Japan’s government will lead “emergency measures” to tackle radioactive water spills at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, wresting control of the disaster recovery from the plant’s heavily criticized operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. “We’ve allowed Tokyo Electric to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they’ve essentially turned it into a game of ‘Whack-a-Mole,’” Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters today at Fukushima. “From now on, the government will move to the forefront.”
Efforts by Japan’s government to craft an energy mix that will respond to growing anti-nuclear sentiment among voters after the Fukushima crisis without alienating powerful pro-atomic energy interests look in danger of satisfying neither side.
The government is expected to announce as early as Monday an energy portfolio plan to replace a 2010 programme that had called for boosting nuclear power’s share of electricity supply to more than half from nearly 30 percent before the crisis.
Rikuzentakata, like many cities on Japan’s rugged northeast Pacific coast, was in decline even before last year’s tsunami killed 1,700 of its 24,000 inhabitants and destroyed most of its downtown buildings.
With two-thirds of the remaining residents homeless, Mayor Futoshi Toba questioned whether the city could recover,
Japan will aim to create a $628 billion green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars, a draft of the government’s growth strategy showed.
The government will also work with the Bank of Japan to ensure the country exits deflation and achieves stable price growth, according to the draft obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.
Oil traded near the highest close in two days as rising imports by Japan and speculation the Federal Reserve will add stimulus to the U.S. economy countered concern Europe’s debt crisis will derail the global recovery. Futures were little changed in New York after falling as much as 0.3 percent. Japan’s crude imports gained 7.1 percent in May from a year ago, according to data from the finance ministry.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ended Japan’s month-long freeze on nuclear power, approving a reactor restart that combined with a tax increase may undermine his political support. Two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi nuclear plant can be operated safely, Noda declared June 16 after meeting with three Cabinet ministers who share approval authority.
Japan approved on Monday incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world’s third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. Industry Minister Yukio Edano approved the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FIT), which means higher rates will be paid for renewable energy
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