Fresh controversy for Japanese nuclear as ex-KEPCO president reveals secret payments

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Chimori Naito, the former vice president of Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO), a leading provider of nuclear power, has admitted to secretly paying seven of Japan’s prime ministers 20,000,000 yen (about $200,000) on an annual basis for 18 years.
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The secret payments were made in the 1970s and 1980s, according to an interview Naito gave the Asahi Shimbun, Japan‘s leading daily newspaper. Naito said he felt obliged to come clean about the relationship between the company and government following the mishandling of the Fukushima incident.

According to the report, such donations were not illegal at the time but were banned by Japanese power companies in 1974. The latest revelations have added fresh impetus for opponents of nuclear within Japan to have nuclear energy banned entirely.

In April the government unveiled a revision to its energy policy, which previously envisioned a nuclear-free Japan by the 2030s. In the new plan the government calls for efforts to “promote reactivation of nuclear reactors”. Currently, nuclear power is responsible for à‚ 30 per cent of Japan’s electrical power.

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