Japan faces nuclear shutdown for second time since Fukushima
Japan may face a total nuclear shutdown in the summer for the second time since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster as the country's two operating reactors close for maintenance and tough new safety checks keep the rest of the fleet offline.
The previous Democratic Party of Japan government's decision last June to restart two reactors weeks after the last full shutdown galvanized the country's previously dormant anti-nuclear movement, sparking the biggest demonstrations in decades and contributing to its downfall in elections in December.
Media surveys have shown a majority of Japanese want to abandon atomic energy by 2030, if not sooner, making the decision to restart even reactors deemed safe a risky proposition for the new Liberal Democratic Party government.
Tanaka earlier warned the government its three-year deadline to carry out safety checks of reactors is too ambitious.
The bigger problem is that the newly reinstalled "Liberal Democratic Party" (LDP) is even more conservative, more in the pockets of the nuclear power industry and more willing to use nuclear power than the middle of the road, wishy-washy moderate conservative "Democratic Party of Japan" (DPJ) who have even less backbone than a squid or an American Democrat.