12:45-14:15 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture
静岡県知事 川勝 平太
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics campaign brought renewed world scrutiny to the stalled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear cleanup and Tokyo's ability to control the radioactive leaks into the sea. But the success of the Olympic campaign has also brought hope that Japan will use the next seven years to reshape its tourism industry to make the nation's many attractions more accessible to visitors. Nothing says Beautiful Japan more than the sight of the snow-capped Mount Fuji.
Shizuoka Prefecture is both home to Chubu Electric Power Co's Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which was idled after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, and to the main entry point to Mt. Fuji, including its stunning view from the bullet train. Its website proudly declares itself "Home to Mt Fuji."
Heita Kawakatsu, an Oxford-educated economist, was elected to a second term as Shizuoka governor in June after a three-way race defined by the candidates' positions on whether or not, Hamaoka should be restarted. The DPJ-backed Kawakatsu pushed for a referendum on the restart, while the LDP's candidate favoured a central government-led decision, and the Communist candidate argued for the decommissioning of the plant.
Governor Kawakatsu will speak on the challenges ahead for Shizuoka and Japan's energy policy, and the hope he has for the nation's tourism, symbolized by that sacred mountain Fuji.