JAPAN: Mainichi Uncovers Clandestine Nuclear Power Meetings

Energy production has been a pressing issue for Japanese politicians and journalists lately, especially as the summer heat approaches. Concerns over possible obligatory blackouts have fueled debates regarding the future of the nation’s nuclear facilities. In light of these ongoing discussions, The Mainichi, Japan’s third leading daily, obtained documents earlier this month detailing secret meetings that were held concerning Japan’s unstable nuclear energy program.
Between May 24th and 26th, The Mainichi uncovered a series of memos describing clandestine meetings dating back as early as 2004. From last November to this April, “23 closed-door meetings” alone were held. Conducted by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), the topics discussed ranged from changes in the nation’s nuclear policy to developments in new technology.
The most recent “study session,” as those involved call the meetings, was held on April 24th, 2012. According to the memos uncovered by The Mainichi, the purpose of the gathering was “to draft a report on the country’s policy of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.” A revised version of the report will allegedly be given to the nation’s Energy and Environment council in the near future. What is particularly interesting, however, is that those who attended the recent meeting, and sessions prior to it, consisted solely of officials in favor of nuclear energy usage. According to the Japanese media, such an imbalance has sparked an increase in concern over the future of the nation’s nuclear policy. As noted by The Mainichi, it is evident that the “policy making process has been distorted.”

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