Hibiya rally tries to keep nuclear foes on message

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Far away from disaster-hit Tohoku, people gathered Monday in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park to offer silent prayers on the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

“Let’s think of those who lost their lives. Let’s remember that each of their lives was precious,” singer Tokiko Kato told the hundreds of people who turned out for the “Peace On Earth” event.

Participants offered silent prayers as the clock struck 2:46 p.m., the time when the 9-magnitude temblor struck Tohoku and spawned massive tsunami.

The event was also attended by several well-known antinuclear advocates, such as Academy-Award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, writer C.W. Nicol and Tetsunari Iida, head of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, which emphasizes the need for people to live in harmony with nature and promotes renewable energy.

Although the March 11 quake and tsunami devastated Tohoku’s coastline and triggered the Fukushima disaster, participants said the crisis fired up interest in energy issues among many Japanese for the first time.

In addition, the disaster forced them to think about what they can do to help the Tohoku region, deepening bonds with others sharing similar thoughts, they said.

“I think more people are thinking about what they can do and more people are taking action,” said Mayumi Fujikawa, who heads a nonprofit group promoting renewable energy.