What a joke. Totally predictable but joke nonetheless.
Remember my post about nearly 90,000 public comments from the Japanese citizens and residents about the future energy policy of the Japanese government, where nearly 90% want "zero nuclear"? Also remember the so-called experts in big-name universities whose expertise is in polling and sampling stressing the "quality" over "quantity"? There were three choices that people could comment on: 0% reliance on nuclear power by 2030, 15% reliance, or 25% reliance.
Now, drum rolls please. Here comes your national government under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declaring that the government may opt for the "fourth way".
From FNN News (via Yahoo Japan, meaning the link won't last; 8/27/2012):
Regarding the 3 alternatives [presented in the national public comment solicitation] on the reliance on nuclear power, it has been revealed that the national government is considering a new alternative, without adopting any of the existing three alternatives.
The government has presented the three alternatives regarding the reliance on nuclear power in 2030: "zero", "15%", "20 to 25%". However, there have been those who question "Why 2030?" in the townhall meetings, focus group discussions, and public comments.
On receiving such opinions, the government may be considering not adopting any of the alternatives, but come up with a new plan to set different targets for different energy sources such as nuclear and renewable energy.
The government's Energy and Environment Committee is currently having the second meeting to analyze the public opinion survey, but the experts in the committee have expressed opinions including "[public opinions] lack deep consideration".
General public lacking "deep consideration". That's a new one from the arm-chair experts.
You think you've been playing football. And all of a sudden the game changes, literally, and now you find yourself playing ice hockey. Why, you ask? Because the government can. All it needs to do is to declare the game change.
According to some on Twitter, Prime Minister Noda, who appeared on an NHK news program on Monday night in Japan, said something to this extent: "The opinions expressed in the public comments are biased, and cannot be taken seriously. I would like to listen to the silent majority [who do not submit public comments]."
I remember the general sentiment in Japan when he became the prime minister last year succeeding highly unpopular Naoto Kan - "It can't go any worse, can it?"