Mayor Backing Radioactive Waste Survey Wins Hokkaido Village Poll

Politics

Kamoenai, Hokkaido, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)--A closely watched mayoral election Sunday in a Japanese village where a survey is underway for picking a possible final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste ended in the victory of the municipality's incumbent leader, who decided to accept the implementation of the investigation.

Masayuki Takahashi, the 71-year-old incumbent mayor of Kamoenai in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, won a sixth term in the election, beating his sole contender, Hideyuki Seo, 79, a former company president and opponent of nuclear power generation. This was the first mayoral election in the village in 36 years.

Voter turnout came to 89.24 pct. Takahashi collected 559 votes, against 48 votes for Seo. Both candidates ran in the election as independents.

In Kamoenai, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, is conducting the so-called literature survey, the first in the three-stage survey for choosing a site for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power stations.

During the election campaign period, Takahashi and Seo had a heated debate on the village's moves after the end of the literature survey.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press