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Include Nuclear Power in Japan’s Basic Energy PlanShiraishi Takashi

Voters in Tokyo went to the polls on February 9 to elect a new governor. The victor was Masuzoe Yōichi, former minister of health, labor, and welfare, who had the full backing of the Liberal Democratic Party and of the New Kōmeitō, its coalition partner in the national government. The turnout was 46.14%. Masuzoe got 2,112,979 votes, 43.4% of the total. In distant second place was Utsunomiya Kenj…
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The Impact of Koizumi’s Call for Zero Nuclear PowerHarano Jōji

At a press conference held at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on November 12, 2013, former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō discussed his position on nuclear power. In view of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Koizumi said, zero nuclear power can be achieved—if only Prime Minister Abe Shinzō makes the decision. Regarding timing, he said, “We should go …
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China’s Summit Diplomacy and the Geopolitics of the “Indo-Pacific” RegionShiraishi Takashi

October was a busy month for top-level diplomacy in Asia. Bali was the site of the October 7–8 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and of the October 8 meeting of leaders from the countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. These APEC and TPP meetings were followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei (October 9–10), which was accompanied…
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Policy for Science, Science for PolicyShiraishi Takashi

On September 24 Prime Minister Abe Shinzō met in Ottawa with Stephen Harper, his Canadian counterpart. The two leaders effectively decided to adopt a bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, which will allow Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and Canada’s military to provide each other with materiel and transportation services in cases where they are jointly involved in international humani…
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Koizumi Comes Out Against NukesPeter Durfee

Today's Mainichi Shimbun carries a column by Yamada Takao introducing some of former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō's observations on Japan's energy choices. Koizumi, who has retired from politics (leaving his Diet seat in the hands of his son, Shinjirō), remains a voice people listen to, and it his latest comments will likely attract plenty of attention. Some of them are translated below. Dur…
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Will Methane Hydrates Become a Domestic Energy Resource?Ishikawa Kenji

In seas near Japan in March 2013, methane gas was successfully extracted from seafloor hydrates—a world first. However, there are remaining technical hurdles to overcome before this becomes a viable domestic energy source.
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Two Years On from FukushimaSven Saaler

More than two years since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi, more than 100,000 people are still unable to return to their homes due to radioactive contamination. Ironically, however, the nuclear disaster seems to have had more impact in some European countries than in Japan itself. Germany, Italy, and Switzerland have all decided to phase out nuclear energy. France is discussing new ways o…
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Nuclear Power and the Emptiness of Political PromisesHayakawa Masaya

At a New Year’s meeting of her supporters on January 13, Shiga Prefecture’s governor Kada Yukiko revealed the series of events that led to the formation of the Nippon Mirai no Tō, or the “Tomorrow Party of Japan.” Apparently she took the decision to form the party after being persuaded by Ozawa Ichirō in the lead-up to the December’s lower house elections that “if you run, we should get 100 cand…
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Japanese Energy Strategy in the Shale-Gas EraShibata Akio

With imports of natural gas booming following the shutdown of nuclear reactors nationwide, Shibata Akio calls for a national energy strategy geared to new domestic and global realities—including a global energy market transformed by the shale revolution.
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A US Strategist Speaks on Japan’s Leadership and Energy Policy NeedsTaniguchi Tomohiko

In early November 2012, Abe Shinzō, president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, was announcing that his party would reactivate Japan’s nuclear power plants if it returned to power. This was in response to Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko’s announcement of a plan to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s. On November 7, Nippon.com editorial board member Taniguchi Tomohiko spoke to John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to hear what he had to say about Japan’s energy policy choices and the outlook for bilateral ties.
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