Japanese Activists Continue Chain Hunger Strike at ``NO NUKE Tent``

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) A group of Japanese anti-nuclear activists pledged today to continue their chain hunger strike aimed at pressuring their government to quit its plan to restart nuclear reactors.

At a news conference held in the open air at their No-Nuke tent on the side walk facing Japan's Ministry of Industry building in Tokyo, the protestors said they want people in and outside Japan to know about their movement against nuclear power.

"Anyone can join our hunger strike for as long as they can. This is our mission to stop nuclear power generation for future generations, thinking of Chernobyl, Fukushima and Fukui.”

The date was not a coincidence as today, April 26th, is the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster of twenty six years ago.

The collective chain hunger strike started on April 17 and is scheduled to end on May 5 when Tomari, the final plant out of 54 that is still operating in Japan, will be stopped for maintenance by Hokkaido Electric Power Company (TEPCO). “By then, all the reactors in Japan will be offline, and that historical moment is just around the corner,” the activists said.

Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa on Thursday sought local approval for reactivating two idled reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in the town of Oi in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast. He told residents that safety measures have been taken at the plant to prevent a severe accident even if the reactors were hit by an earthquake and tsunami comparable to those that triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Town Mayor Shinobu Tokioka will decide whether to accept the restart of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of the Oi complex after examining the government's explanation and hearing opinions of its town assembly.

"Nuclear power plants are not safe. I will never give up until nuclear power plants all over the world are stopped even if it takes me more than decades. It is what I can do for people in Fukushima suffering from the accident," one of the activists told reporters gathered at the tent.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration is keen to restart the two reactors at Oi plant to avoid a situation where there is no nuclear power, another protester said. He expressed doubts that the new safety standards set by the government are effective in the case if a big earthquake hits.

Results of the investigation into the Fukushima Daiichi accident have not yet been announced, and the ruling and opposition parties haven’t even started debating the bill to create a new regulatory agency, according to a statement issued by the protesters.

One participant from Oi town gave a speech at the event saying, "My people are very concerned that Oi nuclear power plant could have an accident like Fukushima Daiichi. We are also concerned about the effect of nuclear waste on our children, let alone the danger facing those who are working at nuclear power plants. Is it good for them to be in radiation-exposed working environment? They should find another work."

The activists also called for the cancellation of "Child Marathon in Koriyama" in which kindergarten and elementary school children will participate.

"In Koriyama, we can still see high radiation levels. Children are exposed to radiation by being used as symbols of reconstruction."

PanOrient News

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