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Abe Intends To Review Goal To Terminate Nuclear Plants In 2030s(Nikkei)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspects the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Saturday.

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo)–Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed his willingness Saturday to review the goal set by the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led government to terminate nuclear power plants in the 2030s.

It will not become a reality simply by wishful thinking, Abe told reporters in Fukushima Prefecture. “I will promote responsible policy measures,” he said, indicating a switch in policy following the DPJ’s defeat in the Dec. 16 general election.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party campaigned on a policy of determining “the best energy mix” within 10 years.

He made the comment after inspecting the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan, where the country’s worst nuclear crisis has unfolded. The new premier apparently intended to demonstrate that his government is serious about speeding up reconstruction efforts by visiting the plant soon after launching his Cabinet on Wednesday.

Abe also said he hopes to “accelerate” the decommissioning work at the crippled plant, which is expected to take more than 30 years.

At the Fukushima Daiichi complex, Abe told around 80 employees of the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., “Fukushima, and Japan as a whole, can be reconstructed after successfully meeting the challenge of the decommissioning work. The government is ready to completely support this work.”

On the decommissioning work, new industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed a positive stance Friday on providing the state’s technical support for TEPCO.

Meanwhile, Abe indicated he will give more powers to the Reconstruction Agency to eliminate vertically divided administrative functions in rebuilding the areas damaged by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

“I plan to concentrate all of the powers in the agency to introduce one-stop decision making,” he said.

Accompanying Abe was Takumi Nemoto, who represents a constituency in the prefecture and was appointed reconstruction minister on Wednesday.

Abe also visited the plant in October, as head of the LDP.

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