Former PM Wades Into Japan’s Nuclear Power Debate
Japan’s hugely popular former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, made a dramatic about-face yesterday when he announced at a business meeting that Japan should rid itself of nuclear power and embrace renewable energy. Koizumi has remained largely out of sight since retiring from politics four years ago. But he is known for his ability to read Japan’s public zeitgeist, making his proclamation all the more significant. Though anti-nuclear protests have dwindled, opinion polls show that more than half of Japanese citizens oppose restarting the country’s idle nuclear plants, and some observers speculate that Koizumi is attempting to rein in his protégé, the pro-nuclear Prime Minister Abe, who favors restarting the plants.