Farce, charade, tatemae, facade, or you could call it "democracy" as practiced in most of the western world. The foregone conclusion presented as a choice for people, so that people can delude themselves that they have some say in the state affairs. (See my previous post on nearly 90,000 people sending in their opinions, exercising their democratic right, tatemae or not, and how the statisticians dissed the result.)
(By the way, the statisticians (university professors) were probably hired by the private think-tank Mitsubishi Research Institute to whom the government outsourced the analysis of the public comments.)
Jiji Tsushin article makes it very clear what some people have suspected all along - that the government wants to set "15%" as the policy all along. If I remember right, these people were criticized as "cynical" by the fellow Japanese. What can I say.
The Noda administration has the usual lip service to the (naive) citizens: "Zero nukes in the future". What future?
From Jiji Tsushin (9/1/2012):
"Zero nuke plants in the future" with intermediate target in 2030 at 15% or less - the government is considering requesting cooperation from Japanese citizens
The national government started the discussion on September 1 over the new national energy policy, which will likely state "[Japan] will aim for zero nuclear power in the future". The "Energy and Environment Conference", made up of the administration's ministers in the related fields, will decide [on the policy] in the early September, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will announce the new policy. The reliance on nuclear energy in the year 2030 will be 15% or lower, and the government is also considering positioning it as interim target to zero nuclear power. An unnamed government official disclosed [to Jiji Tsushin].
The government has considered all along to set the reliance on the nuclear power in the year 2030 at 15% as the new energy policy. However, as the opinion surveys and focus group surveys in July and August revealed that many people wanted zero nuke plants, the government felt the need to show the attitude of aiming for zero nuke plants. The new policy will be part of the "Innovative Energy and Environmental Stragegy" that will be decided by the "Energy and Environment Conference". It will mark a turning point for the Japan's energy policy which has increased reliance on nuclear energy.
In order to achieve 15% reliance or less on nuclear power in 2030, the government will check the progress every 5 years starting 2015.
The new policy will also discuss various issues to achieve zero nuclear power, including the final disposal of spent fuel and spread of renewable energy like wind and solar power. The prime minister will use a press conference and other venues to ask for cooperation from every Japanese citizen.
"Innovative Energy and Environmental Stragegy" that will be decided by the "Energy and Environment Conference". Doesn't that sound wonderful, like in former Soviet Union planning?
Renewable energy? There is hardly any renewable energy source to meaningfully contribute to the power grid, but no shortage of energy anywhere in Japan. As to nuclear energy, only two reactors are currently in use (despite jellyfish), and Kansai hasn't had a single blackout. So? What kind of "cooperation" does Mr. Noda want?
More tax, I suppose, so that he has money to pay the bills come October.
Or to give big corporations big "wind" and/or "solar" projects, whether there are needs for them or not, and make citizens/residents foot the bill through subsidies and taxes.