Tens of thousands of people rallied against nuclear power Sunday in what appeared to be the largest demonstration since Japan’s last active reactor went offline for maintenance on Sept. 15.
Demonstrators marched in front of government agencies in Tokyo chanting such slogans as “We oppose nuclear power” and “We oppose restarting nuclear reactors.”
A total of 40,000 people took part in the rally, organizers said.
“I am really angry to see (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s) lie go unchallenged,” Misao Redwolf said at an event organized by her Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes, referring to Abe’s speech to the International Olympic Committee last month in Buenos Aires.
In his presentation for Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, Abe said the situation regarding the radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is under control. The IOC subsequently voted to bring the Games to Tokyo.
Speaking at Sunday’s meeting, Nobel literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe sought to make Japan nuclear-free at an early date.
“We need to win back a world where our future children can live,” the author said.
Freelance journalist Satoshi Kamata called the nuclear industry corrupt and incorrigible.
“Nuclear plants have been built with lies, money and intimidation, and this has not changed at all, even after the (2011 Fukushima) accident,” Kamata said.
“Something that could leave future generations with irreparable damage must not be done,” said 31-year-old Tokyo employee Takanori Teraoka, father of a 1-year-old girl.
“I can’t condone the lie Abe told to bring the Olympics to Tokyo,” said Noriko Iwata, 63, from the city of Saitama.
On Sept. 15, the No. 4 reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, was suspended for routine maintenance, leaving all of the nation’s 50 viable commercial reactors offline for the first time in more than a year.