A group of politicians in Japan's parliament have called for a return to nuclear power to help the country overcome economic difficulties triggered in large measure by the expensive importing of fossil fuels that have replaced shuttered atomic plants.
"Dozens of lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) launched a group Tuesday to push for the restart of the country's idled nuclear reactors, saying a stable power supply is key to achieving economic growth," Kyodo News reported via the Japan Times. The group was led by Hiroyuki Hosoda, a former chief cabinet secretary who recently warned that the economy could stall if nuclear does not return.
All but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors remain closed following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station that followed the tragic earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan over two years ago.
Nuclear had provided about 30 percent of the country's electricity.
Earlier this year Japan reported an all time record trade deficit of 1.63 trillion yen ($15.8 billion) as it continued to purchase fossil fuels from abroad. The yen is devaluing, so those purchases are growing even more costly.
Some economists have warned that Japan faces a potentially grave danger of losing its fossil fuel supplies from the unstable Middle East. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also from the LDP, recently worked a deal with United Arab Emirates to assure future supplies of oil by offering nuclear technology to UAE. He is talking with Saudi Arabia about a similar arrangement.
Abe has been pushing to revive nuclear at home since he took office in December.
If one were to paraphrase the view of his pro-nuclear party, it would be, "Fire up the fission. These imported fossil fuels are breaking us."