May 26, 2013, 11:10 a.m. EDT
Abe to pledge resumption of Japan nuclear plants
TOKYO--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will clarify his government's plan to resume operation of idled nuclear power plants in a growth strategy to be compiled in mid-June, Kyodo News quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying Saturday.
The draft energy policy to be included in the growth strategy states that steps will be taken to restart reactors judged safe for operation by the nuclear regulatory authorities, they said.
The government will pledge that it will make utmost efforts to ensure plant safety to gain support from municipalities hosting nuclear plants, the sources said.
The energy policy laid out in the growth strategy will be the government's official endorsement of Abe's plan to rely on nuclear power until the nation's final policy is made on nuclear energy use.
The growth strategy is one of the "three arrows" of Abe's economic policies aimed at pulling Japan's economy out of nearly two decades of deflationary recession, along with aggressive monetary easing and large-scale public works projects.
Of the 50 commercial reactors in Japan, only two are currently online amid safety concerns over the use of nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi plant disaster.
The draft policy says use of nuclear power plants is needed for the country's stable power supply, and the government will complete the separation of electric power companies' electricity generation and distribution operations by 2020, the sources said.