Photo/IllutrationSadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), speaks at a news conference in Tokyo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

KANAZAWA--The head of Japan’s most powerful business lobby has called for early restarts of the nation’s nuclear power plants despite safety concerns, saying it would enable Japan to meet its climate change-combating commitments.

Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), said at a news conference in Kanazawa on Nov. 8: “I acknowledge that Japanese people are concerned about the safety of nuclear power plants as a matter of course.

“However, I hope the national sentiment will allow the nuclear power plants that have passed safety inspections to restart operations."

In response to the Lower House’s approval of the Paris Agreement on climate change on Nov. 8, the business leader said, “Signing the agreement means that Japan is committed to achieve a very high target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

He emphasized that in order to deliver on Japan’s commitments, it is absolutely necessary for nuclear power plants to restart after obtaining the consent of the local communities hosting them as soon as possible.