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13 Jul 2011 PM announces energy policy shift


PM Naoto Kan addressed the nation on Wednesday in which he announced the change in country's energy policy. He also apparently mentioned that there will be sufficient energy available even if nuclear power stations were to shut down.

I didn't listen to the speech properly but there will be plenty of info on this available on the net.

It's very difficult to tell what's on PM's mind.

It's widely believed in Japan that he'd lost it a bit during the initial phase of the crisis. There's a persistent rumor that he caused delays in venting unit 1 by insisting them not to vent till he got there, etc. - insinuating it was his fault that unit 1 exploded.

There are passionate haters of Kan - most of the civil servants and passionate supporters of LDP, who dominated the Japanese political scene for over half a century and has built one solid grounds for corruption. Kan's Democratic party has split from LDP - think quite recently - and merged and this and that - and took office a couple of years ago. It was kinda similar to how Obama got elected. Despite what you might learn from GDP figures and others, average Japanese person has been getting poorer and poorer over past 20 years. So they votedfor a change. (Hatoyama was leading the party then)

Must admit, not a lot had changed.
I personally couldn't tell if it was because it was structurally impossible or because they'd stopped caring now that they were in power.

Simlarly with Kan, following the disasters, it was difficult to tell whether he was pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear or neither (whatever lets him stay in the office.) Many people seemed to believe that he was, whatever the case, not very competent.

Then certain respected anti-nuclear figures, however, started to say that, whatever the rumours are, Kan had managed to stop Hamaoka and stopped Genkai from being restarted.

It is possible that the current power structure means Kan's left with very little choice. And all he could do was to pull out the (otherwise completely non-sensical) stress tests.

This evening's speech will no doubt propel that interpretation.
Personally, I'm still not that sure. But he has won my reluctant support for the time being.


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