Volunteers light candles of a paper lantern for a memorial service for victims killed by earthquake and following tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, yesterday.
TOKYO: Tens of thousands of citizens turned out for an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo yesterday, as the nation prepares to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.
Demonstrators congregated at Hibiya Park, close to central government buildings, before marching around the national parliament.
They gathered to voice their anger at the nuclear industry and the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has called for resumption of nuclear reactors to power the world’s third largest economy.
“I felt it’s important that we continue to raise our voice whenever possible,” said Yasuro Kawai, a 66-year-old businessman from Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo.
“Today, there is no electricity flowing in Japan that is made at nuclear plants. If we continue this zero nuclear status and if we make efforts to promote renewable energy and invest in energy saving technology, I think it’s possible to live without nuclear,” Kawai said.
This week, Japan will mark the anniversary of the deadly 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the northern region on March 11, 2011, that prompted killer tsunami that swept the northern Pacific coastline.
The natural disasters killed 15,884 people and left 2,636 people still unaccounted for. The plant remains volatile and engineers say it will take four decades to dismantle the crippled reactors.
Protesters in Tokyo stressed that Japan can live without nuclear power as it has done so for many months while all of the nation’s 50 commercial nuclear reactors have remained offline due to tense public opposition to restarting them.