TOKYO, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Cabinet led by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Wednesday postponed a decision on the government's energy and environment strategy, which calls for elimination of nuclear power in the nation by the 2030s.
The Cabinet instead approved only the basic policy at a meeting, which raises the possibility of strategy reviewing through discussion with municipalities that host nuclear plants and the international community, leaving wiggle room for a policy fine- tuning.
On the same day, candidates running for the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election on Sept. 26 rapped the government for seeking to phase out nuclear power in the 2030s, contending it would lead to losing the country's coveted nuclear technology.
"At this stage, we should not let nuclear power go away as a viable tool,"former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a press conference in Tokyo, which was joined by three other contenders for the presidency. Without nuclear power, he added, Japanese manufacturers would be forced to move overseas in search of stable power supply.
Ex-Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba also voiced concern about Japan being ridded of its edge in nuclear technology if the government moves ahead with the zero-nuclear policy, citing a civilian nuclear cooperation pact Japan has signed with the United States.