Japan Nuclear Energy Debate Reignites on Tsunami Anniversary

As Japan marked the third anniversary on Tuesday of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that sparked a nuclear emergency, debate rages as to whether the country should return to nuclear power.

Japan shut down its reactors in the wake of the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to return the resource-poor country back to nuclear energy.

He faces opposition from a wary public as well as high-profile figures such as former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. On Sunday, tens of thousands of Japanese staged an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo, just ahead of the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that claimed nearly 20,000 lives.

“Clearly today, the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, energy is very much in the thinking here as well as the more tragic consequences of the tsunami,” said Alistair Newton, senior political analyst at Nomura, told CNBC from Tokyo.

Japan needs more fossil fuels to make up for the closures of its nuclear power plants, fueling worries that high energy costs could hurt the economy. Data on Monday showed that Japan’s current account deficit widened to a record of 1.589 trillion yen ($15.4 billion) in January.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza