Anti-nuclear activists were denied use of Hibiya Park by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government last week. The organizer of the planned rally, Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes, has been holding weekly rallies in front of the prime minister’s office, and the rally set for Nov. 11 was to start in Hibiya Park before marching past the head office of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Most unfortunately, given the constitutional implications, both the Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo High Court sided with the government last week.

The reasons for denying the coalition use of the park were trivial. In previous rallies held in March and July, Hibiya Park was open to demonstrators, but this time, the officials said the turnout could hinder park management, affect visitors and block access to Hibiya Library. The officials say the rules are now being applied more strictly. More likely, the park officials are complicit in an attempt by the metropolitan government to curb the demonstrations.

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