Ordinary citizens by the hundreds join activists in human chainBy SETSUKO KAMIYA and MIZUHO AOKIStaff writers
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people including ordinary citizens and antinuclear activists gathered in Tokyo Sunday afternoon to form a human chain around the Diet building, calling for the abolition of nuclear power plants and putting more pressure on the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
In the past, protest rallies around the Diet were usually organized by political parties and labor unions. But like many other rallies organized in the aftermath of the triple meltdowns that erupted in the Fukushima disaster, Sunday’s was attended by many nonactivist citizens.
“This is really a very hot summer, but although none of the nuclear power plants of Tokyo Electric Power Co. are operating, we’re not short of electricity in Tokyo,” said Keiko Ochai, an author who is among the organizers of the rally.
“We have to push for the halting of the Oi nuclear power plant, and need to keep the government from restarting other nuclear power plants,” she said, referring to the nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture at which two reactors have been reactivated following safety checkups mandated in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
Protesters gathered at around 3:30 p.m. at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward under a scorching sun with hand-made signs and banners in their hands.
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