Japan's New Environment Minister Speaks To Media

Japan's new environment minister speaks to media

Japan's new Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi has pledged to make the most of his high profile to tackle climate change.

Koizumi, the son of popular former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, arrived at the Environment Ministry Wednesday evening following the first Cabinet meeting after a reshuffle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day.

He shook hands with every ministry employees who greeted him at the entrance and later spoke for an hour at a news conference.

On measures to fight global warming, Koizumi said the government's policy is to reduce dependence on coal-fired power generation.

He said he will also continue to seek ways to eliminate nuclear power, and make renewable energy Japan's main source of power.

Reporters pointed out that interest in climate change seems low in Japan. Koizumi said climate change should be a compulsory subject from now on.

He also said information about climate change needs to be voiced more effectively. He added he thinks that is the reason he was chosen for the environment portfolio.

The new minister also spoke about the law stipulating that soil removed in decontamination work after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident will be finally disposed of outside Fukushima Prefecture by 2045.

He said the government must keep its promise to the people of Fukushima, but that would not be possible unless a site for final disposal is found.

He said it is his job to find out what the government can do to identify such a site.