Much more than last year, this year is being characterised by systematically organised protests.Last week and the week before I went to the protests at Kokkai Gijidou Mae - outside the Prime Minister's official residence. I was there more to see what was happening rather than to protest. I can't say I'm unequivocally in the anti nuclear camp, though obviously the current situation in Fukushima is completely unacceptable.
Anti nuclear power protests have a long history in Japan, particularly with the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Government efforts to subdue the protests has an equally long history. (see this article by Daniel Aldrich for an insight into the way the government has operated to get nuclear established.) In some ways the protests are about much more than nuclear, they seem to be about democratic fundamentals. Having said that though, I am not sure how widespread the sentiments are; I have heard few reports of protests in other areas. It will be interesting to see the next election.
|The same people being turned away. We were on the same side |
of the road as the PM house, about 70 m. from where we were.
|Protestors were told strictly by organizers that any speeches must only relate|
to the anti nuclear agenda. A key strategy of successful protesting
- keeping a clear target.
|The Diet building in the background with police and baricades between it|
and the people.... symbolic really when you consider that there has been
negligible attention been paid by politicians.
|Graffiti on a post box - "Fuck Nuclear Power". Intersetingly written on|
what looks like a beginners English name tage.
|I met up with a friend and fellow blogger|
Rurousha to go on the 27th July 2012 protests. We met in
Hibiya Park, which is often a site for protests, though the size is too small
to have large rallies.
|A marshalling point for participants? Just near the Ministry of Industry (METI) building,|
between Hibiya Park and the Diet, a group of protestsers had set up shop.
Police keep protestors on a very light leash. Protesters can't move
out of the "protesters area". One side of the foot path is shut off
to enable people to walk along the footpath, but since there is almost
no pedestrian traffic, it serves a double bonus purpose as
preventing protesters from congregating in a more condensed area.
For Rurousha's account with an African perspective, see