The vote had been seen as a test of popular sentiment on nuclear power. Mr Masuzoe agrees with government plans to restart Japan's nuclear reactors, while his two closest rivals campaigned on an anti-nuclear platform. He won 2.1 million votes, more than the combined total of his two nearest rivals.
Nuclear had provided about 30 percent of Japan's electricity, but the country has gone virtually without it since a tragic earthquake and tsunami caused avoidable meltdowns at the poorly managed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station nearly three years ago. All of the country's 50-plus reactors are currently shut for safety concerns, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants operators to begin opening them again. So, too, does Tokyo's Masuzoe.
Officials in both countries would be smart to mark the return by developing new forms of nuclear power that are safer, less waste producing, more useful (newfangled reactors can replace fossil fuels as industrial heat sources in high temperature processes like making steel and cement) and less costly than the conventional reactors that have defined nuclear for the last 50 years.
Alternatives include new reactor types such as molten salt reactors and pebble beds; they also include thorium fuel as a replacement for uranium. At least one company in Japan, Thorium Tech Solution, is working on one.
Masuzoe promised to make Tokyo and its population of 13 million people "the number one city in the world."
Keeping the lights on would help.
Photo is from VOA Photos/S. Herman via Wikimedia
There's more than one way to harness nuclear power: