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Anti-nuclear activists and lawyers have long accused the industry of covering up accidents, falsifying safety reports, bullying opponents and colluding with organized crime gangs that allegedly supply temporary workers to nuclear plants.

Mizuho Fukushima, the leader of Japan’s Social Democratic Party, and a group of scientists and academics argued this week that Japan should move toward safer, renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Ms. Fukushima, whose green-oriented party bolted the government coalition last year over a variety of issues, praised Prime Minister Naoto Kan for calling for European-style “stress tests” before reactors can restart.

“It put a stop to this great momentum of METI, which has been enthusiastic about restarting reactors,” she said. “It’s obvious that safety standards were inadequate.”

She said Mr. Kan “has no vested interests with the nuclear industry in Japan.” But she worries that his eventual successor might lack his fervor for replacing nuclear power with renewable energy. She also lambasted the opposition Liberal Democratic Party for its “50-year history of colluding with the nuclear industry.”

She said stress tests “shouldn’t be some kind of camouflage to reassure the public and restart reactors.” She said METI has been dictating energy policy without public consultation.

“I hope there will be more consultations in [parliament] and with the public. It’s important for democracy in Japan,” she said.

Michiji Konuma — leader of the Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeal, formed in 1955 by Nobel laureates and others — said he sees no future for nuclear power plants in Japan or the world.

“Many people in the world feel there is still a need for nuclear plants to provide energy. We are appealing to them to understand what really happened to people in Chernobyl and Fukushima that you could lose your homes and your way of life,” Mr. Konuma said, referring to Ukraine’s nuclear disaster in 1986 and Japan’s nuclear crisis that began in Fukushima province.

“People can endure and live their lives without so much electricity. Alternative energy sources can take care of the world’s energy needs. Japan has not worked hard enough on this issue.”

In the 1950s, Mr. Konuma was a member of Japan’s science council during debates about adopting nuclear power.

“We talked about the possibilities of earthquakes, the economic consequences of a nuclear disaster, and whether we could take care of disposing of nuclear waste,” said Mr. Konuma, now a physicist at Tokyo’s Keio University.

“If I have any regret, it’s that we did not pursue this debate further and work harder to delay the construction of these plants.”

Kinhide Mushakouji, a professor at Osaka University of Economics and Law, called the Fukushima disaster “Japan’s third atomic explosion,” after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

“The right to live in peace from fear and want is part of the Japanese Constitution’s preamble. Now in Fukushima, the Japanese state itself is violating this right,” he said.

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