Nuclear future bright in post-election Japan

Plans to phase out nuclear power in Japan by 2030 are on ice after a landslide victory for the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party.

The LDP won 294 out of 480 seats in the first election since nearly all of the country’s 50 commercial nuclear reactors went offline in the wake of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The future of nuclear power in the country had been a hot-button issue throughout the campaign.

In September, the government of outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had announced a plan to completely phase out nuclear power in Japan by 2030, a policy the LDP leader - and expected incoming Prime Minister - Shinzo Abe called “irresponsible.”

Noda has pledged to step down as leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, which won a disappointing 57 seats in Japan’s lower house.

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