JSA’s Urgent Statement to support Tsushima Mayor’s Decision not to apply for “Literature Investigation” of Nuclear Waste Final Repository

On September 27, 2023, Tsushima Mayor HITAKATSU Naoki opened his intention to the municipal assembly that Tsushima-city, Nagasaki prefecture, will not apply for the “literature investigation” of the nuclear waste final repository. We, the Japan Scientists’ Association (JSA), praise his fine decision and respect Tsushima residents’ patient effort against the national enforcement of the “negative legacy” derived from deadlocked nuclear energy development policy.

In June, both of proponents and opponents submitted their petitions for/against “literature investigation” to the municipal assembly. In the special committee on August 16, 9 representatives were for the proponents’ petitions and 7 were against. The voting result of the municipal assembly on September 12 was 10 to 8. It meant that proponents and opponents were almost equally matched in the municipal assembly and the mayor decided not to apply because of the lack of consensus-building among citizens. As a whole, such a deliberative process is a model of democracy and local autonomy. Therefore, Japanese governmental authority should take the Tsushima mayor’s decision seriously.

Nuclear energy proponents and government will probably make a counterattack. Someone might be vulnerable to such a discourse as if Tsushma’s decision were local egoism. In reality, national policy sacrificing peripheral regions should be blamed. We support a sound consensus-building through transparent procedure and public participation and will continuously search for democratic resolution of nuclear waste problem.

October 2, 2023
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