In light of further nuclear risks, economic growth should not be priority

People in Japan are asking more questions, a good sign that attempts at ridicule and intimidation are failing.

Mainichi Daily News l Takao Yamada   3 April, 2012

The government continues to take regressive steps in spite of the torrent of criticism it has received and the lessons that should have been learned since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster.

This is evidenced in the fact that starting this week, which marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan (NSC) have no budget. The new nuclear regulatory agency that was supposed to begin operations on April 1 in NISA's stead is now floundering amid resistance in the Diet from opposition parties. In other words, government agencies overseeing nuclear power now have an even more diminished presence.

According to Japan's general budget provisions, funds for a new government organization can be diverted to existing government organizations if the money is being used for its original purpose. The situation doesn't do much for morale, however. Back-scratching relationships between government ministries, the indecision of both the ruling and opposition parties, and the unchanging fact that much of the current crisis is still left in the hands of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) remains the same.

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Nuclear Power is not the Answer