In Tokyo, Thousands Protest the Restarting of a Nuclear Power Plant
New York Times
By MARTIN FACKLER (Hiroko Tabuchi contributed reporting)
June 29, 2012
The crowd, including women with small children and men in suits coming from work, chanted “No more Fukushimas!” as it filled the broad boulevards
Estimates of the crowd’s size varied widely, with organizers claiming 150,000 participants, while the police put the number at 17,000. Local media estimated the crowd at between 20,000 and 45,000, which they described as the largest protest in central Tokyo since the 1960s.
For his part, the prime minister seemed unfazed by the protests. “They’re making lots of noise,” Mr. Noda remarked to reporters as he left his office for his private quarters.
While noisy, the protesters on Friday demonstrated Japan’s penchant for being well organized and fastidiously polite. In many places, they kept passages clear for pedestrians and stood in neat lines along sidewalks. When the protest ended at 8 p.m., organizers quickly dispersed participants using megaphones, with hardly a scrap of garbage left behind.
Yoko Kajiyama, a 29-year-old homemaker who carried her 1-year-old son
- “Japanese have not spoken out against the national government”
- “Now, we have to speak out, or the government will endanger us all”
Tetsunari Iida, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, an energy policy group based in Tokyo
- “There is anger and a loss of confidence in the government”
- “This is an irreversible change, and I expect this type of movement to continue”
Published: June 29th, 2012 at 4:28 pm ET