English translation of a Japanese article from Gendai Net – July 2, 2012 –
Denuclearization Advocator Candidate Makes Great Strides in Yamaguchi Gubernatorial Election
Tide Has Completely Changed!
Wide Range of Support from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Japanese Communist Party (JCP)
We see an unexpected development in the Yamaguchi Gubernatorial Election (to be announced on 12th and to be held on 29th). As the seats in the Yamaguchi prefectural assembly are almost occupied by LDP, at first Mr. Shigetaro Yamamoto, 63, supported by LDP and New Komeito was considered a sure winner in the election. However, the future is uncertain now. Mr. Tetsuya Iida, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policy (nonprofit organization), announced to run for the election on 22nd last month and has rapidly gained support.
Needless to say, Mr. Iida is the most well-known person among intellectuals promoting denuclearization. Coincidently, Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) restarted the No. 3 reactor at Ohi Nuclear Power Plant on 1st this month. Last weekend 150,000 people marched to call for denuclearization in front of the prime minister’s official residence. This momentum is spreading to Yamaguchi Prefecture, too.
On 1st Mr. Iida set up his campaign office in Yamaguchi City. He has held mini meetings at various places in the city with thirty to fifty participants in each meeting. There were 150 participants in the meeting in Ube City.
“Volunteers supporting the election campaign are women and young people, who are all beyond the framework of a network of organizations, communities, blood relations, or political parties. This kind of volunteer network movement is rapidly spreading within the prefecture and there are requests for leaflets or flyers for the election campaign everywhere in various cities.”
(Mr. Hajime Yokota, a journalist who has covered the election campaign)
An expert on election campaign estimates the number of possible votes for Mr. Iida as follows:
“Mr. Iida worked as a brain for Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto. He was in charge of energy issues and logically pointed out the “lie” of power shortages predicted by KEPCO, which aimed to restart the Ohi nuclear power plant. Since then he has been known better. Based on this accomplishment, he is expected to get the “fundamental votes” of “Osaka Restoration Group” and furthermore, he is sure to win the votes from advocates of denuclearization, the Social Democratic Party and Japanese Communist Party. As Mr. Iida has posted a series of articles on energy issues on the Seikyo Shimbun, he will be able to make some inroads into New Komeito votes. As the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)’s Yamaguchi Prefecture chapter announced an open policy vote, he is expected to collect half of the votes. There are many people, even LDP supporters, who show some understanding over Mr. Iida’s proposal for “employment creation by expanding sustainable energy use.”
Residents of the prefecture pay yearly 100 billion yen of energy cost. Most of it is used in payment for imported energy. With a conversion into natural energy use, money will be pumped into the local community. This is one of the policies Mr. Iida proposes.
In addition, the rival candidate Shigetaro Yamamoto is badly reputed for his arrogance. If a political change should occur in Yamaguchi, it will spread across the country.