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Japan’s Upper House Election

text politicsflag-japanUpper House Election 2016 / Nuclear power a nonissue for opposition in Fukui, Japan News The Yomiuri Shimbun, 15 June 16  This is the fourth installment of a series.

Reconstruction Minister Tsuyoshi Takagi, 60, from the House of Representatives’ Fukui Constituency No. 2, held a policy briefing meeting on June 5 in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, that was seen as a rally for restarting nuclear power plants.

“We need to set a clear course on issues such as restarting nuclear plants and the future of Monju,” said Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa, 71, calling for operations to be resumed at reactors that have been deemed safe.

Joining him on the stage were heads of the municipalities of Tsuruga, Mihama, Oi and Takahama, which all host nuclear power plants. House of Councillors President Masaaki Yamazaki, 74, who is seeking a fifth term representing the Fukui constituency, was also in attendance.

After remarks by the local municipal leaders, Yamazaki asked the crowd for their support in the upcoming upper house election. His policy pamphlets and other materials addressing the issue of nuclear power state, “I promote an optimal energy mix based on safety and local development.”

Tsuruga sits on Wakasa Bay, a stretch of coastline that is home to the fast-breeder reactor Monju and 10 commercial nuclear reactors, not counting those slated for decommissioning. It is called “Nuclear Ginza” after the busy area in Tokyo.

Lawsuits seeking the suspension of operations and other issues have hindered efforts to restart the reactors in the wake of the March 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Currently, no reactors are operating in the area……….

In contrast, Tatsuhiro Yokoyama, secretary general of the Fukui branch of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), almost never mentions nuclear power in his speeches on the street.

Yokoyama, 51, is supported by the Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.

“Lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party cannot say no to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I want a Diet that listens to our voices,” he said in a June 8 speech near JR Tsuruga Station.

Yokoyama repeatedly criticized legislation related to national security and Abenomics, but he made no mention of nuclear power…….

June 15, 2016 - Posted by | Japan, politics

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