Hiroshima mayor meets with Nagasaki mayor, mentions necessity of reviewing nuclear power generation

On May 10, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui visited Nagasaki for the first time since assuming office in April and met with Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue. At a press conference after their meeting, Mr. Matsui referred to the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and stressed that he would ask the central government to review Japan’s energy policy, including nuclear power generation.

While Mr. Matsui mentioned putting an end to the use of nuclear energy, Mr. Taue maintained a more cautious stance, saying, “It is now time for Japan, as a nation, to discuss both the risks and the merits of nuclear power generation.”

With regard to Mr. Matsui's decision to withdraw from a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, Mayor Taue expressed regret but said, “We would like to join hands in many other ways to appeal for peace to the people of the world.”

The mayors agreed to strengthen cooperation in promoting the efforts of Mayors for Peace, led by the two cities, and of the National Council of Japan Nuclear Free Local Authorities. They also confirmed that Hiroshima and Nagasaki will continue to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons. As for the lingering crisis at the nuclear power plant, they both agreed on the importance of disseminating accurate information on radiation. The two cities will also unite in efforts to provide support to the afflicted areas.

After the press conference, Mr. Matsui explained that, when he was commenting on nuclear power generation, he was not making reference to any specific construction plans involving nuclear power plants, including the Kaminoseki nuclear power plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

(Originally published on May 11, 2011)