Tens of thousands of Japanese demonstrators took to the streets Sunday to protest against restarting nuclear reactors in the wake of the devastating Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011.
The protesters formed a human chain around the Japanese Parliament building and called on the government to do away with nuclear power. Before the Fukushima disaster, Japan was one of the most nuclear power-dependent nations in the world.
“This is really a very hot summer, but although none of the nuclear power plants of Tokyo Electric Power Co. are operating, we’re not short of electricity in Tokyo,” a protest organizer, Keiko Ochai, told the Japan Times.
“We have to push for the halting of the Oi nuclear power plant, and need to keep the government from restarting other nuclear power plants,” she said in reference to nuclear power plants in Fukui Prefecture that was recently restarted
Yuri Inomata, a 27-year-old demonstrator from Kanagawa Prefecture, said that “more people realize that this issue concerns ourselves,” she said. “It’s important for us to keep raising our voice.”
The protests come after Tetsunari Iida, a renewable energy advocate who wants to see Japan stop using nuclear power by 2020, lost the election to be governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, reported Kyodo. He lost to a candidate from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which supports nuclear energy.
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