Anti nuclear protests grow as Japan restarts 2 nuclear reactors
On Friday, tens of thousands of people gathered on streets outside the premier’s residence in central Tokyo with organisers estimating the turnout at up to 180,000.
Protesters try to block Japan nuclear switch-on, Radio Australia 1 July 2012, Engineers in Japan have begun refiring an atomic reactor, despite growing public protests in the aftermath of meltdowns at Fukushima.
Local media reported that the process to restart Unit No. 3 at Oi in western Japan began around 9:00 pm (1200 GMT).
It had earlier been reported that control rods that have prevented an atomic reaction would be removed and fission would begin. The reactor was expected to reach criticality early Monday morning.
A noisy demonstration near the power station that had begun earlier in the day was continuing, live streamed footage showed.
“We are against the restart,” protestors chanted to the beat of drums as they faced a line of riot police.
It was not possible to tell from the footage on
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iwakamiyasumi the size of the protest or
of the police presence, however, a counter on the website showed
around 25,000 viewers at 10:00 pm (1300 GMT).
Sunday’s demonstration was the latest in a line of increasingly vocal
anti-nuclear demonstrations in a country with little recent history of
large-scale public protest…… On Friday, tens of thousands of people gathered on streets outside the premier’s residence in central Tokyo with organisers estimating the turnout at up to 180,000.
Police estimates were around 20,000, according to media reports. No
explanation was given for the large disparity.
A week earlier, an estimated 45,000 people gathered in a similar
protest rally there.
Smaller-scale protests had been held every Friday outside the
premier’s residence since late March, and have been led in part by
Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe, who started an anti-nuclear
petition that has so far gathered more than 7.5 million signatures.
On Saturday around 1,000 people marched through the streets of
Shinjuku, a major shopping and entertainment district, in protest of
the nuclear restart, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
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