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» Two members of Kagoshima Prefectural Assembly have close family ties to nuclear industry

Two members of a 15-person Kagoshima Prefectural Assembly committee that approved the restart of Sendai Nuclear Power Plant have close family ties to firms hired by plant operator Kyushu Electric Power Co. to do construction work at that very power station, it has been learned.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) assembly members Katsuzo Hokazono and Kaneoki Obata also both received “consulting” and “advisory” fees from these family firms. The companies have received at least 10 orders worth a total of some 170 million yen from Kyushu Electric since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

According to construction records submitted to the prefecture and other sources, from May 2011 to March last year, Kyushu Electric contracted two construction companies run by Hokazono’s son and nephew to do six jobs at the Sendai plant, including building a parking lot and waterproofing the area around sea water pumps. The firms, directly hired once and five times as subcontractors, were paid a total of 78.58 million yen. They were also hired by the utility to do work unrelated to nuclear power plants. According to income statements, Hokazono received consulting income from both firms until autumn 2011.

A construction company owned by relatives of Obata, meanwhile, took four work orders at the Sendai plant between January 2012 and June 2013, including jobs related to bringing safety measures up to new government standards for restart. All four jobs were contracted directly by Kyushu Electric, with a total value of 96.27 million yen. Obata was a paid adviser to the construction firm at the time.

<Media Report>
Kagoshima assemblymen on nuke safety body tied to firms with Kyushu Electric contracts (Mainichi Newspaper)


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