Anti-nuclear protest buried

Yokohama

Last week’s arrest of Katsuya Takahashi, the last remaining fugitive wanted in connection with the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway, captured the attention of the Japanese news media. Often during the first 48 hours after Takahashi’s arrest, it seemed as if every news camera from every Japanese news outlet was focused solely on the empty chair in the manga cafe where the suspect had been hiding in plain sight.

While his arrest was a major newsworthy story, I think a few cameras could have been spared to cover Friday’s massive demonstration outside the Japanese prime minister’s residence. It was one of the biggest single anti-nuclear protests the country has ever seen, but virtually no one saw anything about it in the Japanese media. While Reuters noted a crowd of up to 10,000 had turned out to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s intention to greenlight firing up the Oi nuclear plant, there was hardly a peep about it in the domestic press.

Once the news spotlight shifted to the sensational arrest story, it left the Noda administration alone to work in the shadows, enabling it to virtually hide any opposition over its decision to restart Japan’s nuclear engines in plain sight.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

j.t. cassidy