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Analysis: Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear party could win power in Japan

Protesters take part in an anti-nuclear demonstration demanding a stop to the resumption of nuclear power operations, in front of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo June 29, 2012. Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster. But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16, 2012 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power. Instead, it would underline a lack of credible anti-nuclear political standard bearers in Japan and the ability of the LDP to focus the debate on security matters and the stalled economy. To match Insight JAPAN-ELECTION/NUCLEAR REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Protesters take part in an anti-nuclear demonstration demanding a stop to the resumption of nuclear power operations, in front of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo June 29, 2012. Japanese voters look likely to hand...more

Protesters take part in an anti-nuclear demonstration demanding a stop to the resumption of nuclear power operations, in front of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo June 29, 2012. Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster. But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16, 2012 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power. Instead, it would underline a lack of credible anti-nuclear political standard bearers in Japan and the ability of the LDP to focus the debate on security matters and the stalled economy. To match Insight JAPAN-ELECTION/NUCLEAR REUTERS/Toru Hanai
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A worker walks near a large machine hatch inside Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Unit 3 reactor in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, in this file handout image taken by a gamma ray camera on June 9, 2011 and released by TEPCO June 11, 2011. Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster. But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16, 2012 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power. To match Analysis JAPAN-ELECTION/NUCLEAR Mandatory credit. REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout/File

A worker walks near a large machine hatch inside Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Unit 3 reactor in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, in this file handout image taken by a gamma ray camera on June 9, 2011...more

A worker walks near a large machine hatch inside Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Unit 3 reactor in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, in this file handout image taken by a gamma ray camera on June 9, 2011 and released by TEPCO June 11, 2011. Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster. But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16, 2012 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power. To match Analysis JAPAN-ELECTION/NUCLEAR Mandatory credit. REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout/File
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