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Nuclear-free society advocate set to win Kagoshima governor race

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KAGOSHIMA – Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono was heading for victory in the Kagoshima gubernatorial race Sunday, beating incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who agreed to the resumption of reactors at a power plant in the prefecture, a projection showed.

The 58-year-old Mitazono is a former TV Asahi Corp. commentator. He ran as an independent backed by the main opposition Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party as well as some conservatives who typically support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but were opposed to the incumbent.

Ito, 68, with the support of the LDP and its junior coalition partner Komeito, was seeking his fourth four-year term.

One of the contentious issues in the race was the fate of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant in the prefecture.

The Sendai plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 units are the only reactors operating in the country after the government imposed tougher safety rules following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Mitazono demanded that plant operations be temporarily suspended for safety checks in the wake of a series of strong earthquakes that hit central Kyushu in April, while Ito argued that the plant’s safety had been secured.

We will not activate any reactors the safety of which is not guaranteed,” he told reporters on Sunday.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/10/national/politics-diplomacy/nuclear-free-society-advocate-set-win-kagoshima-governor-race/#.V4JQJJl95E5

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July 10, 2016 - Posted by | Japan | ,

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