Japanese ex-Prime Minister “Scared Solar”

by David Safier

They take kids who look like they're headed for trouble and use the Scared Straight tactic to show them what their lives will be like if they continue down their current path. Call Japan's former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Scared Solar.

He used to be a big supporter of nuclear energy. Then came the Fukushima meltdown. Now he's saying Japan should close its nuclear energy plants and go with renewable energy.

As a pro-growth prime minister from 2001 to 2006, Mr. Koizumi had backed the business lobby by calling for Japan to become “a nation built on nuclear power,” calling it cheap and clean, and sided with the Tokyo Electric Power Company in deciding to end tax-supported subsidies for solar panels. But he said in Tuesday’s speech that he had reversed his stance after the nuclear accident at Tepco’s Fukushima complex two and a half years ago, which left at least 83,000 people homeless and forced a multibillion-dollar cleanup that has been riddled with mistakes and accidents.

“There is nothing more costly than nuclear power,” Mr. Koizumi, 71, was quoted as saying. “Japan should achieve zero nuclear plants and aim for a more sustainable society.”

I'm sure I'm being unfair to Koizumi to say he's scared. It's just that, once a line like "scared solar" pops into my head, well, there's no denying it. Let's say he's seen the future, and it's either safe, sustainable energy or the constant threat of another Fukushima, or worse, wreaking havoc on the only country that's ever had an atom bomb dropped on its people.

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