Masahiro Sakurai (left), a former Kashiwazaki city assemblyman, and Eiko Takeuchi, a former Kashiwazaki municipal government worker, kick off campaigning Sunday for a mayoral race set for Nov. 20.
Campaigning for the mayoral race in the city of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, kicked off Sunday, with two candidates locking horns over whether to approve the restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.
Masahiro Sakurai, 54, a former Kashiwazaki city assemblyman, and Eiko Takeuchi, 47, a former Kashiwazaki municipal government worker, registered their candidacies in the Nov. 20 election to choose a successor to incumbent Mayor Hiroshi Aida, who decided not to see a fourth term.
Sakurai said he would approve the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s nuclear plant if assured of Kashiwazaki citizens’ safety.
Takeuchi, backed by the opposition Democratic Party and Japanese Communist Party, however, has said she would demand that the plant, which straddles Kashiwazaki and the village of Kariwa, be left offline.
Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama, who is reluctant to allow the plant to resume operations, won the gubernatorial election last month.