TOKYO (AP) – Dozens of protesters shouted and danced at the gate of a nuclear power plant set to restart Sunday, the first to go back online since Japan shut down all of its reactors for safety checks following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Ohi nuclear plant’s reactor No. 3 is returning to operation despite a deep division in public opinion. Last month, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restarts of reactors No. 3 and nearby No. 4, saying people’s living standards can’t be maintained without nuclear energy. Many citizens are against a return to nuclear power because of safety fears after Fukushima.
Crowds of tens of thousands of people have gathered on Friday evenings around Noda’s official residence, chanting, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to nuclear restarts.” Protests drawing such numbers are extremely rare in this nation, reputed for orderly docility and conformity. A demonstration in Tokyo protesting the restart and demanding Noda resign was being organized in a major park Sunday.
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