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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 November 7 - 13  > Anti-nuclear lawyer to run in Tokyo gubernatorial election
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2012 November 7 - 13 TOP3 [TOKYO]

Anti-nuclear lawyer to run in Tokyo gubernatorial election

November 10, 2012
Former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) Utsunomiya Kenji, who has been dealing with the poverty problem for a long time, announced on November 9 his candidacy for the Tokyo gubernatorial election.

The election is to be declared on November 29 and held on December 16.

Dozens of famous figures including Utsunomiya and Nobel literature prize winner Oe Kenzaburo on November 6 formed a civil group to create a “people-oriented” metropolitan government, following Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro’s sudden resignation in late October.

The group strongly criticized in its statement Ishihara’s misgovernment lasting over 13 years for drastically cutting welfare services while sinking the taxpayers’ money into large-scale development projects. It also pointed out that the ex-governor destroyed democracy in school education as well as regimented the teaching staff.

Utsunomiya published his campaign platform composed of four pillars: creating a Tokyo where everyone can lead a decent life and his/her dignity is fully respected: striving for a “zero nuclear” society from Tokyo: getting back democracy in school education: and building a peaceful and people-friendly Tokyo based on the Japanese Constitution.

Referring to his experience engaged in a variety of activities supporting the survivors of the Great East Japan Disaster, the candidate said, “Once a nuclear accident occurs, there will be no way to recover the original condition. I believe it is urgently needed to obtain a national consensus to create a nuclear-free society.”

Utsunomiya has been working hard to help persons with multiple debts since he started his career as a lawyer. He tackled the issue of mass dismissals of temporary workers following the Lehman Shock in the autumn of 2008, serving as the head of the “tent village” built in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, a shelter for dismissed temporary employees. Utsunomiya is now the representative of the Anti-Poverty Network.
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