In the debate over the future of nuclear power, which provided about a third of Japan's electricity needs before the Fukushima disaster began in 2011, commentators for and against resuming its use have argued their case.

Experts on both sides often rely on arguments couched in status-quo assumptions or general platitudes. Serious discussions are backed by mind-numbing details on endless PowerPoint slides, requiring the patience of Buddha to endure, let alone comprehend.

But in the Kansai region, which relied on nuclear power for nearly half of its electricity before the three core meltdowns in March 2011, and in Fukui Prefecture, where 13 reactors supplied it, one reason for going back to nuclear requires neither a degree in economics nor nuclear engineering to understand. It's just good old-fashioned pork-barrel politics.