Mayor dissolves Futaba assembly amid nuke row

JIJI

Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of the fallout-stricken town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, has dissolved the town assembly following the passage of a no-confidence motion against him related to storage facilities for radioactive waste.

The assembly unanimously passed the no-confidence motion Dec. 20 after Idogawa missed a meeting in which representatives from other nearby municipalities decided to let the Environment Ministry conduct an on-site survey for building the “temporary” facilities, which will store waste tainted by radioactive fallout ejected by the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, which is partially in Futaba.

Idogawa, who opposed the storage plan, had to decide whether to dissolve the assembly or quit.

“It was a tough decision,” he said Wednesday.

Under the Public Offices Election Law, an election must be held within 40 days of the assembly’s dissolution. Idogawa will automatically lose his job if the motion is readopted at the assembly’s first meeting after the election.