Nuclear safety, route plans for new shinkansen and maglev lines, and the ruling coalition’s economic policies are some of the top local issues on the minds of Kansai voters as they head into the pivotal Upper House election next month.

With last week’s announcement that the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved restarting reactors 1 and 2 at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, both of which are over 40 years old, Kansai voters face the prospect of choosing pro-nuclear politicians from the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito who are pushing the restart of the region’s reactors — or opposition party candidates who are against restarts and seeking a fundamental change in the government’s energy policy, which calls for atomic power to provide 20 to 22 percent of Japan’s electricity by 2030.

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