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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > Father/son politicians greedy for NPP money in Ishikawa
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Father/son politicians greedy for NPP money in Ishikawa

September 13, 2011
Structure of reliance on NPP money (Part 7)

There had always been the shadow of a pair of father/son politicians behind the benefits procured from hosting the Shika Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and a canceled plan to build another NPP in Ishikawa Prefecture. They were Mori Shigeki and his son, Yoshiro, who later became Japan’s prime minister.

In November 1967, Hokuriku Electric Power Co. planned to construct an NPP in Ishikawa’s Shika Town.

Opposed to the plan, local residents formed a liaison council in cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party, the former Socialist Party of Japan, the Japan Scientists Association, and a local trade union. At around the same time, a pro-construction force also launched a campaign to divide the residents.

In May 1972, a local referendum on the pros and cons of the NPP construction plan was cancelled. In March 1973, the power company gave a million yen in cash to each household that agreed to additional land acquisition for the construction of an NPP.

Mori Shigeki used army’s hierarchy

In 1982, the campaign to divide the residents was directed at local fishermen. A person who mediated such maneuvering was Mori Shigeki, mayor of a town near the planned NPP building site. Mori was a friend of the power company’s president, Haratani Keigo. They used to go to the same junior high school. Mori who was also a retired-army officer took advantage of the army connection and put pressure on the local fisheries cooperative’s leader to have its member fishermen accept the NPP construction plan.

Thus, the pro-construction force succeeded in eroding the residents’ resistance and was able to start constructing the plant in 1988. The Shika NPP became fully operational in 1993.

Mori Yoshiro and money from back-alley land deals

Another plan to construct one more NPP emerged after the Shika NPP was approved. This time, the operator was to be Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc (KEPCO). Yoshiro, son of Mori Shigeki, was the International Trade and Industry minister at that time. Mori Yoshiro made a pitch for the new plan at a Cabinet meeting, saying, “The government should unite to support the plan.” With this Cabinet meeting as a trigger, KEPCO openly began acquiring land for a NPP construction site.

In October 1999, Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers took up the issue of KEPCO’s backstage land deals. The JCP lawmakers shed light on KEPCO buying up 100,000 square meters of land behind the scenes through the use of general construction contractors. The JCP parliamentarians also exposed the fact that KEPCO and Shimizu Corporation, a major construction firm, were being blackmailed by an organized crime syndicate demanding about three billion yen in return for its cooperation in finalizing the land acquisition. Money flows surrounding Mori Yoshiro who received donations from construction companies involved in that suspicious land acquisition were also brought to light.

As a result, KEPCO in 2003 eventually gave up the plan to construct another NPP.

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