Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the pro-nuclear ruling party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could lose the next Lower House election if nuclear power becomes the main election issue.
Citing recent gubernatorial election wins for candidates concerned about restarting nuclear power plants in Niigata and Kagoshima prefectures, Koizumi said during a recent interview with Kyodo News, “(Anti-nuclear) opinions are beginning to grow . . . that could influence the (next) House of Representatives election.”
If opposition parties unite in fielding anti-nuclear candidates and make complete phase-out of the country’s nuclear plants one of the top election issues, they can defeat the ruling Liberal Democratic Party by tapping into voter fears following the 20111 Fukushima meltdowns, Koizumi said.
“The slogans by promoters of nuclear power that (nuclear power) is safe, low-cost and clean, are all lies,” Koizumi said.
He noted that the government would be forced to pour more funds into Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled following the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster, to decontamination costs at the plant and compensation.
The government should give up its nuclear-fuel recycling policy, including the use of the Monju fast-breeder reactor, Koizumi said. The government has not decided on the fate of the trouble-prone reactor, which was intended to play a key role in the recycling policy.
On Abe’s drive to revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, Koizumi said it will not be possible due to a lack of sufficient public support.
Koizumi said a breakthrough on the decades-old territorial dispute over a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido will also be difficult as Russia will not accept Japan’s ownership of the islands.