Massive Majority Against Nuclear in Japan

The results of a public comment exercise by the Japanese Government on long term energy policy options are available now and Tokyo Shimbun reports on them here. Thanks to this Tweet by Kevin Meyerson for the link.

With over 88.000 people responding, a massive majority of over 87 percent favored to get rid of nuclear completely by 2030.

Meanwhile, the government’s favored option of meeting about 15% of electricity demand by nuclear energy in 2030 gathered only about one percent.

With these numbers, any policy but getting out of the nuclear business in Japan would seem to be rather incompatible with basic values of democracy.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

4 thoughts on “Massive Majority Against Nuclear in Japan

  1. And those still opposed will have to suffer the tyranny of the majority. Would not a truer form of democracy be to allow the consumers to decide? A succinct summary of the present non-free-market energy/government situation in the U.S. can be found here.

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  2. I assume you mean that “those still supporting” nuclear will have to suffer the “tyranny of the majority”.

    There are limits to what the majority may do in a democracy, mostly concerning human rights. I don’t think the decision on energy policy one way or other would qualify as a human rights issue.

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  3. It’s bad new for the climate and also bad news for the Japanese citizens, actually.

    The citizens see the situation as choosing between nuclear whose radiation danger has been painted in the bleakest possible way for them, and some other choice, that stays quite fuzzy for now, they don’t see exactly what it consist of precisely, but here’s the golden word : It’s safe ! They guess it’ll be expensive, but if given a choice with the untellable horrors of radiations, who will hesitate ?

    The major Japanese corporations have already chosen for them. It will be 100% LNG as far as they’re concerned. They are investing massive money to take hold of as much gas as they materially can.
    See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-24/japan-gas-binge-ties-third-biggest-economy-to-one-fuel-energy.html
    The Mitsubishi guy says that “he sees investing in gas as having little downside”. Color me surprised.

    Gas is dirt cheap in the US, they see that and they want it. Build some liquefaction facilities, and reap the gains. It will much more expensive than nuclear was, but who cares, see how much money the fossil fuel companies are making, more expensive means more money for them.

    And to keep the greens happy, they’ll promise a renewable deployment that will take 15 or 20 years to replace a significant part of that new fossil power. But meanwhile how many gigatons of carbons are released ? How many gigatons have already been released since March last year ? The measurement of CO2 levels in Japan are showing already the rising.

    The nuclear industry in Japan has asked for something like that to happen, very deeply. But they were not worse, just similar and as incompetent as any other politicians, or CEO in Japan, eager to take the money, unable to understand what would happen in case of a major crisis, and unable to manage it. They have a population that wants ten times more security than other countries, and they are ten times less able to deliver it than even the quite bad politician elsewhere. Nuclear village ? Hey, it’s Japon, so the truth is that there’s also the construction village, the car village, the oil village, the gas village, etc., and everyone cares only about his selfish interest.

    And now the Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo guys are just their twins, but in fossil energy instead of nuclear, and don’t give a damn about climate, except of course if they get the opportunity to sell some insignificant amount of renewable at huge price.

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