Chants of ‘No Nukes’ Echo in Streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya and Harajuku Districts

by Satoru Ogawa / The Asahi Shimbun

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Anti-nuclear protesters march through Tokyo’s Shibuya district on Sept. 29. (Satoru Ogawa)

With an eye to getting their message out to young people, demonstrators calling for a departure from nuclear power on Sept. 29 changed course from their usual venue and took to the streets in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya and Harajuku districts.

Protesters shouted slogans such as “We’ve got enough electric power” and “No nuke reactors on earthquake-prone islands” as they marched past Marui City Shibuya and other fashionable commercial establishments packed with trend-conscious youths.

The “No Nukes Demo” was the brainchild of the Metropolitan Coalition against Nukes, a civil advocacy group that organizes weekly anti-nuclear protest rallies outside the prime minister’s office on Friday evenings in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district. Organizers said they thought that the nation’s youths are not even aware that all 50 existing nuclear power reactors in Japan are currently offline, for maintenance and safety checks.

The march followed a rally in Nagatacho on Sept. 27 opposing Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for safety screening of two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture, as a prelude to their possible restart.

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