Shinzo Abe of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party marks the name of a parliamentary election winner at party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday. Japan's conservative LDP stormed back to power Sunday after three years in opposition.
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won resoundingly in parliamentary elections Sunday that both Washington and Beijing were watching carefully. The conservative LDP's hawkish leader, Shinzo Abe, will become Japan's prime minister for the second time and has pledged to take a harder line on China.
Speaking on Japanese TV, Abe had a message for Japan's most important ally, America, and another for Japan's biggest rival — China.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:14 am
Smoke rises from Unit No. 3 of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Credit Anonymous / AP
In a dramatic reversal, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted for the first time that if it had fixed known safety issues, Japan's nuclear disaster following the March 2011 tsunami could have been avoided.
The Associated Press says the utility company made the admission in a statement released Friday. The AP reports the company said it delayed implementing the safety measures because of political, economic and legal pressures.
The 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident did not just turn the Japanese against nuclear energy, virtually overnight it has legitimized the act of public protest in a country where few people have been willing to take political issues to the streets. Lucy Craft reports from Tokyo.
LUCY CRAFT, BYLINE: Nagatacho is Tokyo's Capitol Hill, home to parliament and the prime minister. It's a part of town few Japanese ever set foot in. But in the post-Fukushima era, this is the new normal.
Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Credit Koji Sasahara / AP
After a tsunami disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March of 2011, residents of the nearby city of Minamisoma, just 14 miles from the plant, were evacuated.
But within a few months, most returned to their homes. Still, many communities near the plant have remained skeptical and concerned about possible radiation exposure.
To find out how much radiation exposure these people have received, Japanese researchers measured levels of radioactive cesium in nearly 10,000 residents starting six months after the incident.
A worker on a newly constructed transmission tower near Buetzow, Germany, earlier this month. The German government plans to shut down nuclear power plants and is seeking to replace that production with power from renewable energy sources, especially wind turbines and solar parks. New power transmission lines will be needed.
After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.
The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.