Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join in Monday’s anti-nuclear march here in Kyoto, but with all the musicians and drummers and the likes of Christopher Fryman blowing on his trumpet it looks like it must have been fun! Here’s the good word from two friends who were there. Stephen Gill writes,
We need more younger people to come and walk against the restart of nuclear power in Kansai. About 300 showed up in 35 degrees heat this afternoon in front of Kyoto Station to try to keep the light of hope alive here in Kyoto. We marched up Karasuma and along Shichijo and then past the Kansai Power Co. Building – twice in all, chanting and drumming. The issue is not just nuclear power, but power politics and vested interests, and if more Japanese people don’t say what they really think, it could end up making a mockery of democracy.
And Andy Couzens writes,
So Friday we got a little wet and Monday we got a little hot, but a lot of fun and some new friendships were forged. These demonstrations are so very important. The numbers in Tokyo are truly historic and it is so heartening to see the reports coming from there, and though much smaller in Kansai they are no less significant. This has to be a nationwide drive to shift Japan away from nuclear and towards renewable energies.
It’s has been over two weeks since Kansai Electric, on the instruction of PM Noda, restarted the Ohi reactor in the face of, not only massive public protests, but also huge concerns from seismologists that the reactor sits on active fault lines. This plant is so close to Lake Biwa, which provides drinking water for 15 million people, a disaster at Ohi reactor would destroy this historic and beautiful area. The restart was ordered before the investigation into the Fukushima disaster was completed. The crisis at Fukushima is still unfolding, and the new regulatory body and regulations won’t be in place until the autumn. This doesn’t sound sensible to say the least.
Full details of the next demo on Friday can be found on the Facebook event page that Andy has set up. Here is the basic information.
The next protests will be held on Friday July 20th.
Kyoto 17:00-1900 Outside Kansai Denryoku (Kyoto branch office). Here is a map.
Osaka 18:00-19:30 Outside Kansai Denryoku (main office). Here is a map.
I have attended the last two Friday evening demos and plan to be at the next one. The atmosphere is friendly and easy-going and you can come and go as you please. If you can only pop along for ten minutes to show your solidarity, that’s just fine. As Stephen says, it is important that we defend democracy by speaking our mind, and to my mind the fact that the restarts have begun in direct defiance of popular opinion is clearly anti-democratic. Above and beyond that though, the Ohi reactors are unsafe and lie just 60 kms away from Kyoto. It’s in our backyard folks. If we want to keep on living here, we need to make it safe.