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Tokyo governor announces ¥4 billion renewable energy fund

Tokyo’s new governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, who was sworn into office last week, has announced the creation of a public-private fund for the region to use for investment in renewable energy.

The proposed fund could reach ¥4 billion (US$39 million), with the prefectural government expected to budget around ¥1 billion (US$9.8 million) this fiscal year toward renewable energy projects.

Masuzoe announced the fund on Friday at his first regular press conference since being sworn in on 11 February. The governor said that it was his goal to expand renewable energy generation, while also stating that if possible he hoped the renewable energy funds could be used to help the disaster-struck Tohoku region.

No further details on what the fund will be spent on have yet been provided.

Former political commentator Masuzoe has been described as the “pro-nuclear” candidate of three frontrunners in the election. Masuzoe has advocated a gradual phase out of nuclear energy in the country, while his opponents have backed the immediate shutting down of nuclear generation in the wake of damage to the power plant at Fukushima following the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

Controversially, Masuzoe was also quoted as having claimed in 1989 that women are not suited to political decision making. A low turnout was recorded for the election as Tokyo was hit by the heaviest snowfall for decades.

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