Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LDP's Finance Minister (and Former Prime Minister) Taro Aso on Nuke Plant Policy: "The Government Made Them Do It"

Electric power companies in Japan, that is.

Mr. Taro Aso, who is also the vice prime minister in the Abe administration, is very well known for his loose tongue since his days as the prime minister (September 2008 to September 2009). His "hurry up and die" remark in January this year is nothing new, as he said practically the same thing when he was the prime minister.

He's not very good at prevaricating, like other Japanese politicians. Maybe his Roman Catholic faith keeps him honest, in a way.

According to Jiji Tsushin article below, Aso apparently openly admitted that it was the national government who forced the electric power companies to go into the nuclear power business, as the national policy.

Well, everyone knows that, but you're not supposed to say it. But Aso did, and it was newsworthy enough for Jiji.

From Jiji Tsushin (3/5/2013):


Unusual remark by Finance Minister Aso in the the meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy: "The national government made them do" the nuclear power plants


According to the minutes summary of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy meeting on February 28, which was disclosed on March 5 by the Cabinet Office, Mr. Taro Aso, vice prime minister and finance minister, referring to the [government's] energy policy, said "The national government definitely did make the electric power companies do the nuclear power plants." It is very rare for a minister to openly admit to the national government's responsibility in promoting nuclear power.


Mr. Aso also touched on the shutdown of nuclear power plants after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and said, "If we just turn around after the accident and pretend "it's all your (electric power companies') fault", they would be unhappy and say "It was you [the national government] who said it was safe"", speaking for the electric power companies.


Anonymous said...

You have to appreciate the guy's frankness. I even see the man's "hurry up and die" quote with some sympathy. In Japan I've seen wards full of comatose seniors being kept alive on life support for months, maybe years - long past a point at which I'd want to hurry up and die. A generous interpretation of his comment might cut him some slack.

Anonymous said...

I would say that I prefer an honest guy to someone who bullshits, but then I remembered Ishihara who totally believes the crap he spews.

Anonymous said...

He forgot to add that the japanese goverment was instructed to do by the American government.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Aso saying something I can agree with is a huge surprise!

It would be great if Aso also mentioned *why* the goverment pushed for nuclear energy (plutonium for weapons). NHK already said this in a late night documentary but still.


Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:59 , of course

GE reactors go west over the pacific by the dozens,
Toyota automobiles go east by the millions,
Boeing aircraft go over by the hundreds,
Sony walkmans, by the zillions,
And the poor schmuks in Detroit were steamrolling Hondas
in the 80's. They had no idea it was all arranged .

Anonymous said...

Well, what he maybe didn't say is that they knew about the potential issues, and even some solutions, 25 years ago:
1986: 1st BWR containment filter in Sweden
1987: 1st PWR containment in France
End of the 1980s-1990s: installed in basically all Western Europe
There were three Japanese representatives in the 1988 conference (see page 382) representing:
- Japan Institute of Nuclear Safety
- Japan Atomic Research Institute
- Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO)

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