Tens of thousands of Japanese citizens have turned out for an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo, as the nation prepares to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.
Demonstrators congregated at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park on Sunday, close to central government buildings, before marching around the national parliament.
They gathered to voice their anger at the nuclear industry and prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which has announced its intention to restart the Japan’s nuclear reactors after two years of inactivity.
“I felt it’s important that we continue to raise our voice whenever possible,” Yasuro Kawai, a 66-year-old businessman from Chiba prefecture, said.
“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 (power).”
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 by the disaster.
“In this small nation of ours, there are so many nuclear plants. We are prone to earthquakes,” she said.
“Unless we end it now, what will happen in the future? Politicians must think about children of the future.”
Tokyo anti-nuclear rally brings tens of thousands of protesters as disaster anniversary approaches
A few days before the 3rd anniversary of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters gathered at the Hibiya Park in Tokyo. This was their way of reminding the world about the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the dangers of Japan’s insistence on relying on nuclear energy for its power needs.
The demonstration was also an expression of their anger and disappointment at the the nuclear industry and the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been pushing for the restart of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors that have been offline due to safety concerns and the strong anti-nuclear sentiment after the 2011 disaster. The protesters believe that the past months when Japan has survived without nuclear power is proof that it can be done. Musicians performed during the rally using electric instruments powered by huge solar panels. One of the performers was composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who played his pieces created three years ago to mourn the more than 15,000 people who perished during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He emphasized, “The Fukushima accident continues today.”