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Break with Nuclear Power
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20,000 people in rally call for end to N-power generation

July 03,2011
About 20,000 people, including participants from Fukushima, on July 2 converged on Tokyo’s Meiji Park for a rally with the aim to mount a nationwide campaign for a society without nuclear power plants.

The rally received a message of support from Social Democratic Party leader Fukushima Mizuho. After the rally, participants marched in demonstration through Tokyo’s two main areas.

Prior to the opening of the rally, 30 organizations such as unions, a farmers’ group, and a women’s group held workshops under various themes such as how to protect children from radioactivity, the real state of workers at nuclear power stations, and stories of Fukushima accident victims. The farmers’ group also sold agricultural products at its open-air market stall.

On behalf of ten initiators of the rally, Ito Tatsuya, a representative of a citizens’ group against nuclear power generation, said, “The government policy of nuclear energy promotion has resulted in the Fukushima disaster. In order to press the government to replace atomic power with renewable energy sources, it is necessary to form a national consensus on a complete shut-down of all nuclear power plants. To achieve this, we need to initiate grass-roots movements throughout Japan.”

A farmer, a mother, and a medical worker from Fukushima as well as Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo spoke on stage.

Shii said, “There is no such thing as a safe nuclear power plant. Together with the people, we will urge the government to abandon the use of nuclear energy.”

Yamada Taeko, a mother from Fukushima, spoke, “I’m overwhelmed by anxiety about how long I have to live in fear of radioactive pollution. Children can’t play outdoors freely. Schools, kindergartens, and day-care centers cancelled athletic meets and excursions. I have to keep all the windows in my house shut. The government should abandon its energy policy depending on nuclear power generation without delay.”

Ex-mayor of Fukushima’s Ryozen Town Ohashi Yoshihiro stated, “The government designated my town as a zone where the residents are recommended to evacuate. A cabbage farmer and a dairy farmer committed suicide after suffering devastating damages from the Fukushima accident. Give us back our land!”

Miura Souhei, who was evacuated from Fukushima to Chiba appealed to the participants, saying, “Due to the Fukushima disaster, my family was forced to leave our farm where we have been farming through four generations. We must make sure that this type of disaster never occurs again.”

Ehime University student Nakayama Ayumi said, “In Ehime Prefecture, the Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata nuclear power plant is located. I believed that nuclear power generation is clean and safe. However, after the Fukushima accident, I found that the government, in collaboration with power companies, carried out policies to create a nuclear energy-dependent society.”

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