Before the Fukushima accident, with the belief that no nuclear accident would happen as long as the safety measures were followed properly, I had pushed the policy of utilizing nuclear power. Having faced the real accident as Prime Minister, my view is now changed 180 degrees.
Increased Japanese transparency about its nuclear history and the public discussion it has triggered should not be a cause for alarm. They are welcome developments that are likely to solidify Japan's long-standing and well-considered opposition to developing nuclear weapons.
Nobuo Tanaka realizes that there is a legitimate debate to be had about the safety and management of Japan's nuclear energy facilities, but that a total rejection of nuclear energy will send Japan over a cliff as deindustrialization is triggered by energy shocks.
Is there an alternative to ideological illusion and the rhetoric of evil? Yes, there is. We must remember our common human vulnerabilities and bring them into a collective conversation within which our existential anxiety can be held and better borne.
The public is right to be concerned about nuclear power, and right to bar new plants. Even setting aside the long-term issue of isolating nuclear wastes, the worldwide nuclear industry just doesn't have its act together.