Japan Anti-nuclear Protestors Vs. Noda Government
Almost one and half years have passed from the worst disaster of Tsunami in Japan. Since March 29 2012, the coalition began staging protests in front of prime minister's office in Tokyo, against the restart of nuclear reactors. For the first 6-7 weeks the participant number remained quite low in 4 figures, which have now grown to 200,000 on June 29, according to the coalition. Ever since the restart of the Oi reactor on July 5, the coalition says the number of the protesters has remained steady at around 90,000 in August. About this number is a secondary issue, but to the fact that Japanese people in large number from Fukushima affected have been persistent to the issue of restart is commendable.
Before this antinuclear movement began, Japan had no system in place where the opinions of citizens could be heard, because members of panels and government councils were selected and controlled by bureaucrats. A simple poll mostly designed according to the preferences and priorities of Government is conducted, and an opinion is formed which then imposes a biased and controversial decision in favor of the Government.
In spite of this fact about these demonstrations, on July 5 Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture became the first reactor to be restarted since the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, the protestors' efforts are beginning to have an effect: Recently in this month, Prime Minister of Japan Noda announced that he will meet the leaders of the antinuclear protests in front of his office, where the gatherings have been held every Friday evening since March 29.
There is even a recent antinuclear-power song sung by Kazuyoshi Saito, which he created based on the melody of his hit "Zutto Suki Datta" (I always loved you) and which was posted on YouTube a couple of days ago.
These weekly demonstrations are made up of younger people, but some senior citizens and many families with small children are also on constant increase. Some are heard saying that they have traveled from far places just for the attendance. Homemade placards called nuclear power "dangerous" or "deadly." Others expressed anger at Tokyo Electric Power Co. or the government and many decried the environmental damage caused by the nuclear crisis. The issue of nuclear waste is also under focus during their statements on TV.
In my opinion this issue is justified for the sake of environment but it is also strong fact that till now Japanese economy has considered nuclear energy as a pillar of success.