April 2012

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April 2012

source : kswaisiteru.blog

東北地震 いま何が出来る???
The world is looking at Japan!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fiction that binds: Japan's hope after disaster
Kizuna Fiction
edited by Brent Millis
Inspired by tragedy, it was a joy to read this anthology.

Woodland therapy yields Tohoku school 'dream'

Govt. tightens control over cesium in food
The Japanese government is setting stricter standards for permissible levels of radioactive cesium in food products.
Local governments will begin applying the new inspection rules on Monday.

Nankai quake scenario menaces Pacific coast
Wide swaths of the Pacific coastline from Honshu to Shikoku may be hit by tsunami over 20 meters high if a megaquake occurs in the Nankai Trough, the government warns.

Govt. discloses new quake and tsunami estimate
A new report warns that municipalities in western Japan face stronger earthquakes and higher tsunamis than originally estimated.
A government panel drew up the estimate based on the assumption that an expected magnitude 9.0 earthquake hits central to western Japan.
The revised projection is based on its report released in December of last year on earthquakes along the Nankai Trough.
Major earthquakes have occurred along the Pacific Ocean trough between every 90 to 150 years.

- - - - - Earthquake M 5.9, off Fukushima
2012年4月1日 23時12分 福島県沖 5.9


Monday, April 2, 2012

Entry ban lifted in parts of hot zone
The exclusion ban in Fukushima Prefecture is lifted for parts of the city of Tamura and the village of Kawauchi, allowing residents to come and go without taking steps against radiation exposure.

Reconstructing Tohoku to fit today

Fukushima village prepares for repopulation
A village designated as an evacuation zone in the aftermath of last year's nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant is calling on its residents to come home.
Kawauchi Village

Decontamination work ramped up
Japan's Environment Ministry is launching new branch offices to speed up decontamination work around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
... The ministry now has nearly 500 people assigned to decontamination work, an increase of about 180.

Stricter food safety standards introduced
- see radiation problems

NISA calls on Chubu utility to prepare for tsunami

Japan's nuclear safety agency has instructed Chubu Electric Power Company to implement comprehensive measures to protect its Hamaoka nuclear power plant from tsunami as tall as 21 meters. . . .


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Storm warning for western and eastern Japan
Stormy weather is hitting western through eastern Japan on Tuesday.
The strong winds and rain are due to a low-pressure system over the Sea of Japan.
In Tonami City in Toyama Prefecture, central Japan, winds of up to 123 kilometers per hour were observed on Tuesday afternoon.
Heavy rain hit some spots in western Japan. In Kobe, 50.5 millimeters of rain fell between 1:30 and 2:30 PM.
The Meteorological Agency says the system will move eastward and cross over northern Japan overnight.
Winds of up to about 90 kilometers per hour are forecast in the Kanto and Tohoku regions from Tuesday evening.
The agency says heavy rain may fall in parts of the Pacific coast from western through northern Japan. It also warns of strong winds, thunderstorms and tornadoes.
(My valley is hit by strong storm, not so much rain until now, four in the afternoon.)

Storm passes Tokyo, heads for northern Japan at 23:57
Northern Japan is bracing for stormy weather as a powerful low-pressure system is approaching the region after causing damage in many parts of the country.
NHK has learned that 3 people were killed and at least 305 people were injured due to strong winds on Tuesday.
Wind speeds reached 130 kilometers per hour in a Tokyo suburb and 106 kilometers per hour in the center of the capital.
The winds died down in the late evening, but seas along the Pacific coast are forecast to remain rough for some time.

'Silver democracy' could undermine Tohoku's reconstruction


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nuclear agency under fire for donations from industry body

Floating windmills offer hope of ending nuclear reliance


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tuesday's havoc laid to rare 'May Storm'
The strong storm that left four people dead and disrupted transportation systems nationwide Tuesday was triggered by a case of rare weather conditions occurring simultaneously.

Long-term no-go areas considered
The government may designate areas near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as off-limits for residents for an extensive period, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura says.

Fight Shimbun, French kids meet

Strontium at Fukushima plant flows into sea

Tokyo Electric Power Company says more radioactive wastewater has leaked from its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and flowed into the sea. The water contained high levels of strontium. ...


Friday, April 6, 2012

Strontium from No. 1 plant taints Pacific

No-go zone schools reopen in nearby city
Public schools based in a no-go zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have reopened for the first time in about a year at a temporary facility in a nearby city.
The new school year began at most public elementary and junior high schools in Fukushima Prefecture on Friday.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Debate growing over 'local' reactor consent
Dissent between Fukui residents who want their reactors restarted quickly and neighbors who are adamantly opposed or demand stronger safety steps highlights the dilemma Tokyo faces with the nonbinding ritual of "local consent."

Debris reaches North America
A Japanese government estimate shows some of the debris that washed out to sea following the earthquake and tsunami last year is approaching the west coast of North America.
About 1.5-million tons of flotsam consisting of houses, boats and other debris are believed to be drifting on ocean currents. ...

New safety standards rundown

The new safety standards comprise 3 parts, 2 of which are basically made up of measures already in place.
The first part calls for plants to have contingency plans to prevent accidents from getting worse even if all electric power sources are knocked out by earthquakes or tsunami. This part was implemented following the Fukushima accident.

Radioactive cesium found in farm goods near Tokyo
Radioactive cesium that exceeds the new standard has been detected in shiitake mushrooms grown outside in a town in Kanagawa Prefecture, west of Tokyo. The town is around 300 kilometers from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Since the new standard took effect, radioactive cesium higher than the limit has been found in agricultural products around Tokyo.
Officials in the prefecture say shiitake mushrooms harvested in Manazuru town on Thursday were found to contain 141 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram. The new government limit of 100 becquerels took effect this month.
The prefecture asked local farmers and agricultural organizations not to ship shiitake mushrooms.
It says this is the first case of food products from the prefecture exceeding the new stricter limit.
Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, reported earlier this week that it detected radioactive cesium higher than the standard in bamboo shoots harvested in 2 cities.
Elsewhere in the Kanto region, Ibaraki Prefecture also reported this week that bamboo shoots and shiitake mushrooms harvested in 5 cities were found to contain levels of radioactive cesium higher than the government limit.
In Gunma Prefecture, local health officials earlier this week found beef containing 106 becquerels of radioactive cesium. Although the new standard for beef will take effect in October, the prefecture asked cattle farmers not to ship beef in an effort to address consumer concern.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mayors organize antinuclear forum
Fifteen current and former mayors intend to hold a conference to lobby for the abolition of Japan's nuclear power plants.

Donald Keene shares his love for Tohoku

Evacuees enjoy cherry blossom celebration
Evacuees from the disaster-hit regions of northeastern Japan have enjoyed traditional spring cherry blossom celebrations in areas where they are taking shelter.
In the southwestern city of Fukuoka, 6 evacuees and some volunteers gathered at a park that is a popular for viewing Sakura cherry trees in full bloom.
In Yokkaichi, central Japan, 19 evacuees gathered at a river-side promenade blanketed with mature cherry trees. Many were mothers and children who left their hometowns due to concerns about the harmful effects of radiation.
They took photos of their children. One of the mothers said that she was too nervous to enjoy the cherry blossoms last year right after the earthquake and tsunami.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Fukushima highway opens for spring season

A scenic highway in western Fukushima Prefecture opened for the spring season on Sunday.
The 28.7 kilometer Bandai-Azuma Skyline runs through mountainous areas on the border of Fukushima and Yamagata prefectures. The road is lined with snow walls on each side. ...

Govt. urged to set up new nuclear regulator
Japanese municipalities hosting nuclear power stations have urged Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono to expedite the planned launch of a new regulating body.
Kazuharu Kawase, the head of an association of such municipalities and the mayor of Tsuruga City, visited Hosono on Monday to make the request. ...

Kansai may face 20% power shortage this summer
The Japanese government says Kansai could face a power shortage of 20 percent this summer if the weather stays hot and idled nuclear reactors that serves the region are not restarted. ...

Mayor asks govt. support for "temporary towns"
A mayor in Fukushima Prefecture has asked the central government to help his city host the administrative functions of municipalities that have been forced to evacuate by the nuclear accident.

Emperor to resume public duties
Japan's Emperor will resume a full schedule of public duties on Tuesday, as his health continues to improve since heart bypass surgery in February.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oi reactors secure from blackout-induced meltdowns, Edano says
The safety debate at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture appears to shift toward reactivation when the trade minister states it has already fulfilled enough of last week's hastily drafted safety steps to prevent meltdowns during blackouts.

US aegis destroyer seen off southwestern island
Two days ahead of North Korea's announced window for a rocket launch, countries are deploying vessels and planes to address the situation.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

. Remember 2011 - April 11, Monday .

Kansai leaders boost pressure against restart
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet find themselves in a looming showdown over restarting two reactors with popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and the governors of Kyoto and Shiga, who want the reactors to remain offline for now.

M 8.6 quake hits off Sumatra
A magnitude-8.6 earthquake has struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
The US Geological Survey says the quake was felt at 8:38 p.m. UTC, 435 kilometers southwest of the island's Aceh region. The quake's focus was estimated at 23 kilometers deep.
The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has issued a tsunami watch for nearly 30 countries facing the Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, India, Australia, Kenya and Madagascar.
The center says a tsunami about one meter high was observed in northern Sumatra at around 10 p.m. UTC.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Noda to send Edano to Fukui
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is making final arrangements to send industry minister Yukio Edano to Fukui Prefecture on Friday to ask for cooperation in restarting two idled reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant, sources said.

37,000 tsunami-damaged vehicles stuck in limbo


Friday, April 13, 2012

Decision on Oi reactor restarts delayed


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Japan should ditch atomic power, Edano says before restart decision


Rice exports to China resume

Nakaima recounts fall and rise of Okinawa


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another cold spell !

Oi reactor restarts hinge on assembly, locals: Fukui governor
The decision on whether to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant will be made after consulting the prefectural assembly and Oi's residents, Fukui's governor warns trade minister Yukio Edano.

Machine fell into MOX spent-fuel pool: Tepco


Monday, April 16, 2012

Another thermometer breaks at Fukushima
One of only two thermometers left at the bottom of the pressure vessel of the crippled Fukushima power plant's No. 2 reactor breaks, leaving only 18 of its 36 temperature sensors working.

Move to restart Oi's reactors blasted as misinformed haste

Edano: Japan will have no online reactors in May
Industry Minister Yukio Edano says Japan will have no online nuclear reactors after the country's only active reactor is suspended for regular checks early next month.
Edano made this comment in a speech he gave in Tokushima, western Japan on Sunday.
Edano referred to the government's recent judgment that offline reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture are safe to operate and need to be restarted.

Minamisoma residents visiting their homes
Residents of a coastal city in Fukushima Prefecture are being allowed to visit their homes after the government lifted an entry ban imposed on part of the city. The ban was imposed after last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai says residents are still worried about the lack of infrastructure and about compensation for damages from the nuclear accident. He says he will ask the central government, which promoted nuclear energy, and Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant's operator, to address these issues responsibly.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seven universities report a 16 percent drop in student enrollment for nuclear energy courses, noting that career prospects in the field have likely been tainted by the Fukushima disaster.

Evacuation order lifted for parts of Minamisoma
Minamisoma residents visit their town for the first time in a year after the government partially lifts an evacuation order imposed because of the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Retail power slow to make inroads despite nuclear crisis

Governors propose conditions for nuclear restart
Two governors in western Japan will ask the central government to implement 7 steps before restarting the first batch of reactors since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The governors of Shiga and Kyoto will jointly announce the steps later on Tuesday. Their prefectures neighbor Fukui, home to the Ohi nuclear plant. The central government wants 2 of the plant's reactors to be reactivated soon.
... Toru Hashimoto mayor of Osaka is pledging to bring down the government in the next general election by making nuclear power the key campaign issue.

Anti-nuclear activists go on hunger strike

A group of anti-nuclear activists has begun a hunger strike in Tokyo to protest the restarting of nuclear reactors along the Japan Sea coast.
About 30 members of the group began the strike on Tuesday in front of the industry ministry as the government continued to take steps to restart 2 reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. The reactors are offline for regular inspections.
The group told reporters that it cannot allow the resumption while the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant continues and reasons for the accident remain undetermined. ...

Tokyo negotiating purchase of Senkaku Islands
The governor of Tokyo - Shintaro Ishihara - says metropolitan government officials are negotiating the purchase of a disputed group of privately owned islands in the East China Sea.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fukushima miscarriage rate stable
Miscarriages and abortions due to radiation exposure -- or fear of it -- have not risen in Fukushima Prefecture since the nuclear accident last year, a survey reveals.

Offline, Hamaoka 'safe' from tsunami

Robot to inspect No.2 reactor
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is to send a robot inside one of the reactors damaged by last year's earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo Electric Power Company will use an 80-centimeter tall robot mounted with 5 cameras, a dosimeter and an audio recorder. On Wednesday, the robot will be sent through a door of the building housing the No.2 reactor to a scaffold built around the suppression chamber.

Revised quake estimate warns of 9700 dead in Tokyo
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says 9,700 people could die in a huge earthquake hitting directly under the capital.
The government's first estimate in 6 years is based on a worst-case scenario of a magnitude-7.3 quake in the northern part of Tokyo Bay, with a focus closer to the ground than previously assumed. ...

TEPCO says no water leaks found at No.2 reactor

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says inspections using a robot have yet to find serious damage or water leaks at the facility's No. 2 reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Wednesday sent the robot with 5 cameras and a dosimeter into a scaffold around the reactor's suppression chamber. ...

Why containment vessels must be examined

An examination of the reactor containment vessels is essential for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The biggest challenge in the decommissioning process is finding a way to remove the melted nuclear fuel inside the reactors and on the floor of the containment vessels. ...


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doubt in Kansai grows over plant restarts, blackout predictions

Blue carp streamers to be sent to disaster area
Citizens of western Japan are preparing to send blue carp streamers to Miyagi Prefecture to mourn children who perished in the March 11th disaster. ...

Survey shows mixed reaction to restarting reactor
An NHK survey indicates that over half of the residents in Ohi town in Fukui Prefecture support the government's plan to restart 2 idle nuclear reactors there, while one-third in neighboring areas support it. ...


Friday, April 20, 2012

Bailout official to head Tepco
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda taps Kazuhiko Shimokobe, the head decision-maker at the public entity helping Tepco pay off its disaster victims, as the utility's next chairman.
下河辺 和彦(しもこうべ かずひこ)

Lawyer Hizumi Kazuo crusades for more disclosure


Saturday, April 21, 2012

METI bigwig to pressure Kyoto, Shiga on Oi restarts



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Strong storm and rain, almost typhoon!

Sale of Japanese rice resumed in China
The sale of Japanese rice has resumed in China after being suspended following the nuclear accident in Japan.
The move comes after the Chinese government partially eased restrictions on food imports from Japan in November.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Tsunami-swept soccer ball to be returned from U.S.
The Japanese owner of a soccer ball that was swept away by last year's devastating tsunami is identified and will get the prized memento back from its finders in Alaska.
ball belonges to Misaki Murakami , found by David and Yumi Baxter

Group fails to report plans for plutonium

Firms preparing for summer without nuclear power
Companies across Japan are preparing for expected power cuts this summer as the country's only operational nuclear reactor is set to go offline for a scheduled check-up next month.
Industrialized Kansai region, serviced by Kansai Electric Power Company, is expected to be hit especially hard by power shortages. The Osaka- based utility depends more on nuclear energy than other power companies.
Electrical wire maker Sumitomo Electric Industries plans to install in-house power generators at 4 factories in Kansai region by June. ...


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fukushima air to stay radioactive in 2022

A decade from now, the air in parts of Fukushima Prefecture is still expected to be radiating a hazardous 50 millisieverts a year after the power plant crisis, a report says.

Officials weigh restart of Shikoku Electric reactor

Plant used bad breaker for decades !!!!

Amid restart protests, Kansai leaders offer fuel storage

4 nuclear plants asked to review quake safety
Japan's nuclear safety agency is set to ask the operators of 4 nuclear power plants to re-examine the effects of seismic activities that it says became more active after the March 2011 earthquake in northern Japan.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency will request the reassessment of quake resistance for the Tomari plant in Hokkaido, Tsuruga and Monju plants in Fukui Prefecture and the Shimane plant in Shimane. ...

Fukushima to ask IAEA to set up local office
The governor of Fukushima Prefecture will visit the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency to ask it to establish an office in the prefecture to help with the aftermath of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. ...

Power shortage expected in western Japan in summer
The government says western Japan could face a power shortage of 3 percent or more this summer if demand reaches levels seen during the 2010 heat wave.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Osaka mayor weighs in against Oi restarts
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who leads an up-and-coming political group, conveys his opposition to the early restart of idled nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture during a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura.

If reactors are deemed safe, restart them, OECD head urges
The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development urges Japan to restart nuclear reactors that have been deemed safe to ensure a stable power supply.

It's what Oi reactor tests don't cover that worries

Land water flooding reactors to be diverted !!!!!

Tsuruga reactor may be sitting above active fault
A nuclear power plant in Japan will undergo fresh inspections after experts warned that active faults may exist below the plant.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency issued the inspection order on Tuesday to the Japan Atomic Power Company, the operator of the Tsuruga nuclear plant on the Sea of Japan coast in Fukui Prefecture.
Earlier in the day, a team of experts surveyed 3 faults in the compound and found that one of them located 150 meters west of the No.2 reactor may be active. ...


Thursday, April 26, 2012

NISA OKs anti-tsunami measures at Hamaoka plant
Japan's nuclear safety agency says anti-tsunami measures for the Hamaoka nuclear power plant on the Pacific coast in central Japan are appropriate.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Wednesday that the nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture would be safe if it were hit by a 21-meter high tsunami. The agency came to this conclusion after examining a report submitted earlier this month by plant operator Chubu Electric Power Company. ...

Japan's last online reactor to shut down
Japan's only online commercial nuclear reactor in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido is to be shut down for regular inspections early next month.
Hokkaido Electric Power Company released on Wednesday its regular inspection plan for the Number 3 reactor at the Tomari nuclear power plant.
The utility says it will begin reducing the reactor's power output on May 5th and complete the procedure the following day. ...


Friday, April 27, 2012

Restart of Tsuruga nuclear reactors 'almost impossible': safety commission chief

Govt. briefs on restart to people near Ohi plant
People living near the Ohi nuclear plant in central Japan are wrestling with whether to sign off on a plan to restart two of the facility's four reactors. The plant could be the first unit to resume operation in the year since an earthquake and tsunami triggered an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Local residents brought various concerns to a public meeting to hear a government briefing Thursday on why it wants to restart the reactors. ...

Restart of Tsuruga reactor difficult due to faults
Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission says an idling reactor along the Sea of Japan coast will not be allowed to restart if a fault running directly underneath proves active.

TEPCO submits business turnaround plan
Tokyo Electric Power Company and a state-backed fund have submitted to the government a restructuring plan to cover huge costs related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.
The plant's operator and the nuclear accident compensation fund finalized the plan and handed it to industry minister Yukio Edano on Friday. ...


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tepco 10-year reform plan submitted

Tepco and the state-backed bailout fund submit a 10-year restructuring plan to stave off insolvency, which could pave the way for \1 trillion injection in taxpayer money if the industry minister approves it.

New tsunami standards to be set for nuclear safety
Japan's nuclear regulator says it will draw up new safety guidelines for designing nuclear power plants against tsunami. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency held a meeting of experts on Friday to discuss the safety measures.

Noh play performed for first time in 600 years
A Noh play set in northeastern Japan has been performed for the first time in 600 years. It was staged as a requiem for the victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami.
The play, Akoya-no-matsu by Zeami Motokiyo, is one of the few Noh dramas set in northeastern Japan. It centers on a nobleman who is exiled to the area and meets a local deity.
The head of the Kanze school of Noh, Kiyokazu Kanze, played the main character in the performance on Friday at the Tokyo National Noh Theater.
Kanze says Noh is often described as an art of remembrance and the performers think of the devastated area while they are on stage.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Holiday exodus begins across Japan
Japan's highways, railways and airlines were crowded on Saturday, the first day of a holiday period, known as "Golden Week" in Japan.

Holiday rush kicks in; many flocking to see Tohoku
Vacationers crowd major airports, highways and railway stations across the nation as the Golden Week holiday season begins, while departures for overseas destinations peak at Narita airport.

Burying nuke fuel said cheaper than recycling

Antinuclear mayors want abolition of atomic power included in new basic energy plan

- - - - - at 19:28
Earthquake M 5.8 off Chiba

Strong quake jolts northeast Chiba


Monday, April 30, 2012

Tepco plan to be based on Resona

Cadmium poisoning museum opens in Toyama
A museum has opened in Toyama Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, to pass on the lessons of a disease caused by cadmium pollution in the mid-20th century.
The museum built by the prefectural government opened on Sunday in Toyama City.

Tsunami-hit towns aim to move 70% of housing areas
Seventy percent of communities devastated by the tsunami in northeastern Japan last year want to move their residential districts inland or to higher ground.
The land and infrastructure ministry asked more than 200 communities in the three hardest-hit prefectures, Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, how they hope to rebuild residential districts.
Seventy percent of the communities say they aim to move residential districts inland or to higher ground.
Twelve percent say they hope to raise the ground level and heighten levees in some areas flooded by the tsunami and move residential districts there.
Eighteen percent say they hope to strengthen and build levees before rebuilding homes where they used to stand.
Ministry officials say communities' goals reflect simulations of possible future tsunami. They say communities in areas that could be hit by waves higher than two meters hope to move residential districts or raise the ground level. They say those in areas that could be hit by smaller waves hope to keep residential districts where they are.


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD . .
. . Japan Times - JT . .

March 2012



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1 comment:

  1. Edano's take on restarting nuclear power plants in Japan
    ... Question: Have you been amending your statements as a result of third parties' moves?

    Edano: "No, that's not the case. I'm fundamentally in favor of abandoning nuclear power generation, but if all nuclear power plants remain out of operation, it will force unreasonable power restrictions and electricity charge price increases, small- and medium-sized companies will collapse, and employment will become unstable in a chain of events that will cause confusion in society. And if that happens, then the momentum that has built up toward breaking away from nuclear power will die out, reliance (on nuclear plants) will return in force, and we'll be helpless to do anything about it. For me, that's the scariest scenario."

    Q: I think there should be a mid-term vision for reform. What are your thoughts on this?

    Edano: "In terms of political theory, I think that's right, but if we release something that's half-baked, then we'll be caught out and pay the price. It's not the kind of thing that can be easily released.

    "One major factor is the regulation on decommissioning nuclear reactors after 40 years (legislation that sets the life of a nuclear reactor at 40 years, which has already been submitted to the Diet as a bill). If the bill is passed and we gain a grip on governmental and ministerial ordinances, then we'll be able to do quite a lot."

    interview (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)