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6,500 sign up to save pro-nuclear signs as negative legacy of Fukushima disaster via Asahi Shimbun

FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–A group has submitted a petition with more than 6,500 signatures to preserve two signboards extolling the future of nuclear power here as a testament to the myth of nuclear safety before the 2011 disaster.

Led by Yuji Onuma, 39, the group submitted the petition to the government and the assembly of Futaba, a town that co-hosts the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, on June 8. All town residents have been evacuated.

After receiving the petition, Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa said, “We will take your request into account, give it serious consideration, and make a decision from a broad perspective.”

Onuma is the author of one of the four slogans on the signboards, which were chosen out of numerous submissions made by the public in 1988 as part of a government initiative to promote nuclear energy.

The slogan penned by Onuma says “Genshiryoku–Akarui Mirai no Energy” (Nuclear power is the energy of a bright future).

“Some people may feel uncomfortable every time they see the signboards. Others have asked whether preserving them has a meaning,” said Onuma. “But it is not necessary to remove them in a hurry. We should keep them and discuss the issue.”

Onuma is evacuating in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture. He has installed solar panels on plots of land he has purchased in the municipalities of Sakura and Nasu-Karasuyama, both in Tochigi Prefecture, to create a life free of reliance on nuclear power.

Another slogan was written by Yoshio Takeuchi, 89, who also signed the petition. It says, “Genshiryoku–Kyodo no Hatten Yutakana Mirai” (Nuclear power will bring hometown development and an affluent future).

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