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Thousands protest in Tokyo ahead of Fukushima anniversary

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By YURI KAGEYAMA

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They also vowed to block a move by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Please tell us you imagine doing this ?

Abe will not listen to or care a hoot about a bunch of protesters and what they want.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

More than 80% of the people in Fukushima are disappointed with the rate of the decontamination work.

More than 80% of the 160,000 nuclear refugees are disappointed with the delay in compensation payments.

More than 80% are disappointed with the rate of the reconstruction work.

More than than 80% are concerned with the daily accidents on the nuclear disaster site.

More than 80% are disappointed with the gov't trying to restart the reactors.

More than 80% are disappointed with the gov't in dealing with the crisis and disaster.

More than 80% are concerned about being forced back into their former homes and communities even when the radiation levels are higher than expected.

Robert Geller, a seismologist at the University of Tokyo, said it was troubling that after three years there is no full explanation on what went wrong at Fukushima, and how to avoid a recurrence.

The nuclear village put profit before safety and did not build an atomic plant to withstand all the powerful forces of nature.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Abe will not listen to or care a hoot about a bunch of protesters and what they want.

So do you propose they instead shut up and do nothing?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Participants at the demonstration, one of several planned across cities in Japan, said they would never forget the March 11, 2011, nuclear disaster, the worst since Chernobyl.

I'm genuinely speechless about this sentence. March 11, 2011 is the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed 18,000 people across a region and led to tens of thousands of homeless.

I'm not posting this as someone who has a different nuclear view. But as someone who cares about the tens of thousands who suffered that day. And the media should not be allowed to turn that day into anything but a remembrance to those of Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, Tokyo, Kanagawa etc who lost their lives on that day.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

And the media should not be allowed to turn that day into anything but a remembrance to those of Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, Tokyo, Kanagawa etc who lost their lives on that day.

the media didn't turn it into anything. It reported the news, which is what they do? Its also the 9th and not the 11th?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It would be nice if the protesters could have a few sessions in front of the former president of TEPCO, Shimizu. He decided to keep the backup generators in the basement years before and up to the tsunami.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The media creates the headlines. If the coverage of March 11 tells us anything, it's that it didn't report the news. It reported what it wanted us to hear. Plenty of blog posts at the time covered that.

The date of the protest is irrelevant, as is the protest - people can demonstrate whenever they want to about nuclear or anything they want to. I am not commenting whatsoever on the protest.

But IMO the wording of that article, the headline and specifically the sentence I highlighted is disrespectful to the 18,000 plus who lost their lives and tens of thousands who lost their homes etc.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Yep, 80% of the population are against nuclear power, but only 50% of the population can be bothered to get off their butts and vote! I wonder how many of these protesters voted and who they voted for.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm sure just about everyone living in the country, and even those Japanese living abroad, and all the foreigners who once lived here, will all have heart felt thoughts when they remember the disasters which started on the 11th March, and the nuclear disaster is far from ending which will go on for many decades.

While hundreds of thousands were affected by the earthquake and tsunami with more than 18,000 losing their lives, millions were affected by the nuclear disaster with about 3200 people losing their lives because of it.

The great loss of life and the enormous suffering and grief will be remembered and shared by all on 3/11.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

zichi you left out two, more than 80% of the people are able to do nothing to stop the nuclear plants from being restarted.

And

more than 80% of the people will do nothing to help the victims of Fukushima.

Strangerland

Abe will not listen to or care a hoot about a bunch of protesters and what they want.

So do you propose they instead shut up and do nothing?

Strangerland no, not at all, I was merely stating a fact.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There was a story related to this on Australias 60 minutes program today at 7:30 pm. Here is a link to it, http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/videoindex.aspx

Title is "The Ghost Cities of Fukushima"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

and backpedal on the commitment by the previous government

Key words being "previous government". The current government made no such commitment and thus there is no backpedaling.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, who shared an Oscar for “The Last Emperor” score, and Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe

Oh! a musician and and author. That is where I go for my information on nuclear power.

Robert Geller, a seismologist at the University of Tokyo, said it was troubling that after three years there is no full explanation on what went wrong at Fukushima, and how to avoid a recurrence.

Ah, now a seismologist. The explanation is really pretty simple. There was an earthquake, something a seismologist should understand. This caused a tsunami which knocked out all normal supplies of electricity, again something a seismologist should understand. The protective wall at the facility was too short allowing the tsunami into the plant, pretty simple to understand. The backup generators where placed too low and the tsunami destroyed them. thus no electricity to run cooling pumps, thus the fuel overheated and melted. As for recurrence, well build taller protective walls and place vital backup equipment in the upper parts of the plant. How a seismologist at a major university can't understand this brings his qualifications into question.

More than 80% of the people in Fukushima

And what percentage of the whole population are you talking about, since nuclera power and plant restart is a national issue not a Fukushima issue

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Key words being "previous government". The current government made no such commitment and thus there is no backpedaling.

The more governments refuse to follow commitments by previous administrations, the less credibility the governments have that they will keep their word. Eventually any commitment becomes meaningless. So refusing to live up to commitments by previous administrations hurts the country as a whole.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Oil imports have soared since the disaster, hurting the economy."

The increased oil imports have hurt the economy way less than the Fukushima disaster.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

A protest at Parlliment might be more effective on a weekday. Shut down the city. I'm sure someone will listen. Don't think government officials and executives work on Sundays.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So do you propose they instead shut up and do nothing?

Strangerland, that is the Japanese way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The more governments refuse to follow commitments by previous administrations, the less credibility the governments have that they will keep their word.

If governments didn't change and bring in new policies then what would the reason for elections be?

Didn't previous governments approve of and encourage nuclear power plants? So the previous governments commitment to get rid of nuclear power was backtracking on an even older governments commitment, right? So actually the current government is just going back to the original commitment and correcting their immediate predecessors violation of the old commitment, right? Or is it just commitments that you personally agree with that should be inviolate?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It has nothing to do with my beliefs, it's simply fact.

Strangerland, that is the Japanese way.

If it was, then what country are the protestors from?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The People have the Right to voice there opinion it is called a Democracy... Power To The People

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The protestors should hop on a bus and do the same thing in the small countrysides where the plants are. 2000 protestors outside of the Oma Reactor being built in Aomori would be a much larger impression then 2000 people in Tokyo. Considering the population of Oma is only about 5000 people

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good stuff.

Once again refuting the commonly held but absolutely incorrect, and not to mention annoying, stereotypes about the 'sheeple' Japanese who do not speak out and do not engage in public activism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Attended this rally today. A good turnout and slogans were the usual, but what really stood out was that a great majority of the protesters were over 60 years of age. There were some families with children and a number of non-Japanese. But, there really were very few (almost unnoticeble) people in their 20's and 30's it seemed compared with previous marches. I would like to know the reason behind the police politely requesting that those carrying banners and flags fold or lower them when in close proximity of the National Diet Building. I thought showing messages on banners to people in the Diet Building was the point. hmmmm...... Of the various parties, the Minshuto and the Kyosanto parties were out to great marchers as they past the National Diet Building.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They need a mascot if they want to be taken seriously.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tamanegiMar. 10, 2014 - 12:26AM JST

They need a mascot if they want to be taken seriously.

Japanese national obsession to mascot is an interesting study material for international sociologists. Actually, what it takes is a serious fact findings well communicated in public.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I thought the voter turnout was 34% (or was that the winning percent?) If people really care and want change in their energy sources they need to not just protest but vote too

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There may be a few protesters at these rallies, but the anti-nuclear movement does not represent the majority opinion of the Japanese people. Time and again, pro-nuclear politicians are elected, and in a democracy it's elections that count. The vast majority of Japanese are practical minded and aware that there is a dangerous agenda behind the well-funded anti-nuclear movement. The interests of the nation will prevail; nuclear power is the safe, clean and environmentally friendly energy source of the future.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Time and again, pro-nuclear politicians are elected, and in a democracy it's elections that count.

Ah, but radicals don't believe in democracy. If their beliefs win an election then they are happy and will crow about how great democracy is.

But when they lose it is because of corruption and cheating, and that means they don't have to follow the democratic decision.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

3200 people losing their lives because of it.

Where does that number come from? I know that 1656 have died from stress related illnesses etc in Fukushima but not all (any?) can be blamed exclusively on the nuclear situation. Unless of course you're also claiming that the 1300 similar deaths in Miyagi and Iwate are also nuclear related?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Zichi, I too would like to ask where your "3200" comes from.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And what percentage of the whole population are you talking about, since nuclera power and plant restart is a national issue not a Fukushima issue

The problem is that the rest of the country does not care anymore about what is happening in Fukushima since they think the radiation is not directly affecting them. Majority of people are just concerned here with raising living costs.

So this is both a national issue AND a Fukushima issue.

You try telling the local residents of Fukushima that it is not their issue

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The problem is that the rest of the country does not care anymore about what is happening in Fukushima since they think the radiation is not directly affecting them.

The problem is that the fear mongers are upset because most of the population doesn't swallow their attempts to spread their fear, uncertainty and doubt. And of course it can't be because they are wrong. So they have convinced themselves that it is everyone else that is wrong.

You try telling the local residents of Fukushima that it is not their issue

Of course it is an issue for Fukushima. But when discussing the NATIONAL policy of whether to restart nuclear plants it is a NATIONAL issue and the local residents of Fukushima have no more say than any other resident of Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -8 )

The problem is that the fear mongers are upset because most of the population doesn't swallow their attempts to spread their fear, uncertainty and doubt. And of course it can't be because they are wrong. So they have convinced themselves that it is everyone else that is wrong.

I agree the fear mongers are nothing but a nuisance to this cause, and dont help at all. That is why I only post facts about this disaster, and things I have witnessed with my own two eyes. The bigger problem though in my hand is how the rest of Japan has nearly completely ignored Fukushima. I ask teachers, taxi drivers etc around Kyushu, Tokyo and Yokohama what their opinion is of Fukushima and they have none, they just dont care, because they believe it is Fukushimas problem, and not theirs. BUT, for the people of tokyo, the company responsible for this mess is the one who supplies them power, so it is THEIR problem.

And whose taxes will be paying for the clean up, for the future health care, for everything? The whole nations taxes will be.

Of course it is an issue for Fukushima. But when discussing the NATIONAL policy of whether to restart nuclear plants it is a NATIONAL issue and the local residents of Fukushima have no more say than any other resident of Japan.

I agree that everyones voice is equal, so why should those people voice their opinion? They have seen first hand how nuclear reactors can destroy lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two thirds of the local assemblies with nuclear reactors are opposed to restarting them. The governor of Niigata remains opposed to restarting the TEPCO NPP there.

Before any reactor restarts, the power utilities will need to gain the support of the governor, local assembly and the local people.

Prior to the nuclear disaster, TEPCO which was the sole or main utility for power supply to the Tokyo area, which consumes the highest amount, had 10 reactors in Fukushima and 7 in Niigata.

The nuclear disaster caused the loss of the 6 reactors at the first plant and the 4 reactors at the second plant will never operate again even though TEPCO has spent ¥billions rebuilding the plant. 7 reactors at TEPCO's Niigata plant, but we will have to wait and see if it gets to restart them.

On the day of the 3/11 disaster 34 reactors were operating from a fleet of 54 generating about 27% of total power. According to the NRA, in post nuclear disaster Japan, its unlikely more than 16 reactors will be restarted which will generate about 15% of total power. Again, we'll have to wait to see if that's the case or not?

The Abe gov't have put the use of nuclear energy back on the table but prefer to use the term “appropriate energy mix” and haven't stated the percentage nuclear energy will be used for total power generation.

According to an Asahi poll last year, 59% opposed the future use of nuclear energy.

The country is the world's largest importer of LNG and the crisis in the Ukraine will push up the price of gas, and maybe oil too,

To date, the nuclear disaster has used up ¥10 trillion of public money and over the coming decade will use up another ¥25 trillion but will cost more than ¥50 trillion before the disaster is over. Those figures are for money spent directly at the nuclear disaster site and do not include compensation payments ¥5-¥10 trillion or the cost of decontamination work, or the cost of building a nuclear waster storage inside the exclusion area.

Add that to the more than ¥25 trillion for the Tohoku reconstruction makes it the most expensive disaster, ever,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

" I ask teachers, taxi drivers etc around Kyushu, Tokyo and Yokohama what their opinion is of Fukushima and they have none, they just dont care, because they believe it is Fukushimas problem, and not theirs."

Sometimes people have an opinion, but they don't share it. At least not with strangers. Doesn't mean they don't think about things or that they don't care. They just want to be non-confrontational. And they want more information before taking a strong position.

That said, I do wish people spent more time thinking and talking about the issues around these serious issues and less time on Pop culture, Sports, Food, etc.. I won't begrudge anyone their R&R though.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Serrano,

The increased oil imports have hurt the economy way less than the Fukushima disaster.

and yet the economists say otherwise.

David Foley,

The protestors should hop on a bus and do the same thing in the small countrysides where the plants are. 2000 protestors outside of the Oma Reactor being built in Aomori would be a much larger impression then 2000 people in Tokyo. Considering the population of Oma is only about 5000 people.

So, harrasing local residents who do not share your viewpoint is a good strategy?

Zichi,

According to an Asahi poll last year, 59% opposed the future use of nuclear energy.

Only 59%? i would have thought the Asahi would be aiming for something more spectacular, maybe high 70s.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Star-Viking, According to a new NHK Survey, 80% of Japanese don’t want nuclear plants anymore......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So Nihon doesn't want nuclear power anymore? Well maybe it is for the best is what I am thinking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Star-Viking, According to a new NHK Survey, 80% of Japanese don’t want nuclear plants anymore......

Except that survey, as reported by NHK themselves, says no such thing.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140310_09.html

Only 11 percent said the reactors should go into operation again. 44 percent said they should not. Another 44 percent were undecided.

No 80% for eliminating nuclear there.

Asked about how the government should deal with existing nuclear reactors, 46 percent said the number of reactors should be reduced. Thirty percent said all of them should be demolished.

No 80% for eliminating nuclear there either.

The survey asked people if they are concerned that an accident may happen at a nuclear plant and affect people living in the area. Thirty-seven percent said they are very much concerned, and 50 percent said they are somewhat concerned. Fourteen percent said they have little or no concern.

Well 37% + 50% is more than 80%, but being concerned is not the same as 'don't want nuclear plants any more.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Survey: 80% want to scrap nuclear power plants http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140310_09.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Only 44% said that the nuclear reactors should not be restarted.

Only 30% want all reactors to be destroyed. 23% want to keep the current numbers or build more.

As I said the other day, the media create headlines. 30% want all reactors scrapped. 44% want some scrapped which leads the media to claim nearly 80%. Whereas infact only 30% want all reactors scrapped. Less than 1/3 of the population.

In conclusion 69% of the Japanese public want nuclear power in Japan, albeit with some plants closing.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Zichi,

I support the scrapping of Daiichi reactors 1 - 4, but also want to build lots of new generation reactors. Given the 80% figure includes people who want some reactors scrapped, I could well have been included in that '80%', which is ridiculous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sometimes people have an opinion, but they don't share it. At least not with strangers. Doesn't mean they don't think about things or that they don't care. They just want to be non-confrontational. And they want more information before taking a strong position.

That said, I do wish people spent more time thinking and talking about the issues around these serious issues and less time on Pop culture, Sports, Food, etc.. I won't begrudge anyone their R&R though.

Well said, I can totally understand that opinion and helps me to try and think of some strangers in a more positive light. Sometimes I like it when this society is non-confrontational, but then sometimes it drives me up the wall :/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@zichi

Before any reactor restarts, the power utilities will need to gain the support of the governor, local assembly and the local people.

I think that what will actually happen is they'll just drive a steamroller right over the top of that. The idea is that the support of the local area is sought, but built into that is the idea that it would be automatically given. It's a figleaf used by past governments and by the nuclear industry.

Post 3/11, support is not going to be given nearly so easily, and so the logical course of action will be to ignore the actual level of opposition. Who wants to give a bunch of hicks that kind of power to say no?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They will likely be shooed away.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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