Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's call for Japan to end its reliance on nuclear power is causing a stir as the country discusses future energy policies.
Koizumi, who is retired from politics, has recently been voicing his views against nuclear power in public.
In a speech on Wednesday, he reiterated his position.
Koizumi said if the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party decide that Japan should end nuclear power generation and use renewable energy instead, most of the Japanese people would endorse the policy.
LDP members are troubled by their former leader's remarks.
Some say Koizumi's position is incompatible with the party policy to promote the resumption of the country's idled nuclear plants while respecting the nuclear regulation body's safety assessments. Others worry that Koizumi's remarks could give the impression to the public that the party is divided on the issue.
The probability for the Kanto region to be hit by a powerful earthquake - lower 6 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 - within 30 years has risen, the government panel's latest quake probability map showed Friday. (The Japan News)
A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells. (Japan Today)
The Niigata prefectural government started clearing a section of National Highway Route 405 in Tsunan in the prefecture on Friday, after a landslide mixed with snow blocked off about 50 meters of the road the night before. (The Japan News)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)