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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 7 - 13  > State pours subsidies to NPP-hosting municipalities
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2011 September 7 - 13 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

State pours subsidies to NPP-hosting municipalities

September 2, 3, 6, 2011
Structure of reliance on NPP money (Part 2)

Fukui Prefecture, where 15 nuclear power plants are concentrated along its coastline, receives about 10 billion yen annually from the national government based on three nuclear-energy related state laws.

From FY 1974 to 2010, Tsuruga City in Fukui was given a total of 46.27 billion yen from the national government for hosting the Turuga nuclear power plant (Japan Atomic Power Co.) and the fast-breeder nuclear reactor “Monju” (Japan Atomic Energy Agency).

Does the “NPP-money” actually contribute to the development of the regional economy?

Yamamoto Kiyoko, Tsuruga City Assembly member of the Japanese Communist Party, said, “The city office has kept using the state subsidies to carry out large-scale public works projects. Meanwhile, it has neglected the promotion of local industries.” Between 1979 and 2009, the number of local manufacturers in Tsuruga City decreased by half.

In 2002, the city office constructed a spa resort complex named “Relaport.” About 70% of the total cost for building the facility, or 2.43 out of 3.5 billion yen, came from the state subsidy it received for accepting “Monju” on its land.

The accumulated deficits of “Relaport” from its opening to FY 2008 amounted to over 700 million yen. The city office commissioned the operation of the resort complex to a private firm in FY 2009. Since then, it has paid 60 million yen to the company every year for operation expenses.

Like Tsuruga City, many NPP-hosting municipalities have spent large portions of the nuclear energy-related subsidies to construct giant public facilities which are costly to maintain and which will eventually place enormous financial burdens on the municipalities.

Corruption in public works projects

The Fukui District Court on August 17 dismissed a lawsuit filed by four local residents, who accused Fukui Governor Nishikawa Issei of having included fictitious orders in a large public work project in order to personally benefit from the NPP-related state subsidies.

The project was to build a park 2 km south of the Takahama NPP in Fukui’s Takahama Town, using 4.5 billion yen including the national funds.

One of the plaintiffs, Matsumoto Hiroshi, 72, said, “As far as I have determined from my research into the matter, there were at least 18 fictitious orders placed with the park construction project, amounting to 1.6 billion yen.” He believes that most of the money was diverted in a secret manner to the prefectural government.

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