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Thousands in Tokyo march against nuclear power

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Make Love Not Nukes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

thousands or even millions of protesters but their voice will go unheard.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Where were these protesters 40 years ago when Japan instigated its nuclear program? Now, they have witnessed what everybody knew about nuclear power and want to turn back time? It's too late! Japan has no alternative than to use nuclear power because they threw all their eggs into the nuclear basket. The Japanese have to get used to it. Nuclear power is here to stay in Japan and protesting will do nothing except keep the Prime Ministerial revolving door spinning.

3 ( +7 / -7 )

thousands or even millions of protesters but their voice will go unheard.

This is true. Yet, they have to know one cannot just throw one switch off and turn the other one on. It takes decades to shape an energy strategy.

Meanwhile the MOF and everyone else is still in an "Industrialization" mode, rather than post-industrial mode --meaning this, change in energy strategy, will not get serious funding.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The history of the country's nuclear energy policy dates back to the mid 1950's when America pressured Japan into building nuclear plants. Both America and the Japanese government of the day, hide documents from the public, which outlined the dangers of nuclear energy.

Instead, they pursued the line of clean, safe and cheap.

The nuclear power companies went to poor farming and fishing communities to build their plants offering nuke gold which couldn't be resisted by most.

3 ( +10 / -6 )

Thousands of people marched against nuclear power Saturday, amid growing worries about the restarting of reactors idled after the March 11 meltdown disaster in northeastern Japan.

That's all well and good. Are these same people going to refrain from using electricity until the wind an solar farms are built to meet Japan's base load demand?

I don't think so.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

This is GREAT NEWS!! Tokyo needs to stand up and keep protesting against this stupid government and against all this corruption and stupidity that made Fukushima and Tokyo ELectric the mess it is today.

-4 ( +3 / -6 )

As I understand it, there are only 5 of the total of 50+ reactors currently on line. We seem to be getting along just fine without the ridiculous over supply. There is even MORE usage conservation possible and it's not that big a leap to eliminate them all and switch to other sources. For example, I was really happy to see them installing solar panel powered street lamps in my Setagaya neighborhood. This is indeed within our means to accomplish.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you want to save on energy start with either cutting back on the number of vending machines in this country and limiting their time of use. The Japanese waste energy. Keeping the nukes offline permanently will force Japan to conserve energy. The come back cliche of what are we going to do about our energy needs without nuclear power does not work any more.

Fukushima demonstrated a fact that was always under our noses, that nuclear power is dirty and dangerous. It is also not cost effective in long run given not only its dangers but also the cost and time of starting up and scrapping nuclear power plants.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I find it rather telling that a source from outside Japan is reported here as the first word about the protests. Surely the Japanese media are reporting on it too, no? And no doubt differently, as well? Can these sometimes be translated and reported here, be they Asahi or Sankei Shimbun? That would be a lot more interesting it seems than what likely is mainly a gaijin viewpoint here (considering it's AP), at least in this kind of story where there's often a clear polarity between what's being reported & reality.

@Disillusioned

Where were these protesters 40 years ago when Japan instigated its nuclear program?

Why are you so, um, disillusioned? That was then, this is now. It's become increasingly clear that nuclear -- using whatever newfangled technology that's of course more foolproof than everything before -- doesn't jibe with the sustainable, safe and careful use of earth's resources, i.e. with life on the planet as we know it. Any attempts to get rid of it and gradually shift, or evolve, to safer alternatives should be heralded and supported. Sure it's later than it could've been, but but it's better than waiting another 20-30 or more years.

@zichi...

Instead, they pursued the line of clean, safe and cheap.

Those last three terms should be in quotes methinks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Disillusioned: asked: Where were these protesters 40 years ago when Japan instigated its nuclear program?

I am not even going to try to excuse them, but 40 years ago some were preparing to go to kindergarten for the first time, others were just being born, and some were still a twinkle in their mother's eye.

But no excuses. They should have joined Gensuikin (1965) http://www.gensuikin.org/english/

By comparison, Fukushima was built in 1967. And where were these people? In their prams? Should have thrown their pacifiers at the nuke plants the bums!

And of course since they failed to protest the plants in the first place, how dare they now protest plants being allowed to operate past their planned decommission date, a date set for safety reasons? I mean, obviously, if you don't protest nuclear plants as they are built, you support throwing all caution and safety to the winds!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Are these same people going to refrain from using electricity until the wind an solar farms are built to meet Japan's base load demand?

Maybe you haven't noticed that even with most of the NPPs off line, there is still plenty of electricity? And yes, people are 'refraining from using electricity' to help - shop lighting is reduced (making a much more pleasant environment), vending machines have their lights switched off, and at home people are using hot water bottles instead of electric blankets. Are the same people who insist we need nuclear going to take responsibility for the lives disrupted by Fukushima, for the health problems that will be appearing 10,20 years down the road, for the removal of the glowing mess that is now Daiichi? How?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Looks like the Mayor of Tokyo is Not going to submit the legislative bill of ballot initiative for nuclear power to the metropolitan assembly, even though he has the 279,881 signatures for the ballot initiative.

Tokyo Mayor Ishihara press video conference on Fukushima Diary

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There will be almost no health issues from Fukushima except stress- alcoholism, depression ( a lot of that with people rambling on about undefined health effects) - Chernobyl was worse and the expert locals only detecting 10-20 deaths and a few hundred affected in any way. Are the protestors happy to pay the extra costs that are piling on with the increased use of oil, gas and coal electrical power production and the passed on industrial/commericial costs? I'll send them my bill.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I saw them on my way to the store. They were very well behaved.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is a global problem and not the fault of protesters. All of the world powers were building nuclear plants and Japan did not want to be left behind. There was no evidence about the dangers of nuclear power though we all knew the worst case scenarios we still did not have credible evidence to support a protest. The good news is that Germany is falling in line and hopefully though doubtful that France will follow. Nothing will be done in USA until they have an accident. Nuclear weapons also need to be stopped. The whole world is nuke crazy and it is not the fault of the common people in Japan. We should blame the leaders if anyone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How did they get to the rally? - Electricity! How did they get back home to all those electrical appliances and conveniences? - Electricity.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

About the extra costs! The extra costs are for using nuclear power. A study was recently completed showing that without nuclear power our electricity bills would be much less and if you add in the costs for the Fukushima disaster then it would be even more. Looking at the long term storage for radioactive waste then the coss would also be higher. There is no way around this.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

How did TEPCO and Japan get into such an awful mess? Nuclear power generation! How will TEPCO and Japan get out of this awful mess? Phase out nuclear power?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These people will not be listened to. Instead, a politician with a fake smile will appear, probably on TV instead of to their faces, and say, "We seek your understanding and cooperation on this issue" as said politician gives them the shiv and ignores their concerns. It's always comical to hear people talk about how they "cannot do something without local consent", but then when the people planted by the local governments (after being given bribes by central) are revealed and the scandal rages, the government still ignores the wishes of the people when it runs counter to their own and the government does what it wants anyway.

NPPs are HUGE money for the electric companies and government alike, there's no way they're going to switch them all off until they can make more money by other means.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Escape_Artist - Why are you so, um, disillusioned? That was then, this is now.

Um, I guess you are not old enough to remember the huge anti-nuclear protests of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Sadly, they never happened in Japan to the extent they happened in Europe and the US. The Japanese just went on blind faith from the J-Gov and the US. Now, a generation later, they are regretting it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That's right, Serrano. It can and must be done. I give you a thumbs up.

Bring back the shadows (Kawabata) and the darker evenings. Really liked that, and am glad the overhead lights are turned down to a less ferocious level. There's a lot to be done. The dangers of nuclear power were known from the very start, but those in charge of the charge ahead with nuclear power (short term profits) made sure the protesters were portrayed in the compliant media as hippies and low lifes. Who is laughing now?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good for them. Whatever the cause, I'm just happy to see some Japanese being proactive rather than the usual Shouganai induced apathy..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's how it begins. Productive and intelligent hard working Japanese join the bandwagon of meaningless protests without any understanding of the cause.

If these idiots dont want nuclear power, the very source of energy that they all depend upon, they can go home and kill their main breaker. good bye and good luck.

if they hate nuclear power that much, then they can all do something about it without causing any damage.

-2 ( +4 / -7 )

I am pro nuclear. Good clean energy.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

nisegaijin,

It's also only fair that you take home your share of nuclear waste!

6 ( +9 / -2 )

nisegaijin: "if they hate nuclear power that much, then they can all do something about it without causing any damage."

What damage are they causing, pres tel?

"That's how it begins. Productive and intelligent hard working Japanese join the bandwagon of meaningless protests without any understanding of the cause."

This isn't one of those right-wing 'protests' where idiots drag their children out, tie balloons to their hands and paint their faces, and whine and shake their fists at TV stations for running Korean dramas or over a pile of rocks in the ocean; the protest here is only 'meaningless' insomuch as it will go unheard by the government. The cause they are supporting, or rather the thing they are standing against, is very relevant to the lives of all hear and has ACTUALLY caused a great deal of harm, both physically and financially, to thousands upon thousands, if not millions. What's more, it's something that will affect the future.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

get a job!

on a serious note. nuclear power is a necessary evil. contributes less to climate change and is better for national security because japan can get it from friendly harmless australia instead of evil dangerous places like the middle east and disputed waters with china.

-4 ( +3 / -8 )

All those who poo-poo the protest on the grounds that nukes are safe and clean should be given the option of living and working in a contaminated region around Fukushima or having their visa revoked.

Nah. They can go there on their own or be known to be yanking our chains. Or pack their bags if they want to be taken seriously.

This goes for that nazi Ishihara too!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan cannot be nuclear free when next door neighbor China is planning to build hundred more reactors.

You can make your house as fire-safe as possible but if a fire breaks out next door, it will burn your house down too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China must follow Germany in abandoning nuclear power. Every country will, in time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

abandoning nuclear power in a time where oil might be to rare to burn in the next 50 years is folly. nuclear power must stay and be expanded while we pursue cleaner safer alternatives. japan needs to build newer safer reactors while we also decommission the old reactors.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

If the vast majority of nuclear plants are offline now, isn't Japan already nearly nuclear-free? Nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive to maintain. Make a ten-year plan to close down the last remaining plants and put money and talent into making even better solar energy and wind generators. Between solar panels and LP gas, it's very possible to cut a family home's reliance on any nuclear-produced public electric grid. Long before Fukushima my local gas dealer was passing out pamphlets telling people to do just this "before something bad happens".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

These people are good people.

Well done, protesters...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

LP gas has to be imported, some times from politically dangerous places. photovoltaic panels are horribly inefficient. molten salt solar plants need to be placed some where with high amounts of yearly intense sun shine, which japan doesn't have much with our rainy climate. the best options for japan are hydroelectric and geothermal.

there is an article in the american magazine Wired. they interview Bill Gates who through his foundation is working on alternative energy. he calls home roof top photovoltaic panels "cute" because they will never generate enough electricity to off set all the carbon it took to make them.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The world can have electricity from clean sources, and we don't need to use so much anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sun hawk,

Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster, the country only generated about 25% of total power by nuclear energy and now only about 5% with just three reactors working.

30% of all energy used domestically is for heating water. If more efficient methods were used like heat pumps, that according to the National Federation of Power Companies, could be reduced to below 10%.

If the country made full use of its natural resources, off shore wind, tidal, wave, biomass, biofuels, solar, waste incineration, geothermal, then 80% of nuclear reactors could be shut down, and the remaining 20% within 20 years.

There's enough sun light to make solar a useful energy source especially if the cost can come down. Within a couple of years there will be low light panels, solar film for windows, and even solar paint which would turn a whole building into a power generator.

There are many solutions beyond nuclear.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

japan should take advantage of its mountainous and geologically active nature and invest heavily into geothermal power.

if ITER pans out in 20-30 years and economically and sustainable fusion power is possible. then japan can switch to a hydrogen economy where fusion plants make hydrogen from seawater for their own fuel and to store energy in the form of hydrogen for use in cars and small scale local power generation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The country should use the reconstruction in the disaster zones to build low cost, low energy green homes, offices and factories which might even attract new people to the areas.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@gifu...

If the vast majority of nuclear plants are offline now, isn't Japan already nearly nuclear-free?

It definitely needs to remain the long-term goal, IMO, but being truly "nuclear-free" won't happen anytime soon for those that use/have nuclear power. Even if all plants are shut down or decommissioned, the fuel rods will still require some sort of power for decades or longer to stay cooled, until such time their radioactivity has decayed enough to dispose of in a safer manner. This doesn't even address the ongoing problem of what to do with the growing amounts of radioactive waste.

This is why building such plants in an earthquake-prone locale like Japan has been amazingly short-sighted and just plain idiotic, a gigantic boondoggle in other words, from the very beginning. We've all been hoodwinked to have faith & believe that nuclear power is "clean", "safe" and "cheap" when it's never been any of those in reality. And based on its history, likely never will.

Meanwhile, Unit 2 at Fukushima Daiichi hit 82 C [176 F] earlier today and is still rising. Tepco's boric acid and water fixes don't seem to be working. And somehow this is supposed to make us all feel even more eager to put our trust in technology and the same folks controlling it? Yeah, uh-huh.

I hope these protests get bigger and bigger, and spread all over Japan, to the point where those who seem to hate democracy like Ishihara will be forced to listen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nuclear power is the heroin of the energy picture. Detox time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Meanwhile, Unit 2 at Fukushima Daiichi hit 82 C [176 F] earlier today and is still rising. Tepco's boric acid and water fixes don't seem to be working.

Thank You escape_artist, everyone seems to have taken their eyes off the ball to argue about the field.

And somehow this is supposed to make us all feel even more eager to put our trust in technology and the same folks controlling it? Yeah, uh-huh.

In comes the Protests and Occupy's but for present circumstances ( nuclear fallout contamination everywhere ) I bet J Govt would rather have this distraction than folks packing up and leaving. As long as there is a population to prop up the J Govt they will do whatever they want to do. And they can do this whether the population likes it or not.

I hope these protests get bigger and bigger, and spread all over Japan, to the point where those who seem to hate democracy like Ishihara will be forced to listen.

Actually the September 2011 protest started out with 60,000 people and ended with over 100,000 people.

http://www.dianuke.org/pictures-60000-people-on-tokyo-streets-against-nuclear-power-mochizuki-ioris-report/

I think the protests maybe getting smaller since this recent protest only had an attendance of 12,000.

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/02/12000-attended-at-demonstration/

I hope the other 88,000 folks have packed and are out of there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe somebody can remind me: How many people died in the Fukushima "nuclear catastrophe" ?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Daniel 11:31 "And they will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation". This should refer to nuclear weapons and uncontrolled nuclear power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These people will not be listened to. Instead, a politician with a fake smile will appear, probably on TV instead of to their faces, and say, "We seek your understanding and cooperation on this issue" as said politician gives them the shiv and ignores their concerns. It's always comical to hear people talk about how they "cannot do something without local consent", but then when the people planted by the local governments (after being given bribes by central) are revealed and the scandal rages, the government still ignores the wishes of the people when it runs counter to their own and the government does what it wants anyway.

smithinjapan, makes me think of totalitarianism...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They won't be taken seriously by the populace unless they have a mascot!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heinz 48 - Maybe somebody can remind me: How many people died in the Fukushima "nuclear catastrophe" ?

Be patient this nuclear catastrophe has not ended yet. It may outlive us all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I’ll bet you yen that all these people have cell phones, computers and an array of electric devices that need power. It is so Japanese to not show emotion in day to day activities yet be extremely emotional for these short term events. Either pump C02 in the atmosphere or find a balance between oil & nuclear power.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is a good thing but it is TOO late. About 10~20 years too late. This is akin to protesting murder after you have already been killed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are only 30 countries using nuclear energy to generate power.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

zichiFeb. 12, 2012 - 04:23PM JST

If the country made full use of its natural resources, off shore wind, tidal, wave, biomass, biofuels, solar, waste incineration, geothermal, then 80% of nuclear reactors could be shut down, and the remaining 20% within 20 years.

Off-shore wind, tidal, solar: intermittent - need massive energy storage, massive footprint. Off-shore wind, wave: challenging environment, maintenance will be a problem. Biofuels, waste incineration: CO2 emissions. Geothermal: unproven capacity.

There's enough sun light to make solar a useful energy source especially if the cost can come down. Within a couple of years there will be low light panels, solar film for windows, and even solar paint which would turn a whole building into a power generator.

And that power will have to be stored, and panels will still need a massive area.

Also, what properties do these "low light" panels have again?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What is happening is a switch to fossil fuels, this link suggests we'll be covering a cost of $34 Billion a year to cover it - that's 2.6 Trillion Yen per annum.

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-27/atomic-free-japan-by-april-roils-debate-on-reactor-restarts-blackout-risk

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Star-Viking,

And the cost of the nuclear disaster clean up will be more than 30 trillion yen.

The government have stated there will be no power shortages during this winter or in the coming summer

Both America and China generate about 50,000MW from wind while Japan only generates about one tenth of that or about 5,000MW. Even the Federation of Power companies has suggested more use of renewable power.

Even a smaller country like Britain is building off shore mega wind turbines.

I do see the need to run some of the reactors until other sources are in place, and I've said 10 to 15, the same number quoted in your linked article. The country does not need 54 reactors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Star-Viking,

And the cost of the nuclear disaster clean up will be more than 30 trillion yen.

Really? PM Noda stated that it would be 1 trillion yen: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/us-japan-nuclear-noda-idUSTRE79J3W020111020

Anyway, the fossil fuel bill come on top of the cost of the clean-up - so I'm unsure of your point here, it's not as if paying for the clean-up will obviviate the need to pay for the fossil fuels we're burning.

The government have stated there will be no power shortages during this winter or in the coming summer

Let's hope nothing effects the power generation systems - like floods did this year in Niigata.

Both America and China generate about 50,000MW from wind while Japan only generates about one tenth of that or about 5,000MW. Even the Federation of Power companies has suggested more use of renewable power.

Japan has problems with typhoon damage and lightning strikes taking out turbines.

Even a smaller country like Britain is building off shore mega wind turbines.

The UK has an extensive continental shelf, which makes such projects easier - and less stormy seas.

I do see the need to run some of the reactors until other sources are in place, and I've said 10 to 15, the same number quoted in your linked article. The country does not need 54 reactors.

I disagree with that number - we need more modern reactors to keep greenhouse emissions down.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Star-Viking,

TEPCO have stated that the cost of compensation payments will be more than 1 trillion yen. To date they have paid out more than 200 billion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The government will provide an additional ¥689.4 billion to Tokyo Electric Power Co. over massive compensation payments related to the Fukushima No. 1 plant triple-meltdown crisis, a move that will lower the risk of the cash-strapped utility failing. Trade and industry minister Yukio Edano agreed to Tepco's cash request at a meeting Monday with Tepco President Toshio Nishizawa.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TEPCO revised up its estimate of what it would need to compensate victims of the worst nuclear accident in a generation, to 1.7 trillion yen from 1.01 trillion yen. (AFP)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ok, I thought we were just talking about clean-ups. Thanks for the additional info.

So we've 1 trillion decontamination and 1.7 trillion compensation. That's still a far cry off 30 trillion, and 0.1 trillion more than the annual fossil fuel bill envisaged to cover the dearth of nuclear power.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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