Abe’s wife casts doubts on nuclear plant exports

June 11, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not have to look far to find an opponent to his policy of exporting nuclear plants as a pillar of Japan's economic growth strategy.

“I am opposed to nuclear power, and my heart aches,” Akie Abe, the prime minister’s wife, said on June 6, questioning her husband's efforts to export nuclear plants.

Akie made the comment in a speech hosted by Furusato TV, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize regional economies. She is an adviser to Furusato TV.

According to a video posted on the group’s website, Akie said nuclear power is an important technology that Japan excels in but proposed exporting renewable energy instead.

“It will be better to use part of the money spent on nuclear plants for the development of new energy and promote the sale of Japanese-born clean energy overseas,” she said.

Akie described herself as “an opposition party within the family.”

“When (the prime minister) gains power, it gradually becomes difficult for those around him to tell him what he does not want to be told,” she said. “He had better hear something he does not want to hear.”

Abe has been accelerating negotiations to conclude a nuclear energy agreement, a precondition for exports of nuclear plants, with India and Middle Eastern countries.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Akie Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Akie Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Akie Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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