Merger forces Japan Restoration Party to drop major policy stances
News On Japan via Asahi -- Nov 19
In the rush to form a stronger political party with a Lower House election less than a month away, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's Japan Restoration Party considerably weakened its anti-nuclear power stance.
In announcing on Nov. 17 that his Japan Restoration Party would join forces with former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara's new Sunrise Party, Hashimoto explained why their agreement did not include wording to eliminate all nuclear plants by the 2030s.
"The first thing is to create rules and that will be followed by minor adjustments," Hashimoto said at a joint news conference. "In order to have Ishihara become the head of the new party, we did not clearly state 'zero' nuclear energy."
The two parties were miles apart on nuclear energy, with Ishihara saying it was necessary for the time being. Hashimoto's party had joined the growing call across the nation against nuclear power in the wake of last year's accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The agreement reached by the two parties only says that new rules will be created for nuclear energy under the process of establishing a new supply and demand structure for energy.
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