Anti-nuclear rallies pass the 6-month mark

September 29, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Anti-nuclear campaigners have demonstrated outside the prime minister's office weekly for six months now, bringing their message to the heart of government.

Protesters first gathered outside the building in Tokyo's Nagatacho district in late March. Since then, they have held rallies each Friday evening.

On Sept. 28, the demonstration began at 6 p.m. and lasted two hours.

Protesters chanted slogans including "Stop restarts!" and "Save lives!" They oppose moves to restart Japan's idled reactors: Just two of its 50 reactors are currently active.

Some also shouted: "Stop Oma!" Earlier Friday, news reports said Electric Power Development Co. plans to shortly restart construction work at its semi-complete Oma nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture.

The protesters spilled out in waves into surrounding areas, including streets near the National Diet Building and government offices in the Kasumigaseki district.

One 21-year-old Tokyo college student said he had participated in almost all weekly rallies since late July in the hopes of strengthening political momentum to end reliance on nuclear power.

"It is essential that we keep raising our voices like this," the student said. "I have just reached voting age. I will carefully weigh up what political parties and politicians offer."

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Protesters denounce Japan's dependence on nuclear power, during a weekly Friday night rally outside the prime minister's office in Tokyo's Nagatacho district, Sept. 28. (Hiroki Endo)

Protesters denounce Japan's dependence on nuclear power, during a weekly Friday night rally outside the prime minister's office in Tokyo's Nagatacho district, Sept. 28. (Hiroki Endo)

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  • Protesters denounce Japan's dependence on nuclear power, during a weekly Friday night rally outside the prime minister's office in Tokyo's Nagatacho district, Sept. 28. (Hiroki Endo)

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