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Nuclear power industry manipulates Japanese politicians

corruptionNuclear power backers picking up steam on reactor restarts THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, by Senior Staff Writer Atsushi Komori and Kaname Kakuta. 23 Dec 13 Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster triggered feverish calls among citizens and even politicians to abandon the nation’s reliance on nuclear power.

But almost three years later, pro-nuclear officials, business leaders and utilities wielding awesome economic and political clout are regaining strength and maneuvering to tighten the noose around local government leaders who have been demanding that Japan do away with nuclear power.

LDP, DPJ SUPPORT ‘NOT ANTI-NUKE’ CANDIDATE

One example is the way the recent mayoral race in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, played out. Tokai is home to the Tokai nuclear power plant, the nation’s first nuclear plant, and the Tokai No. 2 plant, along with related facilities.

Osamu Yamada won the September election with support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

The LDP has championed nuclear power for decades and is eager to get the nation’s reactors back online, arguing that this clean source of energy is indispensable to propping up the economy.

The DPJ, on the other hand, has been promoting a nuclear phaseout by the end of 2039. However, many DPJ members in local chapters are not on board, as became clear in the Tokai mayoral race……..

Murakami’s growing call for mothballing the Tokai No. 2 plant alarmed Kenjiro Shimoji, a member of the Ibaraki prefectural assembly and whose constituency includes Tokai, along with six pro-nuclear members of the village assembly.

They criticized Murakami, saying he had not listened to the viewpoints of others and ignored the fact that those who work in nuclear facilities in the village have contributed to the community’s well-being.

They also blasted Murakami for championing a nuclear phaseout after the village saw a steep decline in sales at convenience stores and hotels due to the suspension of operations at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant after the Fukushima crisis.

Shimoji has strong ties with the nuclear industry……..

The pro-nuclear bloc considered the recent Tokai mayoral election as one they could not afford to lose. They moved fast to select a candidate who was not averse to the continuation of nuclear power generation…….

Power utilities, which have stable revenue from electricity rates under a regional monopoly system, are also dominating players in regional economies. Regional business federations have often been headed by top executives of power utilities.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. is no exception.

Shingo Matsuo, its honorary adviser, served as chairman of the Fukuoka-based utility when he was named chairman of the Kyushu Economic Federation……..

SHIGA GOVERNOR FEELS DWARFED BY POLITICAL PUNCH OF POWER INDUSTRY

Elsewhere, on the political scene, Shiga Prefecture Governor Yukiko Kada said she realized the enormous clout of the electric power industry when two reactors were reactivated at the Oi nuclear power plant in neighboring Fukui Prefecture in summer 2012.

Kada said her resistance to the restarts was tamped down by pressure that came from all sides…….Kada is currently worried about the chances of re-election for a fellow governor, Hirohiko Izumida of Niigata Prefecture, who remains cautious about approving the restart of a nuclear plant in his own prefecture.

“The power industry is so influential that nobody can antagonize it and still be elected,” Kada said……

NIIGATA GOVERNOR UNDER MOUNTING PRESSURE

Izumida is little different from many of his fellow governors in that he counts local business circles among his core power bases. …..

A separate consortium of companies in the nuclear power sector in Niigata Prefecture also held a lecture session in Kashiwazaki in September to promote the use of nuclear energy to revitalize the regional economy.

Meanwhile, Governor Izumida is standing firm……….  http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/analysis/AJ201312230062

December 24, 2013 - Posted by | Japan, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties

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