Japan not considering new reactors to help reach 2050 carbon-neutral goal

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is not considering building new nuclear power plants to help it become carbon-free by 2050, the government's top spokesman said on Wednesday.

Japan is the world's fifth-biggest emitter, and tackling emissions from utilities that make up about 4/5ths of carbon dioxide output will play a big part in reaching the deadline set by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

"At this stage we are not considering the construction of additional nuclear power plants," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news briefing.

The government is reviewing energy policy and is looking to make use of reusable energy sources and existing nuclear plants that can be operated safely, he added.

Suga unveiled the 2050 goal after Japan said it aimed to be carbon-free sometime in the second half of the century. That change brings it in line with the European Union.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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