They are both graduates from Tokyo University Law School. After their career in the national government bureaucracy, they "descended from heaven" and landed on political careers.
Mayor Takao Abe of Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture was actually the first to declare war against citizens who do not want to have disaster debris that has been contaminated with the fallout from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant to be burned in their midst (literally) and buried. On April 6, 2011 he declared his city would accept disaster debris from FUKUSHIMA (not Miyagi or Iwate) and burn it in the city's incineration plant.
Mayor Abe says he will simply ignore the opposition when it comes to disaster debris processing in his city, and he will be willing to go it alone without the prefecture-wide consensus in Kanagawa (because there won't be any).
From Sponichi Annex (2/20/2012):
During the regular press conference on February 20, Mayor of Kawasaki City Takao Abe indicated that his city would consider accepting the disaster debris over the opposition [from the residents] against the Kanagawa prefectural government that declared it would accept the disaster debris. He said, "(Kawasaki City) will ignore any opposition that is unreasonable."
Mayor Abe had offered to accept the disaster debris from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima last April. However, since the amount of the debris is too large, the plan to process the debris have stalled due to the lack of leadership from the national government. When asked if there's a concrete schedule for accepting the debris, Mayor Abe avoided being specific by just saying "It is not established yet."
He criticized the opposition by saying, "There are people who oppose no matter what, even with the objective data that vouches safety. In the end, someone has to make the final decision and carry it out in a responsible manner."
The Kanagawa prefectural government has come up the plan to burn the debris in Kawasaki City and other locations and bury it [the ashes, non-flammable debris] in the final disposal site in Yokosuka City. But the plan has stalled at the opposition from the residents.
Kanagawa Governor and former TV personality Kuroiwa cried on camera the other day to appeal to the Kanagawa residents. He wants Kawasaki, Yokohama, and Sagamihara to burn the debris and dump it in the final disposal site in Yokosuka, where the local residents have suffered enough from the poor management of the site.
I would love to hear how Mayor Abe is going to take responsibility if a negative consequence from the debris burning ever occurs.
The mayor's declaration last April (April 6, 2011 to be exact) that he was going to bring Fukushima debris to Kawasaki and burn it alarmed the residents so much that they immediately organized themselves into opposing the mayor's unilateral move.
Mayor Abe was born in today's Fukushima City in Fukushima Prefecture, is a graduate of the prestegious Tokyo University Law School and a former career bureaucrat at the Ministry of Home Affairs (which was re-integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2001) with a stint in the Environment Agency (which has become the Ministry of the Environment) before he successfully ran for mayorship in Kawasaki City in 2001.
Now, on to Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, which has been largely spared from the contamination from Fukushima I Nuke Plant. Governor Hirose, a former super-elite bureaucrat, wants to help out Tohoku so much that he's willing to subject the prefecture to potential contamination from radioactive materials that deposited on the disaster debris, not to mention arsenic and the host of other toxic substances.
From Oita Godo Shinbun (2/20/2012):
Governor of Oita Prefecture Katsusada Hirose held a regular press conference on February 20 and said he wanted to move forward on accepting the disaster debris. "We need to consider from a nation-wide perspective [when it comes to disaster debris] from locations that are far away from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and there's no need to worry about radioactive materials", he said.
Governor Hirose disclosed that he had been in negotiation with the municipalities over the disaster debris, and appealed to the residents by saying "Over time, I would like the residents to understand."
As to the inspection of radioactive materials on accepting the debris, he said emphatically, "It is a matter of course that we will thoroughly check at the exit [after the debris is burned], and check at the entrance [before the debris is burned]."
The elite governor and former top bureaucrat at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry thinks the radiation contamination lessens by the distance. I guess he believes in contamination in concentric circles just like the Kan administration officials. I guess he's never seen the radiation contour map by Professor Hayakawa. Or even the map by the Ministry of Education.
Mayor Abe pales in comparison with Governor Hirose in terms of achievement as a career bureaucrat. Mr. Hirose was the highest-ranking bureaucrat as the Administrative Vice Minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the most powerful ministry of the Japanese government. The position is as the highest as a career bureaucrat can rise to, in the Japanese government system. Then he descended from heaven to succeed the governorship from his predescessor who had become the governor after successful career at the Ministry.
If Governor Hirose gets his way, there goes the very thriving business by the farmers in Oita who have had brisk sales of their radiation-free produce to the consumers in eastern Japan. Oita is famous for shiitake mushrooms. Bye bye to them also. Call it "baseless rumors", but it is a defense mechanism left for consumers as the governments at all levels side with the producers of Tohoku (and to a lesser degree, of northern Kanto).
Governor of Tokyo Ishihara told the Tokyo residents to "shut up", and will burn the radioactive debris from Miyagi Prefecture in the incineration plants in the populous 23 Special Wards. Mayor of Shimada City Sakurai proudly declared he is subjecting the residents of Shimada to an "experiment".
It continues to be a rude shock to many in Japan that their elected officials do not listen to them, as they are supposed to. People still think the public officials should put the welfare of the residents first and foremost, as they are supposed to.
It is hard for them to accept that these elected officials and unelected bureaucrats behave the way they've behaved since March 11, 2011.