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Niigata Pref. Nuclear Power Opponent Governor Out of The Way

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Was he pressured to drop out?

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, said he won’t run for a fourth term and dropped out of the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 16.

The move may affect Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s efforts to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in the prefecture. According to Bloomberg, Tokyo Electric rose as much as 12 percent to 417 yen, the biggest intraday increase since May 2015, and traded at 394 yen at 9:32 a.m. Tokyo time. The Topix index rose as much as 1 percent.

Tepco Rises Most in Year After Governor Opposing Restart Retires

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, jumped the most in more than a year after a prefecture governor opposing the restart of one of its reactors abandoned his bid for re-election.

Tokyo Electric rose as much as 12 percent to 417 yen, the biggest intraday increase since May 2015, and traded at 394 yen at 9:32 a.m. Tokyo time. The Topix index rose as much as 1 percent.

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, said he won’t run for a fourth term and dropped out of the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 16, according to a personal statement posted on a website of supporters. Izumida opposed Tokyo Electric’s plan to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the world’s largest facility, located in Niigata prefecture. Local government approval is typically sought by Japanese utilities before they restart nuclear reactors, though not required by law.

With Izumida out of the picture, the chance of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa’s reactors restarting has increased, said Hidetoshi Shioda, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, who views the retirement as a positive for Tokyo Electric shares.

Izumida had demanded that Tokyo Electric further investigate the cause of the triple meltdown at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 before restarting any reactors. 

The next Niigata governor will likely not make as many relentless demands as Izumida,” SMBC’s Shioda said.

Tepco, as the company is known, has applied to restart No. 6 and 7 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. Running one reactor boosts Tepco’s profits by as much as 10 billion yen ($97 million) a month, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Monday.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/tepco-rises-most-in-year-after-governor-opposing-restart-retires

Niigata Pref. nuclear power opponent governor won’t stand for re-election

NIIGATA — Gov. Hirohiko Izumida has retracted his announcement that he will run in the upcoming gubernatorial election to seek a fourth term.

Since Izumida has adopted a cautious stance toward the restarting of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture, his decision not to run in the election will likely have a huge impact on the issue. All seven reactors at the power station, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., have been idle since March 2012 in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The campaign for the Oct. 16 Niigata gubernatorial election is to kick off on Sept. 29.

Izumida’s decision not to run in the election is linked to his criticism of a report in the Niigata Nippo regional daily over a dispute involving a subsidiary of a shipping company funded by the prefectural government.

In an interview with news organizations, Izumida said, “It’s important to have prefectural residents know the facts, but I feel my appeal never reached the residents. Even if I requested the newspaper to correct its report, the daily would never do so, which prompted me to abandon running in the race.”

At a prefectural assembly session in February this year, Izumida announced that he would run in the gubernatorial election to seek a fourth four-year term. However, his retraction of his candidacy leaves Nagaoka Mayor Tamio Mori, 67, who heads the Japan Association of City Mayors, as the only person who has announced his candidacy.

It came to light this past July that Japan Shipping Exchange Inc., an arbitration organization, had ordered a shipping company’s subsidiary funded by the prefectural government to pay 160 million yen to a South Korean company following a dispute over the purchase of a ferry.

The Niigata Nippo published a series of articles holding the Niigata Prefectural Government responsible for the case.

In response, the prefectural government has dismissed the accusations saying, “The daily’s coverage is incorrect,” and repeatedly urged the newspaper to correct its reports.

The Niigata Nippo is set to release a statement to express its views on the case.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160831/p2a/00m/0na/008000c

 

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September 1, 2016 - Posted by | Japan | , , ,

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