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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.


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Rio lagoon filled with 65 tons of dead fish

Heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro caused an ecological nightmare at the lagoon where Olympic rowing will take place in 2016, when 65 tons of dead fish were discovered earlier this week.