Besieged Futaba mayor to resign

JIJI

Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, one of the two host towns of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, is stepping down.

Idogawa said Wednesday at a meeting of senior town officials he intends to quit and then submitted his letter of resignation to the secretariat of the town assembly.

He is set to resign Feb. 12 and an election for a new mayor will be held within 50 days.

Futaba transferred its administrative functions to the city of Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, after the nuclear crisis forced the city to evacuate to safer areas. All Futaba residents have been evacuated due to the nuclear crisis.

On Dec. 20, the town assembly unanimously passed a no-confidence motion against Idogawa, accusing him of not attending a key meeting on a central government plan to construct temporary facilities to store waste from decontaminated areas polluted with radioactive substances released from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant.

In response, he dissolved the assembly Dec. 26. After Idogawa’s resignation, the town temporarily won’t have a mayor or assembly.

An election for new assembly members is slated for Feb. 3. All eight former members are expected to run unopposed.