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5 ex-Japan PMs call for country to end nuclear power use on Fukushima 10th anniversary

In this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo, a Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) official wearing radioactive protective gear stands in front of Advanced Liquid Processing Systems during a press tour at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Mar 13, 2021, The Mainichi. Five former Japanese prime ministers issued declarations that Japan should break with nuclear power generation on March 11, the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, The Mainichi reported.

The “3.11 Declarations” were issued at the “Global Conference for a Nuclear Free, Renewable Energy Future: 10 Years Since Fukushima” held by the Federation of Promotion of Zero-Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy at the Parliamentary Museum in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.

Former prime ministers Morihiro Hosokawa, Tomiichi Murayama, Junichiro Koizumi, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan signed and released their declarations during the conference. Among them, Koizumi, Hatoyama and Kan took to the podium and shook hands.

In his declaration titled “Don’t hold back on reversing a mistake: A zero-carbon emission society can be achieved without nuclear power plants,” Koizumi said, “When it comes to the nuclear power plant issue, there is no ruling party or opposition party. Nuclear power plants expose many people’s lives to danger, bring financial ruin, and cause impossible-to-solve nuclear waste problems. We have no choice but to abolish them.”

Before issuing his declaration, Koizumi reflected on his days as prime minister in a keynote speech, and said: “Japanese nuclear plants are safe and on budget; they offer clean energy that doesn’t emit CO2, and are necessary for economic development. I was told all of this, and I believed it. But as I’ve gone about reading books on nuclear plants, I’ve realized I was wrong.”

(Japanese original by Hiroshi Sawataishi, Project Promotion/Editing Office, Business Development Headquarters)

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