we discussed a variety of public opinions submitted to the government this time."

Japan's plan in 2010, before the Fukushima disaster, was to increase the nuclear power in electricity production to over 50 percent.  But after the disaster, it looked at three other nuclear energy scenarios for 2030—zero percent, 15 percent and 20-25 percent.

With public pressure to completely abandon nuclear energy growing, the government's plan of pursuing the 15% option may be unlikely.  

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