(1) Dreifachkatastrophe Fukushima in 2011, bes. AKW & Radioaktivität und
(2) Untergang der Fähre SEWOL am 16.04.2014 mit 304 meist Kindern an Bord
Namie mayoral candidate seeks votes of Fukushima evacuees in Tokyo’s Shibuya
By CHIKAKO KAWAHARA/ Staff Writer
In front of bustling Shibuya Station in Tokyo, passers-by paid little attention to a candidate stating his campaign platform.
It's likely that most wouldn't have been interested anyway in the issues in the mayoral election in far-off Namie, Fukushima Prefecture.
But due to the nuclear accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, Namie residents have evacuated far and wide.
“The accident even destroyed the election, which forms the basis of democracy,” the candidate said on Nov. 9 in his stump speech in the nation’s capital.
After the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, Namie, located north of the crippled plant, was entirely evacuated with residents spreading out across Japan. About 30 percent of them moved to 45 prefectures outside Fukushima Prefecture.
The candidate left Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, where he evacuated to, early in the morning on Nov. 9 and drove to Tokyo in his election campaign car. About 20 Namie residents gathered near the station to listen to his campaign message and get an update on the current situation in their hometown.
A 49-year-old female part-time worker who evacuated to Saitama from Namie was among his sparse audience.
“I am sad that no one stops to hear his speech,” she said, adding that she came here instead of her parents, who are in their 80s.
The candidates for the Namie mayoral election were announced on Nov. 5. The three candidates who are running in the poll, which will be held Nov. 15, are Keizo Oguro, the 59-year-old former chairman of the Namie town assembly; Bunsei Watanabe, the 65-year-old former vice mayor of Namie; and Tamotsu Baba, the 66-year-old incumbent Namie mayor.
Oguro and Watanabe are running for mayor for the first time while Baba is seeking a third term. None of the candidates are affiliated with any party. The election results will be announced on the same day.
Registered voters living outside Fukushima Prefecture can obtain a ballot through the mail and cast their vote at the election commission offices in the municipalities where they evacuated to.