Photo/IllutrationJunichiro Koizumi, far right, and Morihiro Hosokawa, far left, at a news conference in the Diet on Jan. 10 (Takeshi Iwashita)

Former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa on Jan. 10 announced the drafting of a "bill" to immediately halt all nuclear power plants in Japan and require electricity needs to be met with renewable sources by 2050.

In a news conference, Koizumi said while it would be difficult phasing out nuclear energy under the Abe administration, the proposal would pave the way for a major shift in the country’s energy policy.

“We will definitely abolish all nuclear plants in the near future with support from a majority of the public,” said Koizumi, who has been campaigning to reduce Japan’s nuclear dependency to zero.

“Once the bill begins to be discussed in the Diet, citizens will be awakened (to face the nuclear issue).”

The bill was drafted by the confederation for scrapping nuclear plants and promoting natural energy (Genjiren). Koizumi and Hosokawa serve as advisers for the group, which is headed by Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara, former president of Johnan Shinkin Bank.

Koizumi emphasized his intention to build closer ties with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), an opposition party that aims to introduce a zero nuclear plant bill.

Other pillars of Koizumi and Hosokawa's bill include a ban on resuming operations of existing nuclear reactors and building new ones, withdrawal from the nuclear fuel recycling project and a freeze of nuclear plant exports.

After the news conference, Genjiren called on CDP members to reconsider their planned bill that would exceptionally allow nuclear plants to resume operations in an emergency, such as when Japan cannot import oil.

“The name of the game is the immediate halt on nuclear plants,” said lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai, secretary-general of Genjiren.

The group is scheduled to discuss the issue with Kibo no To (Hope), another opposition party that supports phasing out nuclear energy, on Jan. 12.