Former prime ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa continued their antinuclear campaign Wednesday with the launch of an entity to promote renewable energy.
The founders of the Japan Assembly for Nuclear Free Renewable Energy also include prominent figures in various fields such as actor Bunta Sugawara, novelist and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi, and Donald Keene, an eminent U.S. scholar of Japanese literature who became a Japanese citizen in 2012.
The move comes as the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who sees Koizumi as his political mentor, continues its push to restart atomic power plants that are deemed safe enough under enhanced nuclear regulations.
The assembly is considering supporting antinuclear candidates in the gubernatorial election this fall in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and next spring’s nationwide local elections.
The alliance of the two former prime ministers, both in their 70s, drew attention during the Tokyo gubernatorial election in February as Hosokawa, supported by Koizumi, emerged from retirement to run in the poll, presenting it as a referendum on the nation’s energy policy.
While many media opinion polls have shown that the majority of the public oppose reactivating reactors, Hosokawa ended up ranking third in the election, with voters apparently not focusing solely on nuclear issues.
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