Yuzuru Kaneko, a blogger who has been filming the anti-nuclear protests in Fukui Prefecture, had his home raided by police on October 1st in order to search for evidence of potential demonstrators who had committed crimes. While most of the Japanese public has feelings against the continued use of nuclear power after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, Fukui Prefecture is home to the Oi power plant, where the nation’s only two active reactors reside. Kaneko has been covering many of the local protests against Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO), the operators of the Oi facility, and uploading the video to his YouTube channel.
Anti-nuclear demonstrations are held every Friday throughout Japan in order to signify unity among country’s people. While nothing like record-setting crowds that turn up in downtown Tokyo outside the prime minister’s office, those in the western Kansai region regularly protest KEPCO’s use of nuclear power. They speak out against continued operation of the local plant, now more controversial because of the potentially active fault line running directly underneath. The country’s mass media often play-down or ignore the demonstrations, but more people like Kaneko are filming the events themselves and uploading the video to the internet in order make their voices heard. This means police are sometimes using the footage to identify and track down protestors who are accused of breaking the law.
On June 30th, Kaneko filmed an anti-nuclear protest in Fukui in late June, just before the two Oi reactors were restarted, where demonstrators blocked the front gate of the power plant to deny entrance. One activist there that day was later arrested in September, accused of damaging property, threat and assault at the gate, and causing injury. In order to gain more evidence, the police searched Kaneko’s home, despite he having no relation to the man arrested, and seized all of his computer equipment, cameras, and memory cards. His property was still un-returned on November 5th when his supporters began pressuring the authorities to return Kaneko’s equipment, which they stated they would on November 8th.[via Global Voices]