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The Fukushima nuclear disaster, which caused complex societal damage, also led to a shift in Japanese public opinion supporting the move away from nuclear power. The nuclear phaseout movement has transcended the traditional framework of Japanese social movements and has the potential to become a new force for reform. However, the Japanese nuclear phaseout is also complicated by the Liberal Democratic Party’s style of rule, the link with nuclear weapons, and the relationship between Tokyo and the areas hosting the nuclear power plants. This article considers the future outlook for an energy shift and political reform in Japan with a focus on the roles of civil society and local leadership.