Japan anti-nuclear groups join forces ahead of poll
More News from Agence France-Presse
TOKYO – Anti-nuclear parties were coalescing into a new political grouping on Wednesday, as Japan’s fragmented electoral landscape shifts ahead of next month’s national poll.
At least three recently-sprouted parties were readying to fold into Mirai No To (The Future of Japan Party) on a platform of ridding the Fukushima-scarred country of atomic power.
The party is being headed by a high-profile regional politician, Yukiko Kada, and its formation comes as opinion polls show the December 16 election is likely to leave no political party with sufficient seats to govern alone.
“We will create a new party, in response to people saying they don’t have any party to choose from at the moment,” Kada told a press conference near Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest, in a region with a number of ageing nuclear reactors.
Japan must “graduate from nuclear power”, the 62-year-old governor of Shiga prefecture in western Japan said. She later suggested a ten-year period would be required.
The governing Democratic Party of Japan on Tuesday declared its aim of weaning the country off nuclear power by the end of the 2030s.
Its opinion poll-leading opponent, the Liberal Democratic Party, has criticised anti-nuclear policies as “irresponsible” and unrealistic. The business-friendly bloc is broadly supportive of nuclear, which advocates say is essential if Japan is going to be able to power its industries.
The tsunami-sparked disaster at Fukushima, where reactors melted down and spewed radiation into the air and sea, has engendered a vocal anti-nuclear movement in usually-quiescent Japan.
Ahead of next month’s election of lower house lawmakers, small single-issue parties have mushroomed and the establishment of Mirai No To is an attempt to consolidate their fractured support.
Kada told reporters on Wednesday she wanted to field about 100 candidates and already had more than 70 ready to fight for the 480 available seats, with many more volunteers waiting in the wings.
The party — which was to be officially registered in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon — already boasts support from luminaries including Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and management guru Kazuo Inamori, who helped rebuild Japan Airlines after it filed for bankruptcy.
Ichiro Ozawa, Japan’s one-time political kingmaker who stormed out of the DPJ to form his own party earlier this year, was set to dissolve the group and join Kada.
The tiny Green Wind has also agreed to field its three former lower house members under Kada’s umbrella, local reports said, as had one other small grouping.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94