Fukushima Prefecture Governor Yuhei Sato called on the central Japanese government this week to shut down all of the area’s nuclear reactors. As one of two nuclear power plants in the prefecture, Fukushima Daiichi was the site of the 2011 meltdown following the March 11th tsunami disaster.
As the central government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is currently working on its fiscal 2014 budget, Governor Sato delivered a letter with his request to Tokyo on Wednesday. He explained that as the host of the worst nuclear accident in the last 25 years, the prefecture of Fukushima now wants to work towards a goal of sustained regional development without relying on nuclear energy. Sato feels the Japanese government should be responsible for decommissioning all the prefecture’s reactors. Out of eight, there are six nuclear reactors in Fukushima that are theoretically capable of operations — the two at the Daiichi plant that weren’t damaged in the 2011 meltdown, and four more at the Daini plant. It has already been decided that all four of the Daiichi reactors will be permanently shut down.
Governor Sato also told Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi that the local Fukushima government wants to make the prefecture a hub for the medical equipment industry, as a part of disaster recovery efforts, the central government should put forth the finances necessary to attract businesses. Sato added that while reconstruction efforts are moving forward, progress still remains slow, even more than two years later. As would be expected, Minister Motegi made no comment about permanently shutting down Fukushima’s reactors. However, he did pledge to work on the request for attracting the medical equipment industry as a part of country’s economic growth strategy.