The head of Japan's industry ministry says it will not allow a power company to start building a nuclear plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.
At a news conference on Friday, Yukio Edano referred to a plan by the Chugoku Electric Power Company to build the plant in Kaminoseki Town.
He said the government's new energy policy rules out new construction of nuclear plants, and that Chugoku Electric's plan is subject to this principle.
The policy adopted last month centers on a pledge to try to end Japan's reliance on nuclear power in the 2030s.
But the government says power companies can restart ongoing plant construction that has been suspended since last year's nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
Edano also said plants that have been offline since the disaster could restart if the nation's new nuclear regulator confirms their safety.
He said that under the policy, plants deemed safe by the Nuclear Regulation Authority are to be used as an important power source.
The position appears to contradict remarks made by the authority's chief Shunichi Tanaka on Wednesday. Tanaka said that although the regulator will judge plant safety, the government and power companies should ultimately seek local consensus before deciding whether to resume plant operations.
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )