NEW YORK – Roughly 50 protesters rallied Tuesday in front of the Consulate General of Japan in New York to oppose the government’s embrace of nuclear power, as people around the world marked the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“We have a responsibility to speak up. This is not just about Japanese, this is a global issue,” said organizer Ritsuko Higashi.
The demonstrators handed a letter to a consulate representative before marching to Times Square, chanting “no nukes, protect the children,” in Japanese.
The letter demanded the closure of Japanese nuclear plants, independent oversight of containment measures at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, an end to Japan’s export of nuclear technology, transparency around decontamination, and compensation for the victims of the disaster.
Similar protests were planned for several other U.S. cities, including Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco. Consulate general representatives in San Francisco told organizers ahead of the protest that they would not be able to receive any letter delivered in person, requesting that protesters send it by mail instead.
Green association forged
A group of 38 local green power advocacy groups plan to set up a national association by June in an effort to break away from nuclear power generation.
The association will provide a forum for sharing information about members’ experiences in setting up community-based renewable power plants, the founders said Tuesday in Tokyo.
Members also plan to create a system for issuing certificates indicating the origin of electricity ahead of the 2016 liberalization of the retail electricity market, which will allow households to choose suppliers.
Noting their wish not to have another nuclear disaster, the founders said they hope to assist companies and individuals to overcome challenges in developing locally driven power plants.