Ōi Nuclear Power Plant. Image Source: KEPCO/EPA via The Guardian.
After the Japanese government made a superficial gesture to shut down all of its nuclear power plants, officials are now restarting them, starting with the Ōi Nuclear Power Plant, southwest of Tokyo. This plant is run by KEPCO, the Kansai Electric Power Company, whose failed safety checks led to workers' injuries and deaths in 2004 and 2006. The Ōi plant is one of the world's largest nuclear plants. The move to restart Ōi distressed citizens, who are still worried about Fukushima, and about the original problems which caused that disaster and which still promise trouble at other plants. For example, building them on earthquake faults and in tropical storm corridors does not help: a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Fukushima on 17 June 2012; and a strong typhoon (Guchol) is about to hit the area.
The Websites Ene News and Fukushima Voice are circulating video footage taken at a protest against this restart, held 15 June 2012 in front of the office of the Japanese Prime Minister. The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported (via the Stars and Stripes) that 500 people attended the protest. But the protestors claim that 11,000 people attended; they filmed the rally and posted the film on the Internet:
Despite the greatest-ever turnout of 11,000 protesters, the demonstration was not broadcast on TV, shielding the rest of the country from learning what was going on.
What is so moving about this short video is that you can hear the person who took the video crying. You feel like you are in the crowd with her, sharing the emotion of people who gathered there, desperately wanting to change the future of Japan, not only for the sake of their children, grandchildren and future generation[s], but also for the sake of the planet Earth.
You hear the crowd shouting in unison, “Saikado hantai! (再稼動反対!) meaning “We oppose the restart!”
The girl who made the video tweeted:
“11,000 public citizens gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence today to protest against the restart of Oi nuclear power plant. I videotaped from the middle of the crowd all the way to the end of the line. I was so moved by the power and energy of 11,000 people that you can hear me sobbing from part of the way. Please watch it! You will feel the power!”
Video Source: Youtube.
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