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REGULATION | Cesar Tordesillas, Japan
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Japan to persuade communities on resuming nuclear operations

The mayor of Genkai, Saga Prefecture, announced that he will agree to allow Kyushu Electric Power Co. to restart the Genkai nuclear power plant's No. 2 and 3 reactors.

 

Mayor Hideo Kishimoto's statement came in response to a call by visiting Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda to permit their restart.

Japan began a campaign  to convince communities hosting nuclear reactors to let operations resume.

Several local governments blocking nuclear power generation after the atomic crisis in Fukushima.

Central government officials held a briefing in Saga prefecture, where two reactors at the Genkai power plant are among several

across the country that were halted for regular checks when a huge quake and tsunami hit on March 11. Local officials have since withheld routine consent for operations to resume, citing safety concerns after the tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has leaked radiation into air, soil and sea.

"If the state guarantees safety, I will soon convey my decision to Kyushu Electric," said Kishimoto.

He is expected to become the first head of a municipality housing nuclear power plants to agree to a restart of operations.

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