Japan earthquake: Wikileaks enters the fray

8 years ago by in Japan

Amid worry about the victims of the north and the situation at the Fukushima power plant, Wikileaks has started combing it’s Japan related documents and releasing cables.

The most significant so far, released on March 15, documents the opposition of Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Taro Kono’s opposition to Japan’s energy policy. The cable is from 2008.

According to the cable, Kono: “criticized the Japanese bureaucracy and power companies for continuing an outdated nuclear energy strategy, suppressing development of alternative energy, and keeping information from Diet members and the public.”

Kono also accuses Japanese media of bowing to the demands of energy companies due to threats that sponsorship would be withdrawn. “In describing the clout wielded by the electric companies, Kono claimed that a Japanese television station had planned a three part interview with him on nuclear issues, but had canceled after the first interview, because the electric companies threatened to withdraw their extensive sponsorship,” according to the cable.

Another issue noted by Kono is governmental lip service to cleaner forms of energy. “Kono noted that while METI claimed to support alternative energy, it in actuality provides little support. He claimed that METI in the past had orchestrated the defeat of legislation that supported alternatives energy development, and instead secured the passage of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) act. This act simply requires power companies to purchase a very small amount of their electricity from alternative sources.”

Kono is considered something of a maverick in Japan, and is, as the cable notes “very outspoken.”

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