How local democracy shut down Japan’s nuclear power plants


Fearing a public backlash at local polls, no local government in Japan would dare to re-start a reactor in their locality now.

For the article below, I interviewed scholar-activist Prof Ohashi Masaaki of Japan.

In a lesson for countries everywhere, Japan’s vibrant local democracy is sealing the fate of the country’s once-entrenched network of nuclear power plants.

After the Fukushima disaster on 11 March 2011, the nuclear energy industry in Japan came under intense public scrutiny. Japan has 54 nuclear reactors in 17 locations. Already 52 reactors (including the eight in Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station, four of which were damaged or had serious problems) have been stopped while the remaining two are coming up for periodic inspection.

Visting Japanese scholar-activist Ohashi Masaaki stresses that local government consent is essential for any reactor to be restarted. “This is the nice part of decentralisation,” says the professor of international development, NGO studies and South Asia studies at Keisen University, looking relaxed in his hotel room at the end of a whirlwind speaking tour to universities in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. “Although the central government wants to have a nuclear reactor, the local government has a right to say ‘No’.”

Full article in the Aliran website.

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20 Jul 2012 2.07pm

According to the front-page reporting of Guang Ming newspaper today, Bolehland has identified 7 potential sites for nuclear plant in peninsula Malaysia.

Anil could do a bit of investigative reporting on this potentially explosive issue.

22 Apr 2012 12.03pm

Next Sunday remember to wear yellow-green combo-color shirt for sit in event & against radioactive/raw earth waste at esplanade.

after that go for kopi o kau kau and can recommend to traveling minister Yen2 about the best kopi o kau kau in Penang.

22 Apr 2012 3.44pm
Reply to  tuakee

Please remember next Sat at 2pm @ Esplanade, datang la beramai-ramai duduk bantah Berhsih 3.0, afterthat can go minum kopi o, ok?

Please come out and dont sit at home ya? TQ!

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
22 Apr 2012 9.59am

We eventually need nuclear power plants. So, I see no points for objecting it except to badmouth BN initiative in Malaysia power masterplan. BN intention in nuclear power plants show that BN are planning for Malaysia. We cannot rely on gas+petroleum endlessly for our power needs. Something safe and economically viable option like nuclear power plants are our main selection. Yes, nuclear power plants are safe. Look at US, Japan and others. Even substandard China can maintain many nuclear power plants safely, I believe our local boys and girls can do it too. We believe in 1Malaysia and Malaysia Boleh… Read more »

Pala Richie
Pala Richie
22 Apr 2012 11.30am
Reply to  Gerakan K

Right, when you can live with Umno, BN ways of governance, what is nuclear plant risk? sap-sap-soi la.

To prove we are indeed boleh, BN should consider building a nuclear plant next to Putrajaya, get the AELB to in charge for the plant design & construction.

Yes! 1 Malaysia! When is the election? bring it on.

Abdul Manan Muhamad
22 Apr 2012 6.45am