Japan’s efforts to move past Fukushima Daiichi disaster draws criticism from experts and jeers from public

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been working bullishly to promote new economic and energy policies which are facing harsh scrutiny from the public and experts alike.  The Japanese government has said that it expects positive effects to stem from its economic stimulus and growth strategy packages, but the consensus among private-sector economists is that the measures are nothing but “a shot in the arm with only short-term effects.”

The Nuclear Regulation Authority held a meeting this week to announce their formal decisions related to new nuclear disaster prevention guidelines which will be established in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  At the meeting, opinions shared with the NRA claimed that the 500 microsievert immediate evacuation criteria chosen by the government agency was “too high” and some even pointed out that there were no consideration for the potential accumulated dose which could be received over the course of a few days or weeks by infants and pregnant women.

Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka

The NRA received more than 3,000 public comments about the nuclear safety guideline review, but did not incorporate these views into the guidelines.  When NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka attempted to placate the crowd at the meeting his efforts were met by jeers from the spectators’ gallery who chanted that “the voice of the people was not reflected.”

Also this week, Japan’s industry ministry announced that it would initiate discussions in March on a new basic energy policy which may reverse the island nation’s current energy policy which calls for all nuclear reactors to shut down by the 2030s. The subgroup hosting the discussions has been reduced to some 15 members, almost half the number of the previous subcommittee which handled the energy policy issue.  The reduction in staff mainly affected members who oppose nuclear power.

Source: JiJi Press

Source: NHK

Source: JiJi Press

Source: JiJi Press

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