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Nuclear Power Protests Find Wide Support in Japan via The Daily Beast

A broad coalition of protesters opposes the re-opening of nuclear power plants in Japan, a country unaccustomed to social protest, writes Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky.

The loosely structured network of groups opposed to nuclear energy in Japan known as “Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes” (MCAN),was founded in September last year

The leader of the group is an outspoken tattooed female artist and fashion designer who choses to be referred to by her adapted name, Misao Redwolf. (Don’t dare ask her age, because she will just glare at you fiercely.) Redwolf says, “I organized anti-nuclear protests for more than five years now, but nobody knew about our movement simply because we never received media coverage before.”

Redwolf, noting that many small groups of protesters were scattered around Tokyo, decided to bring together all the organizations to fight for the same cause. “And so we founded the MCAN.”

The protest organizers always make sure to thank the police officers for their hard work—with a polite bow and traditional greetings—when the event is done.

The first anti-nuclear demonstration in front of the National Diet building and the prime minister’s residence took place on March 29, 2012. Almost every Friday evening, between 6 and 8 p.m., protesters meet in front of the prime minister’s residence to protest the government’s decision to restart two reactors at the nuclear power station Oi, which belongs to Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO), in the Fukui prefecture.

“The protests cannot change the decisions of the politicians,” Redwolf says, “but if our voices can reach the ears of the lawmakers at the Parliament (the Japanese Diet) and influence their decisions, then we will win a unique battle.”

Her major ally in winning that battle is the mild-mannered, clean-cut, and soft-spoken Norimichi Hattori, the group’s spokesman, who has captured the hearts of the Japanese public and the media.

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