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Japan Moves Closer to Approving Post-Fukushima Energy Policy

Japan moved closer to approving a policy that will endorse the use of nuclear power and guide the consumption and production after a group formed by the ruling parties reached agreement.

The Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner New Komeito finished up weeks of debate on a draft of a policy presented in February that described nuclear energy as “an important base-load energy source.”

The parties will hold meetings with their own members to discuss today’s agreement before the plan is sent for Cabinet approval, Taku Yamamoto, a LDP lawmaker, said at a press conference.

While the Komeito had been campaigning for inclusion of a clean energy target, the parties compromised. They decided that the plan should add a sentence “Japan will aim to introduce clean energy at levels that further exceeds” previously announced targets, said Tetsuo Saito, a New Komeito lawmaker. The previous targets envision the country getting about 20 percent of electricity from clean energy by 2030.

The phrase waters down language that the parties proposed earlier. They said last week that they want clean energy to “significantly” exceed the old targets.

Japan currently gets 1.6 percent of its power from wind, solar and other renewable sources. Hydropower provides 8.4 percent.

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