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Prime Minister calls for long term energy policy

Japan's prime minister Junichiro Koizumi has asked his cabinet to draft a long term energy plan which goes beyond 2010 and which features the increased use of renewables and other alternatives to oil. At present the renewables target is for just 1.35% of electricity supply, or about 3000 MW of capacity by 2010. Koizumi maintains that nuclear power is an important source of energy for Japan, but concedes it could be difficult to increase the number of nuclear power plants. Recent surges in crude oil prices to record levels are behind the call for a new policy.

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