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A referendum for Hamaoka?

September 19, 2012


Shizuoka Gov. seeks referendum on whether to restart nuclear plant



SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) -- Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu on Wednesday submitted an ordinance bill to the prefectural assembly calling for a referendum on whether to restart the suspended Hamaoka nuclear power station.

The move came after a civic group collected a total of 165,127 signatures to urge the prefectural government to enact an ordinance to hold a nonbinding referendum on the restart of the plant on the Pacific coast.

The Hamaoka complex in Omaezaki is known to be standing on an assumed epicenter area for a massive earthquake.

The proposal will be discussed and voted on at a plenary session of the assembly on Oct. 11.

Kawakatsu had been negative on holding a plebiscite on the issue but changed his stance after seeing the petition, saying, "The nuclear power plant is an attention-grabbing matter. I fully understand" people's wish to express their opinions.

People's bids in Tokyo and Osaka for similar referendums were rejected by their respective assemblies.

The Hamaoka plant, operated by Chubu Electric Power Co., has been suspended since May last year at the government's request in the wake of the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


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