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article image200,000 protest in Tokyo against nuclear restart

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By Anne Sewell     Jun 30, 2012 in World
Tokyo - Shareholders of Japan's electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power in Japan. 200,000 people hit the streets yesterday to protest this.
The people of Japan are outraged over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in Japan. They protested at the door of the residence of Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, yesterday.
In the brief video clip above, protesters are chanting, "No to the restarts!"
Despite widespread public opposition, Noda approved the restart of two reactors at Kansai Electric's Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture on June 16. Since then there have been regular protests outside of his residence.
However, according to Japan Times, Friday's protest was probably the biggest yet, as organizers estimated the turnout to be over 200,000 people.
Protesters in Tokyo on Friday.
Protesters in Tokyo on Friday.
Video screen capture
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Misao Redwolf, one of the organizers, told reporters, "The best we Tokyo residents can do is to protest in front of the prime minister's office, although this is really a last-minute action."
One of the protesters, Kazumi Honda, is a housewife in her 40's and lives in Minami Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture, just 60 kms from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.
She told reporters, "I think it's outrageous to restart (the Oi reactors) when the Fukushima No. 1 plant accident has not even been contained."
She says that she cannot ignore the situation with the reactors in Oi, especially as the government admits that their safety status is still tentative.
In the wake of last year's Fukushima disaster, which continues to cause problems with record levels of nuclear radiation in the region, Japan had shut down the last of its 50 nuclear facilities in early May.
As reported on Digital Journal in May, there was concern at the time that Japan would not be able to cope without the nuclear facilities, and now it seems these concerns are legitimate. However, this does not change the continued public disapproval of nuclear power in Japan.
Video: aerial view of the protesters in Tokyo yesterday from Kyodo News:
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