Japan's recent decision to phase out nuclear power had a lot of loopholes to let plants keep operating, but it was opposed by business lobbyists who persuaded the government to drop it on Wednesday. Now, the goal to go non-nuclear has been relegated to little more than a side-note in the country's energy policy, The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi reports: "The cabinet on Wednesday said only that it would 'take into consideration' the goal to eliminate nuclear power by 2040, laid down in a policy document released last week."
"The business community absolutely cannot accept this strategy," Hiromasa Yonekura, the chairman of Keidanren, Japan's largest business lobby, said on Tuesday. "I ask the government to draw up from scratch, a responsible energy policy."
On Wednesday the government announced its new energy policy would have no hard deadlines to get off nuclear. "Japan will craft its post-Fukushima energy policy 'with flexibility, based on tireless verification and re-examination,' the cabinet’s resolution read," according to Tabuchi.
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