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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 14 - 20  > JCP increases its votes in NPP-dependent municipalities
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2013 August 14 - 20 TOP3 [JCP]

JCP increases its votes in NPP-dependent municipalities

August 20, 2013
In the Reinan Region (Fukui Prefecture), which has 15 nuclear reactors in two cities and four towns, the Japanese Communist Party calling for an immediate departure from nuclear power generation increased the number of votes it received in the House of Councilors election last month.

In Tsuruga City where the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant and fast-breeder reactor “Monju” are located, the JCP obtained 2,296 votes or 7.97% of the total in the proportional representation constituency, up from 1,539 votes (4.65%) in the 2010 Upper House election.

An 81-year-old woman who voted for the JCP said, “I think the JCP attracted more support from the public because of its reasonable policy proposals.” She added she doesn’t want to pass dangerous nuclear reactors down to the future generations, and so decided to join the JCP after the election.

The Oi NPP in Oi Town has the only reactors which are currently online in Japan. As around half of Oi Town residents are said to engage in NPP-related jobs, it is difficult for them to openly raise voices against NPPs. However, the JCP doubled its votes to 210 (4.39%) from the previous Upper House election.

Saruhashi Takumi, 58, has been sounding a warning about the risk of nuclear accidents since he was first elected as an Oi Town Assembly member 30 years ago. He said, “It is usually very difficult to gather votes for the JCP in such a conservative town. (However,) this time, we obtained much more support from residents than we had expected.”

In Takahama Town, which hosts the Takahama NPP, the JCP in the proportional representation district increased its votes to 245 (4.67%) from 183 (3.14%) in the Lower House election last December.

A 73-year-old resident who had worked for a NPP-related company said, “It is only natural that the JCP received more votes than before because other opposition parties could not clearly express opposition to nuclear power generation.” He added, “The JCP always listens to ordinary people. That’s what I like about the JCP. I hope the party will continue to confront the government while making counterproposals.”

JCP Reinan Regional Committee Chair Yamamoto Masahiko pointed out that public opinion in the region has changed greatly after the Fukushima nuclear accident two years ago. He said, “We have made an advance in votes in municipalities with nuclear power plants. It confirmed our conviction that Japan’s departure from nuclear power is getting nearer,” and expressed his intention to gather more support for the JCP through on-the-ground efforts.
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