Fukushima Watch: Popular Ex-PM Koizumi Comes Out Against Nukes – Review

Author: George Nishiyama

Reviewer: Dora

As the title suggests, this article explains that Junichiro Koizumi, one of the most influential former prime minister in Japan, expressed his disagreement with the re-operation of the nuclear power plants in his recent conference in Nagoya. Mr. Koizumi claims that Japan “should aim to be nuclear-free” despite the fact that the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who reinstated the nuclear power plants is one of Mr. Koizumi’s disciples. Mr. Abe’s objective here is to improve the economy of Japan and he believes that one of the means to achieve this is through the supply of cheap power, thus reusing the nuclear power plants. However, a parallel between “the thinking of those who stress that the Japanese economy can’t survive without nuclear energy” to “the refusal of the Japanese Imperial Army to give up Manchuria,” (an incident that eventually led to Japan’s lost) was painted by Mr. Koizumi in his speech. Moreover, Mr. Koizumi asserts that “we (the government and private sector) can unite toward a dream of achieving a society based on renewable energy. Now is an opportunity, not a pinch.”

Japan is portrayed as a country that is developing towards a better environmental sustainability through an influential politician, Mr. Koizumi, who feels the important need to shift to the use of renewable energy from a nuclear one in this article. He strongly believes that Japan does not need to depend on the use of nuclear power plant to resurrect its economy. Moreover, Nishiyama’s choice of including the fact that Mr. Koizumi was also an individual who promoted nuclear reactors during his period as prime minister made the article particularly convincing.

Nishiyama implies that renewable energy is better than nuclear energy in this article. Therefore, the article describes the idea of ‘green’ as renewable, sustainable and nonhazardous towards human. In addition to this, being ‘green’ is an opportunity that can be realized through the unity of both government and private entities without harming the economy in the long run.


Nishiyama, G. October 2, 2013. Fukushima Watch: Popular Ex-PM Koizumi Comes Out Against Nukes. The Wall Street Journal. [online] http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/10/02/popular-ex-pm-koizumi-comes-out-against-nuclear-power/