More than 10,000 protesters gathered outside the prime minister’s office on June 22 to criticize the government’s decision to restart two nuclear reactors that had been shut down for routine inspections.
Holding aloft banners and placards, the protesters--many arriving in the early evening after getting off work--chanted their opposition to the proposed restarts.
Organizers of the rally said about 40,000 citizens, including many young people and women, participated in response to their call on Twitter. But Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department put the number at around 10,000.
“We will never tolerate leaders who are betraying the citizens this much,” protester Keiko Ochiai, a renowned writer, said.
Protest rallies have been held every weekend outside the prime minister’s office since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his decision to restart the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
The two reactors are expected to be back online in July to supply power to the Kansai region.
They will be the first idle reactors to go back online after passing "stress tests" that the government imposed last summer following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Since Noda decided on June 16 to restart the Oi reactors, anti-nuclear protests have been getting bigger and louder.
At the June 22 protest, people who endorse the reactivation of nuclear plants also assembled on the scene to criticize the protesters.
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