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Japan’s new Environment Minister insists that Tokyo must stop using nuclear energy

TOKYO, Sep 12 (Reuters / EP) –

Japan's new Minister of Environment, Shinjiro Koizumi, has insisted on Thursday that Tokyo should stop using nuclear energy and shut down the reactors to prevent a catastrophe like Fukushima from repeating in 2011.

The words of Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, could lift the controversy within the Democratic Liberal Party (PLD), which supports a return to nuclear energy under new security measures.

Japan’s new Environment Minister insists that Tokyo must stop using nuclear energy
Japan’s new Environment Minister insists that Tokyo must stop using nuclear energy

“I would like to study how we could eliminate it, not how to keep it,” Koizumi said during his first press conference after swearing in office. The Ministry that he now heads is responsible for overseeing the country's nuclear activity.

The natural disasters of March 2011 caused explosions in the plant and the reactors melted, which produced radioactive emissions that forced 160,000 people to flee, mostly not to return.

Most of Japan's nuclear reactors, which provided 30 percent of the country's electricity before the catastrophe, are undergoing a licensing verification process under the new safety regulations imposed after the disaster. There are currently six reactors in operation.

The father of the minister, an influential prime minister now retired, became a tough critic of atomic energy following the nuclear crisis unleashed by the Fukushima catastrophe.

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