Voter turnout low in Tokyo governor election

Picture expired. A woman walks in front of a board displaying candidates for the Tokyo gubernatorial election in Tokyo. AFP

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  • 7

    ssenipah

    despite his alignment with the government on the need to restart Japan’s idled nuclear reactors.

    Let them start any reactor that is actually in Tokyo. Anything else let the local voters decide. Tokyo is rich enough to build their own reactors.

  • -4

    Heda_Madness

    There seem to be a lot of issues that cover this election. Why does JT seem to think that nuclear is the key today, when yesterday it was women's rights.

  • 1

    hereforever

    Even if Masuzoe gets no votes he'll still take it. The LDP is out of control and no one can stop them.

  • 10

    zichi

    Future use of nuclear energy remains on many peoples agenda but so does preparing Tokyo to withstand a powerful earthquake. Two thirds of local assemblies with nuclear energy plants do not want any reactor restarts. This week, a reactor inspection in Hokkaido failed the new NRA inspections and will require further updates before the power utility can make another inspection application.

  • 13

    FightingViking

    It's a pity we foreigners (Permanent Residents) don't get a chance to vote - after all, we also live here, pay taxes here and I have a feeling Hosokawa would have a better chance of winning...

  • 14

    JeffLee

    Once again, Japanese voters will choose the leader they deserve.

  • 14

    zichi

    Prior to the 2011 nuclear disaster, Tokyo was serviced by 17 TEPCO reactors, 10 at two Fukushima plants and 7 at its Niigata plant. The first Fukushima plant lost 7 reactors to the nuclear disaster and the 4 reactors at the second Fukushima plant will never again be given permission to restart even though TEPCO has spent ¥billions restoring the plant after the earthquake and tsunami damage.

    The NRA still have to make a decision about the Niigata plant and whether its on an active fault line. There are 7 reactors at the plant.

    Tokyo is now in a position to make a major decision how its power will be generated not only for the next 10 years but also the next 50 years and beyond. That shouldn't be nuclear energy and the capital city should seek to improve on its use of renewable energy as well as new technologies.

  • -4

    Strangerland

    Coal based energy kills 10s of thousands every year, and is a major contributor to climate changes. Nuclear energy is clean. If done properly, nuclear power is much preferable to coal power. The only problem is that the Japanese cannot be trusted to do nuclear power properly, as Tepco has proven so effectively.

  • 2

    edojin

    Older voters having a difficult time getting to the polls in some areas in downtown Tokyo today due to the heavy snowfall yesterday. Slushy snow about a foot thick on side roads & alleys is causing walking difficulties for elderly voters. But perhaps conditions will be better by this afternoon as the sun is out and the temperature seems to be rising.

  • 12

    wipeout

    Coal based energy kills 10s of thousands every year, and is a major contributor to climate changes. Nuclear energy is clean. If done properly, nuclear power is much preferable to coal power. The only problem is that the Japanese cannot be trusted to do nuclear power properly, as Tepco has proven so effectively.

    Of course that isn't the only problem with nuclear power.

    Nuclear power itself contains the seeds for uncontrolled disaster, as we had at Fukushima and the Soviet Union had with Chernobyl.

    A power source that can (and has) rendered large areas of land unlivable and unusable cannot be described as clean. You do understand that evacuees in Fukushima had to leave their houses within a matter of hours, don't you?

  • 16

    zichi

    Nuclear energy can't actually replace fossil fuels because its not possible to build enough reactors. Current global power demand is 15TW, maximum capacity from nuclear energy is 375GW. And that's without 1.5 billion people who have no form of electricity.

    Even in this country prior to the nuclear disaster, nuclear energy was only able to generate about 27% of total power and might have reached 40% by 2050 if the road of nuclear energy continued which now seems unlikely, at least in its previous form. At best about 15%-20% could come from nuclear energy.

    Nuclear energy was suppose to be cheap but the nuclear disaster clean up will cost more than ¥50 trillion. We paid once for nuclear energy with our power charges and now we must pay again to clean up the disaster.

    Meanwhile, TEPCO's major concern is getting back into profit, at the expense of all of us?

  • 1

    warispeace

    This election shows Japan more than ever is an "Only Country for Old Men", and it looks like the outcome will be the election of a guy who cases little about creating a safe, sustainable, just and fair city for the people residing in Tokyo.

  • 0

    Utrack

    waste 2 energy power plants

  • -7

    homleand

    "despite his alignment with the government on the need to restart Japan’s idled nuclear reactors."

    I would say not despite, but because of. The electorate are no fools; they know the plants need to be running and more need to be built, to keep the economy booming and to keep the job marketing going. They also know the plants need to be outside Tokyo, in rural areas, for safety reasons. And, a leader aligned with the LDP is a must, as the LDP will be in power for the foreseeable future. The LDP basically is the government of Japan, and it's in the best interest of the people of Tokyo to get on board with the winning team.

  • 12

    Alex Einz

    I think permanent resident foreigners should be allowed to vote in municipal elections.Those people chose and went thru the process to be able to live here independently, pay taxes and are directly influenced by the government changes .

  • 2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    NHK says turnout is less than 5% so far.

  • -4

    Strangerland

    A power source that can (and has) rendered large areas of land unlivable and unusable cannot be described as clean. You do understand that evacuees in Fukushima had to leave their houses within a matter of hours, don't you?

    There have been three major meltdowns. How many millions have died in the same period of time as a result of coal usage? And the Fukushima disaster was a result of incompetent management of a 40 year old reactor. With newer reactors and competent management combined with independent oversight, nuclear power is a much safer and cleaner alternative to coal.

    That said, renewable resources such as solar and wind power are preferable to both.

  • 6

    Raymond Chuang

    They'll be lucky if the turnout of the Tokyo governor election approaches 50%, given the worst snowstorm to hit the Kanto Plain in several decades. (I can just see many Japanese saying the snowstorm is the result of the kami are not happy over the voter choices in this election.) The snow was so deep even a vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive would have difficulty travelling on it.

  • 2

    Jimizo

    It's dangerous outside, particularly for seniors ( people who actually bother voting ) and the candidates are hardly inspiring enough to get people to brave the conditions. 40% turnout?

  • 3

    kurisupisu

    'Some people said nuclear issues should not be on the agenda for Tokyo as it has no nuclear power stations, he noted.'

    That's one for the people in Tokyo to consider whilst sipping their cesium laden green tea whilst savouring their mislabeled fish supper.......

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    I wonder if the 82% don't bother to vote so they can complain later. It's a shame they can't see their 'shou ga nai' attitude and complete apathy is what causes their own grief in most cases.

  • 3

    Kurobune

    Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy posting on JT !

  • 2

    Scrote

    I had hoped that the weather would keep all the elderly, LDP supporters at home, allowing a victory for someone else. But, alas, the youngsters are only interested in their mobile phones.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Kurobune: "Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy posting on JT !"

    Why? We can't vote anyway.

  • -3

    hereforever

    Turnout low or votes mysteriously disappeared to favor Masuzoe. Like I said before, LDP is unstoppable!

  • 1

    Pukey2

    A 72-year-old woman said she voted for Masuzoe as he appeared to care more about issues affecting the elderly.

    And I wonder whether she knows what Masuzoe thinks about women!

    “I tried to resume working some time ago but was told by a Tokyo city official that it would deprive young people of jobs,” the discontented pensioner told AFP.

    Jesus Christ! In any sane nation, she'd be retired or at least looking forward to retiring. It doesn't surprise me one bit that only ONE contender is under 50 years old. There are two over EIGHTY years old! I don't hate old people, but I think any decent city deserves someone with enough energy to run a city properly, be able to travel and is not expected to have a heart attack any moment.

    In the end, Tokyo and Japan deserve what they ask for. Those able to go out and vote but can't be bothered have no right to complain about the outcome.

  • 0

    mr_jgb

    Probably most Japanese surrender to "business as usual" or inertia or status quo despite unsustainable outcome. So Tokyo will probably get a status quo governor.

  • 0

    homleand

    “I tried to resume working some time ago but was told by a Tokyo city official that it would deprive young people of jobs,” the discontented pensioner told AFP.

    Why would you listen to them? Do what's best for you.

  • 0

    B.B.Q.Demon

    The Japanese will eventually shoganai themselves into extinction. The choice of candidates is a joke. Lame, really old, or both. Yet, no one gets upset...shoganai.

  • 4

    zichi

    Coal based energy kills 10s of thousands every year, and is a major contributor to climate changes. Nuclear energy is clean. If done properly, nuclear power is much preferable to coal power. The only problem is that the Japanese cannot be trusted to do nuclear power properly, as Tepco has proven so effectively.

    TEPCO had never used much coal for power generation. The TEPCO service area which includes about 50 million people, summer peak demand is 65GW. Coal capacity is about 1.6GW. The loss of the 17GW nuclear capacity was picked by by an increase in oil and LNG. Hydro also provides the area with 8GW.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the election will be removed.

  • 1

    Patric Spohn

    What a self explainable headline. Today snow chaos first time in 40 years. Doh!

  • 1

    Kurobune

    @smith 5:38p - Exactly !

  • 0

    Jean ValJean

    So the biggest weakling among the group of weaklings with no actual ideas won 30% of the vote from 46% of eligible voters who bothered to show up. And he probably believes he has a voter "mandate" because of the Sokka Gakkai cultists who support him? Yep, Tokyoites got the buffoon they deserve, along with the buffoon's inept master.

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