September 22, 2014 / 10:59 PM / 3 years ago

Japan will not restart nuclear power plants unless safety is restored: Abe

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to an audience at Columbia University while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, September 22, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Japan will not restart closed-down nuclear plants “unless safety is restored 100 percent,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.

Japan is currently “completely dependent on fossil fuels,” Abe said at the World Leaders Forum, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and that his government is looking to introduce renewable energy sources at a fast pace.

Regarding nuclear power, “only when safety is established will plants return to operation,” Abe said.

Abe’s comments come nearly two weeks after Japan’s nuclear regulator approved the restart of a nuclear power station, the first step to reopening an industry that has been idle since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Diane Craft

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