The issue of nuclear energy has been hotly debated amongst the citizens of Japan following the March 11 disaster. One the views that has been frequently voiced is the opinion that Japan should turn away from nuclear energy altogether. Among those who support this vision is Yoshihiko Noda, the current Prime Minister. However, his view has shifted over the past two months. Noda’s recent decision to follow through on a deal with the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, to assist in the development of Vietnamese nuclear power plants has raised concerns among Japan’s media.
Viewing the deal as a primarily political maneuver, The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest newspaper, argued that the exportation of nuclear plant technology is not appropriate when considering the Fukushima disaster. Instead, the publication suggested that the government consider other kinds of assistance, such as “building infrastructure, developing natural energy sources and promoting personal exchanges.” These alternatives are much more favorable for Japan’s image and future, argued the newspaper.
However, despite these concerns, the Japanese government has begun to pursue similar nuclear-energy possibilities with India and Turkey. While these deals may prove to be beneficial for the country’s political ties and stagnant economy, they clearly overlook the ongoing nuclear crisis plaguing its citizens, suggested the politically liberal newspaper.
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