The All Japan newsese government approved a new energy strategy that aims to reduce reliance on atomic power but avoided to say clearly that a nuclear-free target should be achieved by the 2030s.
The plan was initially announced on Friday, when the government was much more clear in saying that nuclear power should be phased out by the 2030s. Since then, however, powerful industry lobbies have convinced the government to rethink the commitment, arguing it could harm the economy.
“Whether we can become nuclear free by the 2030s is not something to be achieved only with a decision by policy makers,” said trade minister Yukio Edano, who is also in charge with the energy portfolio. “It also depends on the will of (electricity) users, technological innovation and the environment for energy internationally in the next decade or two,” he said.
In a separate statement, finance minister Jun Azumi said that there needed to be flexibility in the policy to avoid putting a burden on the public in a country where nuclear supplied 30 percent of electricity before the accident at Fukushima plant.