Japan politics shifts to pro-nuclear and restarting nuclear reactors

Almost three years after Fukushima, 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.

Pro-nuclear candidates are winning elections for mayor over anti-nuclear candidates.

Pro-nuclear Osuma Yamada won a landslide against his opponent, who was supported by the Japanese Communist Party and ran on the platform of pulling the plug on nuclear power. Yamada’s victory was a bitter irony to his predecessor, Tatsuya Murakami. Murakami played a prominent role in efforts by local leaders around the nation to advance the idea of a nuclear phaseout through a network called “Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan,” which was first organized in 2012.

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