As Tokyo prepares for its Feb. 9 gubernatorial election, governors of prefectures with nuclear power plants are split over whether they believe the nation's reliance on atomic energy should be a campaign issue.

Some welcome the debate while others argue that candidates and voters should pay more attention to other problems.

"It is very meaningful that the issue (of the future of nuclear power in Japan) is debated in Tokyo, a huge energy-consuming place," Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato said last Wednesday, a day before the Tokyo campaign officially started.