Monday, March 12, 2012

Antinuclear protests held across Japan on anniversary of disaster

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Antinuclear protesters took to the streets in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan on Sunday, the one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami which triggered the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Near the head office of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima complex, demonstrators called for the country to abandon nuclear power generation and restore Fukushima Prefecture, where more than 100,000 residents were forced to relocate.

Some 16,000 people attended an antinuclear gathering in the city of Koriyama in Fukushima and rallied in the city, calling for scrapping all nuclear reactors in Japan. The country has 54 commercial nuclear reactors, which provided a third of Japan's electric power prior to the Fukushima plant disaster.

In Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, about 1,100 people gathered to call for scrapping Chubu Electric Power Co.'s nuclear reactors at its Hamaoka power plant. Those reactors were halted last May after then prime minister Naoto Kan asked the utility to suspend their operation due to concern about a powerful quake in that area of Shizuoka Prefecture. Read More