Post-quake Japan pledges green energy overhaul

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Japan will boost its share of green energy to 20 percent of total power supply by 2020, following its worst nuclear crisis, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told G8 leaders Thursday.

Tokyo also aims to bring down the cost of solar power generation to a third of its present level by 2020 and to a sixth by 2030, he said, adding that the government aims to install solar panels in 10 million households.

Kan's comments were relayed by a senior official after he spoke to leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States at the Group of Eight summit in the French seaside resort of Deauville.

Japan is struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March that left 25,000 people dead and an ongoing nuclear crisis that has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes. The country now faces an energy crunch.

"What we've learnt from the earthquake and tsunami is that we should not fear nature, but should live harmoniously with it, harnessing to the maximum what nature has to offer us," Kan said, according to the official.

In addition to nuclear power and fossil fuels, the two pillars of Japan's energy policy, the government needs to develop renewable energy and energy conservation as two additional pillars, he added.

"It is our historic responsibility to transmit the lessons to people around the world and to future generations."

Nuclear energy currently makes up about a third of Japan's overall energy supply. In energy policy adopted last year, Tokyo aimed to boost that to 50 percent by 2030, while renewable energy was to make up just one percent.

© 2011 AFP

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