Mayor race plays up restart issue

Kyodo

Campaigning is under way to elect a mayor in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, with the three candidates focusing on whether to restart the Hamaoka nuclear power station that was shut down at the request of the central government after the March 2011 quake and tsunami.

The candidates are two-term incumbent Shigeo Ishihara, 64, travel agent Haruhisa Muramatsu, 60, backed by the Japanese Communist Party, and former city assembly member Katsuhisa Mizuno, 58.

Ishihara said he would decide whether to restart the power plant through discussions with city residents and by taking into account lessons from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, while Muramatsu said the plant should be decommissioned.

The election is Sunday.

Mizuno pledged not to allow the plant to come back online during his term.