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Japanese Contenders

220px-Tetsunari_iida2The Times has the story:

The race in Yamaguchi Prefecture between Tetsunari Iida, the founder of a renewable energy research institute and a leading figure in Japan's emerging antinuclear movement, and Shigetaro Yamamoto, a conservative former government official, had been seen as a test of how much the grass-roots protest movement had influenced public opinion.

This is the part that could use a little more elaboration.

Although Mr. Iida lost, the results were encouraging for the antinuclear camp, with a strong showing in a region considered to be a conservative stronghold. With 99 percent of the votes counted, Mr. Yamamoto had received 252,420 votes, or 47.6 percent, to Mr. Iida's 185,567 votes, or 35 percent, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

I assume conservative candidates usually win in Yamaguchi with a higher proportion of the vote, but however you slice it, 35 percent is a dreadful number. To put a different spin on this – and this is about politics, so the name of the game is spin – Iida may have run as a single subject, anti-nuclear energy candidate. Single issue candidates rarely win because constituent interests run to more than one issue in almost any given election.

But, really, what does it matter? If the anti-nuclear crowd wanted this to be a referendum, so be it. They lost. They don’t get to turn a miserable drubbing into some kind of symbolic victory. They get to eat dust for dinner. That’s what happens when you lose. That’s politics.

Tetsunari Iida. We’re being a little harsh here, but really, Mr. Iida may be a perfectly viable candidate in a different context. More issues and close attention to prospective constituents and their needs may do the trick for him, even in a district not in total sync with his views.

Comments

Pete51 said…
On a separate topic, on the NEI Twitter feeds on the right, there is an entry: From the Dept. of Ironic Ironies–GE Division, but the link doesn't seem to work. Thought you should know....
Kenny Herrick said…
Sign my pro nuclear energy petition http://wh.gov/1fZo
jim said…
This is the time for whatever pro-nuclear organizations in Japan to seize the rungs with aggressive nuclear education. An electorate that mostly votes on nightmares and fear is a dangerously vulnerable and gullible electorate, one which spinelessly unscrupulous anti-nukers pounce on. The biggest irony to me is that all this fear acts as though the reactors actually KILLED someone! I recall once on a news show that a thousand public fatalities from a oil or gas facility would be ACCEPTABLE to keep the "fixed" place running, and if a LNG tanker detonated in NYC harbor and wiped out part of Brooklyn that those tankers wouldn't miss a knot beat around the world. Yet Japan's ravaged nukes kills on one -- and going even more overboard, they illogically shut down perfectly sound reactors not in peril! Is this all knee-jerk craziness or what? Japan's pro-nukers must shove some comparative perspectives and common sense on their population before they toss the baby out with the bathwater irrationally ditching nuclear for fossil fuels whose effects as _normal course of operation_ historically induce aliments and pollution affecting millions, never mind far more occasional multiple fatality accidents! If there was a way pro-nukers here could assist pro-nukers there it'd be to all our mutual advantage.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

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