Hokkaido city files lawsuit to stop nuclear plant construction in Aomori via Mainichi

The Hakodate Municipal Government on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido filed a lawsuit on April 3 against the state and a utility firm to freeze construction of a nuclear power plant in neighboring Aomori Prefecture.

The lawsuit was filed with the Tokyo District Court. It is the first lawsuit by a local government seeking an injunction against a nuclear plant. The main focus of the lawsuit is on whether the court will grant the local municipality that does not host a nuclear power station but falls within a radius of 30 kilometers from a planned nuclear plant the right to approve or disapprove a plan to build a nuclear power station in its vicinity.

Electric Power Development Co., known as J-Power, started building a nuclear power plant in Oma, Aomori Prefecture, in May 2008 after receiving government approval. But the construction work was suspended in the wake of the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Although the then government led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided “not to build new nuclear power plants,” it approved the resumption of the construction of the power station in October 2012 on the grounds that the facility that had already been under construction would not fall into the category of new nuclear power plants to be built.

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