Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • 24 killed¸ 271 injured in South Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Anti-nuclear protests mark three months since quake

Video by William EDWARDS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-11

Thousands of people staged anti-nuclear rallies in cities across Japan Saturday, as the country marks three months since the devastating earthquake and ensuing Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

AFP - Japan on Saturday marked three months since its massive quake-tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis, amid simmering public frustration over the government's slow response to the catastrophe.

Thousands of people staged anti-nuclear rallies in Tokyo and other cities as radiation continued to leak from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some 220 kilometres (140 miles) northeast of the capital.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, under heavy pressure to step down, visited part of the disaster zone where 23,500 people were killed or are still unaccounted for while 90,000 others remained holed up in crowded shelters.

Several thousand demonstrators, some carrying placards reading: "We don't want nuclear power plants" marched past the head office of the Fukushima plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), in a rally organised online by the Japan Congress against Atomic and Nuclear Bombs.

But dozens of apparently right-wing activists, some of them holding the military rising-sun flag, jeered at them from the roadside. "Shut up, anti-nuclear advocates who have no counterproposal," one of their placards read.

TEPCO, once the world's biggest utility, has seen its share price plunge more than 90 percent since the March 11 disaster.


A minute's silence was observed at various places nationwide at 2:46 pm (0546 GMT), the moment the 9.0-magnitude quake struck below the Pacific seafloor sending monster waves over the country's northeastern Tohoku region.

"It is time to shift to renewable energy sources," Greenpeace director Kumi Naidoo told a rally at Tokyo's Yoyogi Park before they took to the streets holding sunflowers and gerbera daisies.

Media reports said that around 100 anti-nuclear events were staged nationwide, including in the western cities of Osaka and Hiroshima, which was devastated by a US atomic bomb in 1945.

3 months after Japan's disaster, many countries want to abandon nuclear power

The prime minister attended a meeting with leaders in the port town of Kamaishi on ways to improve survivors' lives while newspaper editorials criticised his government's handling of the calamity.

"I am determined to turn what I heard today into relief measures including a supplementary budget," Kan told the meeting.
The mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said his government's assistance to disaster-hit communities "has been insufficient."

"The removal of rubble has been overly delayed. Construction of makeshift housing for evacuees has yet to get on the right track," it said.

Rebuilding the muddy wastelands of the Tohoku region -- an area now covered in 25 million tonnes of rubble -- will take up to a decade and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, experts say.

A 20-kilometre (12-mile) no-go zone has been enforced around the Fukushima nuclear plant, which emergency crews hope to bring into stable "cold shutdown" between October and January.

Environmental and anti-nuclear group Greenpeace called on Japan this week to evacuate children and pregnant women from Fukushima town, about 60 kilometres from the stricken plant, because of what it said was high radiation.

Since the disaster, Japan has raised the legal exposure limit for people, including children, from one to 20 millisieverts per year -- matching the safety standard for nuclear industry workers in many countries.

In the wake of the disaster, Kan has said resource-poor Japan will review its energy policy, including its plans for more nuclear reactors, while making solar and other alternative energies new pillars of its energy mix.

"Its assistance to disaster-hit local governments has been insufficient," the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said.

"The removal of rubble has been overly delayed. Construction of makeshift housing for evacuees has yet to get on the right track."

Rebuilding the muddy wastelands of the northeastern Tohoku region -- an area now covered in 25 million tons of rubble -- will take up to a decade and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, say experts.

A 20-kilometre (12-mile) no-go zone has been enforced around the Fukushima nuclear plant, which emergency crews hope to bring into stable "cold shutdown" between October and January.

Environmental and anti-nuclear group Greenpeace called on Japan this week to evacuate children and pregnant women from Fukushima town, about 60 kilometres from the stricken plant, because of what it said was high radiation.

Since the disaster, Japan has raised the legal exposure limit for people, including children, from one to 20 millisieverts per year -- matching the safety standard for nuclear industry workers in many countries.

Greenpeace is among organisers of the anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo.

Aside from their "Energy Shift Parade" in Tokyo, more anti-nuclear rallies were planned nationwide, including in the western cities of Osaka and Hiroshima, which was devastated by a US atomic bomb in 1945.

Protesters also planned a Tokyo demonstration against embattled nuclear plant operator the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), once the world's biggest utility, whose share price has plunged more than 90 percent.

In the wake of the disaster, Kan has said resource-poor Japan will review its energy policy, including its plans for more nuclear reactors, while making solar and other alternative energies new pillars of its energy mix.
 

Date created : 2011-06-11

  • JAPAN

    Pensioners prepared to risk it all to clean up nuclear plants

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Naoto Kan survives no-confidence vote

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    IAEA: Japan underestimated nuclear plant tsunami risk

    Read more

COMMENT(S)