Anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo draws tens of thousands

Mar 09, 2014

Tens of thousands of citizens turned out for an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo on Sunday, as the nation prepares to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.

Demonstrators congregated at Hibiya Park, close to central government buildings, before marching around the national parliament.

They gathered to voice their anger at the nuclear industry and the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has called for resumption of nuclear reactors to power the world's third largest economy.

"I felt it's important that we continue to raise our voice whenever possible," said Yasuro Kawai, a 66-year-old businessman from Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo.

"Today, there is no electricity flowing in Japan that is made at nuclear plants. If we continue this zero nuclear status and if we make efforts to promote renewable energy and invest in energy saving technology, I think it's possible to live without nuclear," Kawai said.

This week, Japan will mark the anniversary of the deadly 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the northern region on March 11, 2011, that prompted killer tsunami that swept the northern Pacific coastline.

The natural disasters killed 15,884 people and left 2,636 people still unaccounted for.

Huge waves swamped cooling systems of the Fukushima plant, which went through reactor meltdowns and explosions that spewed radioactive materials to the vast farm region.

The plant remains volatile and engineers say it will take four decades to dismantle the crippled reactors.

Protesters in Tokyo stressed that Japan can live without as it has done so for many months while all of the nation's 50 commercial nuclear reactors have remained offline due to tense public opposition to restarting them.

In a light-hearted approach to get their message heard, musicians performed using electricity generated by huge solar panels at the park, while dozens of merchants promoted products made in the tsunami-hit region.

The rally featured stars like composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who played music he created three years ago to mourn for the victims of the disasters.

Although no one died as a direct result of the atomic accident, at least 1,656 Fukushima residents died due to complications related to stress and other conditions while their lives in evacuation become extended.

"The Fukushima accident continues today," Sakamoto told the audience.

Tokyo resident Michiko Sasaki, 80, said Japan's national priority should be to think about how to end nuclear power and to rebuild the northern region hit buy the disaster.

"In this small nation of ours, there are so many . We are prone to earthquakes," she added.

"Unless we end it now, what will happen in the future? Politicians must think about children of the future," she said.

Explore further: Japan scientists to create controlled nuclear meltdown

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan nuclear-free as last reactor switched off

Sep 16, 2013

Japan went nuclear-free on Monday as it switched off its last operating reactor for an inspection, with no date scheduled for a restart amid strong public hostility to atomic power.

Japan sees future business in Fukushima cleanup

Mar 08, 2014

(AP)—There is something surprising in the radioactive wreck that is the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: opportunity. To clean it up, Japan will have to develop technology and expertise that any ...

Japan's Abe 'to review Fukushima' atomic crisis

Dec 23, 2012

Japan's incoming pro-nuclear premier Shinzo Abe said Sunday his government will again investigate the Fukushima atomic crisis, after which the country's reactors could be restarted, reports said.

Recommended for you

Renewable energy companies use new clout in statehouses

Dec 24, 2014

Earlier this year, Ohio became the first state to freeze a scheduled increase in the amount of electricity that must be generated by wind, solar and other renewable sources. The move gave advocates of repealing states' mandatory ...

America's place in the sun: Energy report sets goal

Dec 24, 2014

A recent energy report said that America should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. "Star Power: The ...

Nevada, feds to study nuke-waste burial in state

Dec 23, 2014

Nevada and the federal government are agreeing to have a panel keep studying whether the U.S. will bury radioactive material from Tennessee at a former nuclear weapons proving ground north of Las Vegas.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jack Wolf
not rated yet Mar 09, 2014
Earthquake and other geophysical activity increased tremendously during past periods of climate change. Considering the speed and magnitude of the current fossil fuel driven change, nuclear is a very bad idea to say the least.
Bonia
Mar 09, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.