Around 600 office workers, most clad in their business suits, staged an anti-nuclear protest in Tokyo‘s Shinbashi district on Wednesday evening. The organizers targeted the working people to join the rally as this segment of the population are usually hesitant to join such demonstrations, even as the anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan is steadily growing.
The protest started off at a park near the Shinbashi Station at around 7PM, just as most office workers are getting off work. They walked the two kilometers to the business district for around 40 minutes, all the while chanting slogans and carrying placards that said “No to restarts,” “Stop contaminated water” and “Stop export.” On the way, they deliberately passed by the offices of the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the utility operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a company that has been strongly criticized by anti-nuclear supporters for their haphazard handling of the decontamination and clean-up of the plant.
The organizers of the march were a couple, Michihiko Senda, 47, and his wife Rie, 45 plus two other people who they met in other anti-nuclear demonstrations and gatherings. They made the call to action using the power of online media through their website and Twitter, requiring the participants to wear business attire in order to attract other office workers. They want to raise awareness among employees about the government’s nuclear energy policy and how they can help pressure the current administration into weaning away from atomic energy. One of the participants said that she started seeing that nuclear power is unnecessary and harmful after seeing the devastation in Fukushima, the site of the worst nuclear accident in recent history.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]