200,000 Protest in Japan Ahead of Nuclear Restart

Common Dreams staff, June 29, 2012

Hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up at the door of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday, lining the streets of central Tokyo to express outrage over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in the country. Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power throughout the nation, despite widespread public opposition.

Noda approved the restarts of two reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi plant on June 16, but his pro-nuclear stance has prompted weekly protests outside of his residence. Friday’s protest was perhaps the biggest yet. Organizers estimated the turnout to be over 200,000 people, according to Japan Times.

Japan had shut down the last of its 50 nuclear facilities in early May, following continued public disapproval of nuclear power after last year’s disaster in Fukushima, which continues to plague the region with record levels of nuclear radiation.

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