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Japanese Don’t Want a Nuclear Future: The Ticker via Bloomberg view


As the ground shook on the opening day of 2012, the immediate concern was the nuclear facilities at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s plants in Fukushima. Thankfully, the quake didn’t cause fresh damage — this time.

But what about next time? In a June Asahi newspaper poll, 74 percent favored Japan over time decommissioning all 54 reactors. Actions by the government, reinforced by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda‘s press conference today, suggest the opposite is afoot. Japanese want a nuclear-free future, and yet the government is back to coddling the power industry.

Why the disconnect? Japan’s nuclear-industrial complex is every bit as powerful as the nexus of business and the military in the U.S. There’s just too much money involved, and Japan’s “nuclear village” is circling the wagons. The moment Noda’s predecessor, Naoto Kan, announced plans to rein in the industry’s incestuous ties with government bureaucrats, his premiership was over.

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