News / Asia

Thousands Protest Nuclear Power in Japan

Protesters hold placards condemning the use of nuclear power at a rally in Tokyo, Sunday, April 10, 2011, after a devastating earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in northeastern Japan last month
Protesters hold placards condemning the use of nuclear power at a rally in Tokyo, Sunday, April 10, 2011, after a devastating earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in northeastern Japan last month

Multimedia

Audio
Martyn Williams

Thousands of Japanese took to the streets of Tokyo to protest the country's nuclear-power plants. The rally occured as engineers continue to work on bringing the Fukushima Daiichi plant under control, after it was smashed by last month's earthquake and tsunami.

Around 3,000 people marched through central Tokyo, a large demonstration by Japanese standards.

The rally was organized by eight civic groups to protest the Hamaoka nuclear-power plant, which is located about 200 kilometers southwest of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture. Hamaoka is built in the heart of a region that seismologists believe is well overdue for a massive undersea earthquake of a magnitude 8 or higher.

The disaster at Fukushima has people worried the same thing could happen again.

Demonstrator Kengo Ohmori said his faith in the safety of nuclear power has changed. He says he has always been told nuclear power was safe, but it was not until now that he realized how dangerous it can be.

Just under a third of Japan's power output in 2005 was derived from nuclear plants, making it the largest energy source for the country. Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies anticipates that rising to almost half the energy output by 2030.  

Prior to the Fukushima accident, the country had 54 functioning reactors. Many of those marching want them all closed down. One of the protesters, Yoko Kataoka, says Japan should decommission its nuclear-power plants. She adds the country is frequently hit by earthquakes and should not rely on nuclear power in the first place.

The demonstration passed the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which promotes nuclear power and regulates the industry, and past the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power, the utility company that owns the Fukushima plant.

Protesters delivered a noisy message at both locations.

Demonstrations were also taking place in a Tokyo suburb and two other cities in Japan.

Opposition to nuclear power had slowly been falling in Japan, before the recent disaster. A 2009 government poll found 54 percent of Japan's people were uneasy about it, down from 66 percent in 2005.  The risk of accidents and earthquakes were cited as top concerns.

A new poll has not been taken since the earthquake and tsunami struck Fukushima.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid