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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 5 - 11  > Kagoshima governor’s approval for restarting of reactors ignites fierce protests
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2014 November 5 - 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Kagoshima governor’s approval for restarting of reactors ignites fierce protests

November 8, 2014
Amid citizens’ fierce protests, Kagoshima Governor Ito Yuichiro on November 7 held a press conference and expressed his approval to the plan to restart reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Satsumasendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Governor Ito at the press conference in the prefectural government office building said, “The reactivation of the Sendai plant is unavoidable.” Regarding the prefecture’s nuclear accident evacuation plan which is criticized as unrealistic, he insisted that it has been shown to be concrete as well as reasonable.

In front of the government office building, hundreds of people from within and outside the prefecture raised voices in protest against the governor’s approval. A local anti-nuke group leader said, “I think that Governor Ito and lawmakers who approved the restart plan have sold out Kagoshima. They seem to have no respect for the natural environment of the people of the prefecture. I will never give up seeking the cancellation of the restart.”

Prior to Ito’s announcement, the prefectural assembly held an extraordinary session and adopted a statement in favor of the reactivation of the plant with a majority vote. The Japanese Communist Party voted against the statement. When the assembly chair declared the adoption, observers in the public gallery expressed their opposition by raising placards that read, “No restart”.

Saito Tomiharu, who came from Fukushima Prefecture to sit in on the assembly meeting, said, “I realized that the governor and the pro-nuke forces know nothing about the agony and hardships brought on Fukushima residents.”

Later on the same day in Tokyo, more than 2,000 people gathered in front of the Diet building to protest the Kagoshima governor’s approval. Misao Redwolf of the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes said to the assembled protesters, “We still have some time before the reactors will be actually restarted. Let’s keep on protesting.”

A hairdresser from Setagaya Ward said, “I don’t want to just sit with my fingers crossed and hope that another nuclear accident will not happen.”
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