Japan’s newly installed environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, wants the country to close nuclear reactors to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011.
The comments by the son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, himself an anti-nuclear advocate, are likely to prove controversial in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which supports a return to nuclear power under new safety rules imposed after Fukushima.
Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors, which before Fukushima supplied about 30 percent of the country’s electricity, are going through a re-licensing process under new safety standards imposed after the disaster highlighted regulatory and operational failings.
Japan has six reactors operating at present, a fraction of the 54 units before Fukushima. About 40 percent of the pre-Fukushima fleet is being decommissioned.