02/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 03:03

New Japan PM Noda in nuclear restart call

Category: Headlines

Published: 13th Sep 2011 09:46:30

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has called for nuclear plants halted after the Fukushima crisis to be restarted.

But in his first policy speech since taking office, he told parliament that Japan should aim to reduce its reliance on nuclear power in the long term.

He said earthquake reconstruction and economic rebuilding would be his twin priorities.

And he warned of possible tax rises to tackle Japan's public debt problem.

Mr Noda, who is Japan's sixth prime minister in five years, took office less than two weeks ago after predecessor Naoto Kan stepped down.

Mr Kan had called for Japan to abandon nuclear power, but Mr Noda said that plants offline since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami should be restarted to meet power shortages.

"It is not productive to see things in simple black and white, and talk in either anti-nuclear or pro-nuclear terms," he said.

"We must move towards our mid- and long-term goals of lowering, as much as possible, our reliance on nuclear energy."

Local communities have opposed reactor restarts after routine maintenance, meaning two-thirds are offline.

Mr Noda pledged a rethink on energy policy within a year and vowed to increase the use of renewable energy.

Calling earthquake reconstruction work the top priority, he said that the cabinet's "other top priority will be rebuilding the Japanese economy".

The high yen threatened to undermine both industry and reconstruction, he warned.

"We hear screams from exporters and from the small and mid-sized companies that have led our country's industries. If things carry on like this, domestic industries could go downhill and jobs could be lost.

"If that happens, it would be almost impossible to break out of deflation and reconstruct areas hit by the disaster."

He said the government needed to take "every possible policy measure in co-operation with the Bank of Japan".

Acknowledging the multiple leadership changes of recent years, he said politicians were perceived as delaying decisions on how to reduce Japan's huge public debt.

He said he would study new tax measures and cut spending, but gave few details.

And he issued a call for political unity, saying that politicians, bureaucrats and the business sector needed to co-operate.

"Let's come together and rally our strengths to overcome this time of historical adversity and bring about a rebirth of Japan," he said.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. New Japan PM Noda in nuclear restart call [Online] (Updated 13th Sep 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/185342/New-Japan-PM-Noda-in-nuclear-restart-call [Accessed 2nd Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • WW1 commemorations at Britain's first military airbase

    With the centenary of Britain joining the First World War approaching, communities around the country are preparing to mark the anniversary in their own way.
  • New ENO music director pledges to take risks despite cuts

    The incoming music director of the English National Opera (ENO) has said the company will keep taking risks in spite of funding cuts.
  • British embassy in Libya to 'suspend operations'

    Britain is to temporarily close its embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, because of worsening violence.
  • Barry gardener's leg surgery after false widow spider bite

    A gardener says he feared losing his leg after being bitten by a false widow spider hiding in a Vale of Glamorgan shed.
  • Belcoo: Hundreds attend public meeting on fracking in County Fermanagh

    Hundreds of people have attended a public meeting to discuss fracking in County Fermanagh.