Japan’s new Prime Minister has called for nuclear power plants shut down following the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year to be restarted.
In his first speech to parliament since taking office two weeks ago, Yoshihiko Noda admitted that over the long term, Japan would have to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy.
Noda warned that taxes will have to rise to fund the 95-billion-euro reconstruction bill following the disaster in March.
“To enable us to begin the recovery of the disaster-affected regions, we need commitment and cooperation between government and opposition parties and I ask you for support in this matter,” Noda told lawmakers.
The March earthquake caused the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years at the north-eastern Fukushima plant.
On Sunday, more than 2,500 anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets of Tokyo to mark six months since the disaster.
They called for a complete shutdown of Japan’s nuclear power plants.