Prime Minister Naoto Kan says that from now on the government will focus on use of natural energy and measures to save energy, rather than on nuclear power.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Kan thanked Chubu Electric Power Company for its quick decision to accept his request that operations be suspended at the Hamaoka nuclear plant in central Japan.
Kan said that although the decision has raised fears of a power shortage, the problem could be avoided with help from other utilities and through power-saving efforts in the private sector and among the public.
The prime minister said Japan's energy policy has relied on nuclear power and fossil fuels, but that he would shift focus to natural energy, such as solar and wind power and biomass fuels. He also pledged efforts to create a more energy-efficient society.
Kan admitted that the government shares responsibility for the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, along with its operator Tokyo Electric Power Company, as the government had promoted nuclear power generation as a national policy.
He added he would give up his salary as prime minister until the crisis has ended.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 19:13 +0900 (JST)