Officials find Oi split on reactor restarts via The Japan Times Online

OI, Fukui Pref. — Officials from the central government announced they made progress on convincing residents that it is safe to restart two idled reactors at Oi’s nuclear plant during a meeting Thursday evening.

But only around 540 people turned up for the event, less than 6 percent of the town’s inhabitants and only 10 percent of its registered voters.


“My personal opinion is that while some people who asked questions were opposed to restarting the two units, the general atmosphere was not one of strong opposition” to such a move, Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, senior vice minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said immediately after the meeting.


Security was extremely tight for the invitation-only meeting, with attendees having to empty their pockets and pass through metal detectors normally used at airports. Security guards also checked all their bags using an X-ray machine, and even scanned their faces and bodies with hand-held devices.

In addition, no food or drink was allowed inside the venue — including bottled water — even though the meeting ran for two hours and the local weather was humid Thursday. A public park adjacent to the hall was also closed to keep antinuclear protesters away, while private security guards stopped and inspected every car and truck headed to the venue, resulting in many attendees being ferried to the meeting in chartered buses.

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