Incumbents have suffered one defeat after another in city mayoral elections in Fukushima Prefecture — where more than 140,000 residents remain evacuees some two years and nine months after the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The losing streak that happened this year in the cities of Koriyama, Iwaki, Fukushima and Nihonmatsu reflects local voters' frustration over the lagging decontamination of local communities from the radioactive fallout from the March 2011 nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled plant continues to leak radiation-contaminated water into the environment.

The Abe administration should heed the message voters delivered in the mayoral elections: Local residents are unhappy with the slow pace of reconstruction from the disasters and want the government to make greater efforts.