Monday, April 11, 2011

17,500 rally against nuke plants

Kyodo News

About 17,500 people held two rallies Sunday against nuclear power plants, reflecting public rage over the crisis unfolding at the Fukushima No. 1 power station some 220 km northeast of Tokyo.

Around the JR Koenji Station in Suginami Ward, some 15,000 people took part in a demonstration march organized by local shop owners. The turnout rose after several people went online to issue calls to join the event, organizers said.

One of the organizers of the rally, Hajime Matsumoto, said he was amazed that so many people showed up just on their own.

"It's epoch-making that so many people gathered without being mobilized by a large organization," he said. "It's become powerful because we joined hands over the Internet."

In Shiba Park in Minato Ward, about 2,500 people gathered at a civic rally to demand that Chubu Electric Power Co. shut down its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture. Critics says the plant is situated "right above" the epicenter of a predicted major quake.

"We've learned that nuclear plants cannot be controlled by human power," said photographer Gentaro Todaka, 34. "We hope to halt the Hamaoka plant, which is said to be the most dangerous, and hope the campaign to halt nuclear plants will spread elsewhere”


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