Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, would like her husband not to export nuclear power and choose instead alternative energy, she said in a speech.
“I feel bad that Japan is trying to sell nuclear power plants overseas because I am anti-nuclear,” she said in a closed-door speech last Thursday at an event organised by a non-profit group that supports farming communities.
“I admit it is an important technology that Japan has,” she said. “I think Japan should use part of the money being spent for nuclear power for developing new energy and try to sell Japan-made clean energy abroad.”
Debating nuclear power versus renewable energy has been a hot topic in Japan since 2011, when Fukushima nuclear power plant was destroyed by a violent earthquake and tsunami, contaminating the soil, air and water in the area.
At the moment, only two of Japan’s 50 reactors still work, while the rest remained shut down. But despite vocal public opposition, Shinzo Abe has said he wants to restart units when they are proven safe, according to the international press.
Meanwhile, Japan signs nuclear deals with countries all over the world. In May, Japan and Turkey signed a deal to build a sprawling nuclear power plant on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Japan also signed a nuclear cooperation deal with the United Arab Emirates and India.
After talks in Tokyo on Friday, Abe and French President Francois Hollande said they would cooperate in developing nuclear power technologies.