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» Three anti-nuclear candidates defeated by pro-nuclear deputy mayor on the mayoral election at Rokkasho

The pro-nuclear deputy mayor won the mayoral election in Rokkassho village on June 22, in a sweeping victory over opponents advocating against the nuclear fuel cycle program in the area.

The mayoral election was the first to be called in the village since the outbreak of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Fukushima Prefecture in March 2011.

Mamoru Toda, 67, won the mayoral race after garnering 95 percent of the vote — or 5,144 votes — with the backing of former Mayor Kenji Furukawa and all 18 members of the village assembly. Toda beat three other candidates who are opposed to the area’s nuclear fuel cycle program, with the latter three gaining a mere 270 votes altogether. The voter turnout was 62.94 percent.

Behind the election results lies the fact that the nuclear fuel cycle program brings in massive amounts of subsidies and employment to the village. “If you are against the nuclear fuel cycle program, you won’t make a living here,” said one villager.

A farmer who worked for Toda’s camp confessed, “I’m actually opposed (to the nuclear fuel cycle program). It brings nothing good for us. But if we remain against it, we won’t be able to make ends meet.”

Keiko Kikukawa, 65, who ran in the mayoral race calling for a village without a nuclear fuel cycle program, pointed out the realities faced by the village. “Young people here either leave this village or work in nuclear power-related businesses.”
<Media Report>
Pro-nuclear deputy mayor wins Rokkasho mayoral race (Mainichi Newspaper)

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