Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…