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A guide to the dynamic economics, politics, and culture of the world's most populous region.

Japan to mandate solar power?

Japan might require all new buildings to have built-in solar panels by 2030.
Japan solar panels 2011 05 23Enlarge
A technician works near solar panels in southern France. (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)

The bad news continues to flow from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), which runs the plant, today confirmed that there have been partial meltdowns in fuel rods at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors.

And yet, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to announce the country's intention continue operating nuclear plants (they currently have 54) after ensuring their safety.

On a sidenote, though, Kan is also expected to announce that Japan is considering mandating solar power — as in making it a requirement for all new buildings and houses to come with solar panels by 2030.

We'll see what he actually comes forward with on Thursday, the first of the two-day G8 Summit in Deauville, France.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/japan-bye-bye-nuclear-power

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Rio lagoon filled with 65 tons of dead fish

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