Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away on March 28 after a long battle with cancer, was an internationally renowned composer, musician and actor. But he was also an advocate for peace and environmental issues, in particular taking a strong anti-nuclear stance that put him at odds with Japanese officialdom.
For example, Sakamoto got involved with a grassroots effort to halt construction of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, called Stop-Rokkasho.Org. In a 2006 interview with The Japan Times, he talked about how was worried about the dangers of a nuclear leak and plutonium proliferation.
“(Rokkasho) is hugely profitable for the general contractors. They know nuclear power is unnecessary and dangerous, and that it will be dangerous for hundreds of future generations because of the radioactive waste. It is just for money, and it is absurd and stupid,” he said.