By Mari Saito and Tetsushi Kajimoto
TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) – In a rare move by a former Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama joined a boisterous anti-nuclear demonstration outside his old office on Friday, a fresh sign that the ruling party he once led is fracturing over energy and other policies.
On Monday, an estimated 100,000 anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets in Tokyo, while ever-bigger crowds have been gathering every Friday outside Noda’s office.
“It is truly regrettable that the voices of all of you gathered here today are so far removed from politics and the prime minister’s office,” said Hatoyama, wearing a clear raincoat under a steady drizzle and surrounded by reporters.
“As a former prime minister … I want to take your message inside the prime minister’s office,” he said after shaking hands with a few of the thousands of demonstrators.
“He can come here and say something impressive but it doesn’t really matter,” said Osamu Arai, a 65-year-old construction worker taking part in the demonstration.
“This is a grass roots movement. Things change very slowly in Japan, but we must continue to protest.”
Continue reading at UPDATE 1-Ex-Japan PM joins anti-nuclear demo outside PM’s office