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2012年 10月 26日

Direct Democracy Struggles to Make Headway

Direct Democracy Struggles to Make Headway(SNA News, October 15, 2012)

...The only other major referendum effort underway at present is in Niigata Prefecture where the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant is located. It is one of the largest nuclear power facilities in the world which, at full operations, can generate a total of 8.21 gigawatts of output, or enough to serve the energy needs of about 2.7 million households. At present, however, all the reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa are idle.

Keiko Hashimoto, a joint representative for the citizen group organizing the petition drive in Niigata Prefecture, questions the whole process of how the Shizuoka Prefectural Assembly handled the petition. “The Assembly made its move with a negative approach from the start,” she tells the SNA, “and so the referendum was always likely to be denied.”

In Niigata Prefecture, however, there is some history of popular voting against nuclear power plant construction. Indeed, in the 1990s and early 2000s a citizens’ movement forced the Tohoku Electric Power Company to withdraw its plans to construct a nuclear plant in the town of Maki (now called Nishikan-ku in an expanded Niigata City).

Still, Ms. Hashimoto realizes that the circumstances of the struggle of Maki Town and the much larger issue of a referendum on the extant Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant are rather different. In those days, for example, the citizens’ movement in Maki had time to elect a new mayor and new assembly members who were opposed to the construction plan.

At any rate, Ms. Hashimoto’s group has already collected more than 67,000 signatures, enough to ask the governor to seek legislation for a popular referendum.

They plan to submit the petition soon and expect the deliberations of the Niigata Prefectural Assembly to begin early next year.


(posted by Ben 10people10color)
[PR]

by nonukes_niigata | 2012-10-26 21:34 | English | Comments(1)
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