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Democratic Party delays conclusion on nuclear-energy targets amid internal strife

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s main opposition Democratic Party is seen putting off its conclusion on whether to move up its target of ending Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy to 2030 from sometime in the 2030s.

The party’s leadership team faces voices of opposition from some party members and the key supporter group, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo.

The DP on Thursday began full-scale discussions on the matter at a meeting of a party panel on energy and the environment that brought together some 70 DP lawmakers.

During the meeting, more than 20 participants made remarks. But about half of them expressed opposition, including former education minister Yoshiaki Takaki.

So far, the DP has aimed to end the country’s reliance on nuclear energy in the 2030s and accepted the restart of nuclear power plants on some conditions.

The party is now leaning toward moving up the target, as it hopes to underscore the difference from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and strengthen cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.

But in the face of the opposition, the party is expected to put off its conclusion until it sets its platform for the next House of Representatives election. At a news conference Thursday, DP President Renho acknowledged such a delay.

Also on Thursday, Renho met with Rengo President Rikio Kozu to discuss the key nuclear policy target. But she could not win Kozu’s support.

At a news conference after the meeting, Kozu said 2030 and the 2030s are totally different. Rengo also postponed its planned regular talks with DP executives that had been slated for Friday.Speech

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