8 Mars 2015
March 8, 2015
Mar. 8, 2015 - Updated 14:17 UTC+1
Tokyo was the scene of a large anti-nuclear rally on Sunday, a few days before the 4th anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The organizers said 23,000 people took part in the demonstration in Tokyo's Hibiya Park. They have held similar demonstrations on or around March 11th for the past 3 years, as well as weekly Friday protests for the past 4 years.
The protesters called for recalling the accident once again, as memories are beginning to fade. They also demanded nuclear-free energy policies and criticized nationwide moves to restart nuclear power plants.
Former astronaut Toyohiro Akiyama once lived in Fukushima Prefecture, where he farmed the land. He said he is one of those who were forced to evacuate. He urged the participants to use anti-nuclear rallies and gatherings as a way to express their anger to lawmakers.
A 69-year-old woman said she feels people, mainly those in Tokyo, are losing interest in the accident. She said she is worried because fewer members of younger generations are taking part in anti-nuclear protests.
The organizers said the number of protesters has decreased by 10,000 each year for the past 3 years.
One of the organizers, Misao Redwolf, said the anti-nuclear movement is at a turning point, as the government has revised its energy policy without nuclear power, and the number of the participants has declined.
She said she wants to continue raising people's awareness of the fact that the effects of the Fukushima accident have not been cleared, and many former residents near the plant remain without sufficient support.