Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is blaming the “national tragedy” of a recent nuclear accident on a “federal government” that is not accountable to the Japanese people.
Abe, who has called on the federal government to be reformed, told a news conference on Wednesday that the nuclear accident was the result of a “central government policy” of neglect.
Abe is calling on the prime minister of neighboring China to be held accountable for the nuclear disaster.
He also called on former prime minister Yoshihiko Noda to resign.
At the end of his speech, Abe, a former economics professor, said he wants to be remembered as the “leader of the generation who won the Nobel Peace prize.”
The prime minister also promised to change Japan’s political system, and “make the Japanese economy more efficient.”
Abe said that he would make it easier for citizens to file complaints about government mismanagement, corruption, or mismanagement of the economy.
“I want to make the Japanese government work more efficiently and for the sake of the people, I will change the way the country works,” he said.
The nuclear accident in Japan’s northeastern city of Fukushima has been blamed for a massive radioactive leak.
The plant, located about 90 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Tokyo, shut down for more than a month after a tsunami struck the plant in 2011.
Abe’s comments come after he called on China to “stop interfering” in the country’s affairs and said he is “deeply troubled” by reports of the latest nuclear accident.
The Japanese government, he said, must “stop this nonsense.”
On Wednesday, Abe visited a nuclear power plant in southern Japan and spoke to the owner of a small steelmaking company that had suffered a similar accident.
Abe said he wanted to “bring back to life the spirit of the nation” that has made the country a model for other countries.
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident, Abe’s government has been criticized for its handling of the disaster and the subsequent nuclear meltdowns.
Last month, Abe promised that Japan would not allow the country to become a “nuclear-armed zone,” and on Wednesday he said he would not accept the results of a nuclear accident if the country is placed in such a situation.