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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 March 26 - April 1  > Weekly anti-nuke action marks 2nd anniversary
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2014 March 26 - April 1 TOP3 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Weekly anti-nuke action marks 2nd anniversary

March 26, 2014
A weekly action calling for a nuclear power-free Japan marked its second anniversary at the end of March. On every Friday evening, citizens with handmade placards in hand gather in front of the prime minister’s office, calling out, “Decommission all nuclear reactors!” and “Give up restarting offline reactors!”

This action, which started one year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, has helped change public opinion into a majority opinion opposing nuclear power generation. According to a recent opinion poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, the percentage of people in favor of a “future departure” from nuclear power generation reached 77% and those opposed to the reactivation of idled nuclear reactors came to 59%.

Turning its back on this public demand, the Abe Cabinet is aiming to decide on an energy plan to designate nuclear power as an “important base-load power source” and to resume operations of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture as early as the coming summer.

About a half year after the Fukushima accident, civic groups and individuals who had taken anti-nuclear power action in the Tokyo area met together and formed the network group, Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes (MCAN). On March 29, 2012, they staged their first rally in front of the PM office with some 300 people taking part. The number of participants gradually increased. In June 2012, when then Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko of the Democratic Party announced a plan to restart the Oi NPP in Fukui Prefecture, the number of demonstrators reached a record high of 200,000.

After the administration led by PM Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party started functioning in December 2012, three major anti-nuke organizations, including MCAN, have jointly held a nationwide “No Nukes Day” action every several months. On March 9, 2014, marking the third year of the nuclear meltdown, more than 32,000 people joined various events held near the Diet building.

MCAN leader Misao Redwolf expressed her determination to continue struggling to create a Japan free from nuclear power, saying, “Because of the growing public opposition, the government is still unable to restart any reactors.”

Past related article:
> Citizens join nationwide actions for withdrawal from nuclear energy [March 10, 2014]
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