Looking to harness public opposition to nuclear power following the Fukushima catastrophe, Japanese citizens, anti-nuclear and environment groups have launched a new political party, Midori no To (Greens Japan). The party plans to field 10 candidates in the Upper House election scheduled for mid-2013 and intends to field candidates in the proportional representation bloc of Tokyo in the Lower House election, which must be held by late 2013. The Party's core policy is to substantially increase the use of renewable energy sources to end Japan's dependence on nuclear power and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. "I hope we can become a party that reflects the public's desire to abolish nuclear power," said Nao Suguro, a key figure and a member of the Suginami Ward Assembly in Tokyo. The party also opposes the export of nuclear power technology and Japan's possible entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations. Instead Greens Japan is calling for an economy centered on local production and consumption, improved social security programs through fair sharing of tax burdens and increased participation in democratic processes.
The new party sprang from a political organization called Midori no Mirai (Green Future), comprising about 70 lawmakers in local assemblies and others. The organization was disbanded to form Greens Japan, with 1,000 members of Green Future joining the new party.
The launch of the new party was attended by Green Parliamentarians Bärbel Höhn from Germany and Scott Ludlum from Australia as well as representatives of Green parties in India, Taiwan and Korea.
In-depth coverage: New Green Party formed in Japan; Group seeks to reflect anti-nuclear, environmental, pro-democracy movements. Green Pages, newspaper of the Green Party of the United States. (English)
More news reports:
The Japan Times (English)
The Asihi Shimbun (English)
The Guardian (English)
Le Monde (French)
Tages Schau (German)