Day 476 Record numbers not seen since the 60s turn out against Oi restart

Uh-oh received a comment on the last blog entry:

I am always underwelmed when I hear that a few hundred or more turn out for an event like this, due to the thousands who turn out sometimes overnight for the newest in there new I pads, pods, phones, etc.


Dear Someone,

Yes, I agree. AND there were up to 200,000 in Tokyo – the largest crowd to assemble since the 60s in this country. True, there were only a couple hundred or so in Nagoya (see revised figures below), but there were a couple hundred!!! And many more who either were not able to attend or who wanted to but were held back by social attitudes, perhaps. We can’t forget that 800 turned out on 11 June 2011 and 5,000 at the demonstration on 3.11 of this year (click for sources).

When people feel threatened and they know that their friends and neighbors are also worried, they are more likely to take some sort of action. When mothers know that other mothers will be at the event, they are more likely to attend as well.

In the city of Oogaki, in Gifu Prefecture, today (30 June) there was a demo “‘No way! No Ooi Restart’ Papa Mama Whoever Demo in Oogaki”. They were planning for more than 100 people, but actually 250 came according to a post on the DaysJapan listserv which said, “It was a very lively demonstration for this very conservative countryside town.”

Here in “conservative” Nagoya, there may be a variety of reasons that keep people home, but one thing is for sure, this city of 2.26 million would be in the direct path of any accident up in Nuclear Ginza (i.e. Fukui). 

This, from my blog entry on 12 Mar of this year:

…There was an experiment conducted on 3 Mar 2012, from 10a.m. to 12:30p.m. The group doing this experiment let off 1,000 balloons from Suishohama in Fukui Prefecture. They followed the balloons to track how far they would go and how long it would take. You can see the list of places and the times at:

2012 03 03水晶浜からの風船飛ばし

They arrived in Gifu City at Nagara at 13:30

Kozouji at 13:00

Aichi-ken Ichinomiya at 13:00.

The point of all this is…. if one of the reactors up in Fukui – Mihama or Monju – were to release radiation as a result of an accident, it would only take a few hours for that radiation to reach one of the largest population centers in Japan, the greater Nagoya area.

Food for thought.

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Now for some revision of the numbers last night.

Retraction: Apparently it was not 400 in Nagoya. The organizers said there were about 100, but when I was there I counted at least 200, so maybe the lower figure was near the beginning when they were talking to the newspaper reporter.

And… MUCH more importantly, as the world knows by now, the total in Tokyo was not 80,000, but somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000!!  (The Japan Times reported 200,000.)

EX-SKF include this in an entry today:

Hibi Zakkan” (daily random thoughts) blog (6/30/2012) has a summary of the Japanese media reports on the number of protesters at June 29’s rally:

TBS TV: 200,000, quoting the organizers
Organizers: 150,000
Asahi Shinbun: 150,000 to 180,000 quoting the organizers, 17,000 quoting the police
Asahi TV (Hodo Station): 40,000 to 50,000
NHK: “More than the last time”
The Metropolitan Police: 17,000
Mainichi: quoting both the organizers (150,000) and the police (17,000)
Yomiuri: (there is no article)

Read the entire article at:

And here are some headlines of this historic event:

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I love Japan. Even the protests are orderly. Mostly. 

While noisy, the protesters on Friday demonstrated Japan’s penchant for being well organized and fastidiously polite. In many places, they kept passages clear for pedestrians and stood in neat lines along sidewalks. When the protest ended at 8 p.m., organizers quickly dispersed participants using megaphones, with hardly a scrap of garbage left behind.

In Tokyo, Thousands Protest the Restarting of a Nuclear Power Plant

Kyodo News, via Associated Press

An antinuclear demonstration took place on Friday outside the residence of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Tokyo. Protests of any size are rare in Japan.

Published: June 29, 2012

TOKYO — Shouting antinuclear slogans and beating drums, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the Japanese prime minister’s residence on Friday in the largest display yet of public anger at the government’s decision to restart a nuclear power plant.

Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

Protesters shouted, “No to restart!” as they held up banners outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday.

The crowd, including women with small children and men in suits coming from work, chanted “No more Fukushimas!” as it filled the broad boulevards near the residence and the national Parliament building, which were cordoned off by the police.

Estimates of the crowd’s size varied widely, with organizers claiming 150,000 participants, while the police put the number at 17,000. Local news media estimated the crowd at between 20,000 and 45,000, which they described as the largest protest in central Tokyo since the 1960s.

Article continues at:

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Protest rally against Noda, Oi reactor restarts intensifies

Staff writer

As Kansai Electric Power Co. prepares to fire up a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, a massive crowd gathered in central Tokyo to express their anger toward the government and the utility.

News photo
A massive crowd fills the street across from the prime minister’s office Friday evening to protest against the government’s decision to begin the process Sunday to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.KYODO

The protest outside the prime minister’s office has become a weekly event in the past few months, with the number of participants increasing each time.

“The best we Tokyo residents can do is to protest in front of the prime minister’s office, although this is really a last-minute action,” Misao Redwolf, one of the protest organizers, told reporters.

The organizers said the rally a week earlier drew 45,000 people, while police said there were about 11,000 protesters. On Friday, organizers were aiming for a gathering of 100,000 people.

Given the increasing number of participants, the police heightened security by stationing hundreds of officers there. It was the tightest security for a public protest in several decades, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.

The protest on Friday, which began at 6 p.m., saw a huge crowd gather beforehand, with participants calling on the government and Kepco not to restart the reactors. Organizers said around 200,000 people took part, while police said participants were in the tens of thousands.

Article continues at:

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Published on Friday, June 29, 2012 by Common Dreams

200,000 Protest in Japan Ahead of Nuclear Restart

– Common Dreams staff
Hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up at the door of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday, lining the streets of central Tokyo to express outrage over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in the country.

Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power throughout the nation, despite widespread public opposition.

Noda approved the restarts of two reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi plant on June 16, but his pro-nuclear stance has prompted weekly protests outside of his residence. Friday’s protest was perhaps the biggest yet. Organizers estimated the turnout to be over 200,000 people, according to Japan Times.

Japan had shut down the last of its 50 nuclear facilities in early May, following continued public disapproval of nuclear power after last year’s disaster in Fukushima, which continues to plague the region with record levels of nuclear radiation.

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ネットで拡大、再稼働反対 官邸前に人の波

(with video)

(h/t: Kurisu)

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From ENENEWS at:

Watch: Up to 200,000 reported lining streets of Tokyo for protest (PHOTOS & VIDEOS) — Armored vehicles barricade PM’s residence — NYT Reporter: “See office workers, moms w/ small kids, seniors, Buddhist priests”

Tens of thousands protest Japan nuclear restart
June 29, 2012

Tens of thousands protest Japan nuclear restart


The protesters, carrying placards which read “Rise up against the restart” and “The nuclear era is over,” lined the streets around Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in central Tokyo as police watched on, according to an AFP photographer.

The main entrance to the residence was seen guarded by armoured vehicles and barricades of uniformed police.

Organisers quoted in local media estimated turnout exceeded 100,000 people, over double the turnout they estimated at a similar protest last week. Lawmaker Yoshisu Arita, however, placed the figure at closer to 20,000 on Twitter.


The demonstration had been called by liberal writers Takashi Hirose and Satoshi Kamata in an online message which spread on Twitter and Facebook in what was likened by a popular tabloid to the “Arab Spring,” a wave of protests that topped governments in the Arab world last year.


UPDATE: Asahi: 150,000 to 180,000 said to protest in Tokyo streets — Top headline on Mainichi (NEW VIDEO)

Perhaps lawmaker Yoshisu Arita should work on his crowd estimating skills.

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New TEPCO leaders to push restarts of reactors in Niigata

The new management leaders of Tokyo Electric Power Co. showed a bit of apprehension but still plan to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Kyodo: No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool’s cooling system stopped after alarm sounds — Tepco: “Leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed”

Cooling system for Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor suspended
Kyodo News
June 30, 2012 at 11:31a JST

The cooling system for a spent fuel pool at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s No. 4 reactor automatically suspended operation Saturday morning after an alarm issued a warning at around 6:25 a.m., Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.The water temperature of the pool was 31 C at the time of the suspension, and leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed, TEPCO said, adding it is unlikely the temperature will rise rapidly.


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Meltdown scenario excluded from nation’s emergency drill plan

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A government-affiliated body tasked with planning what was to be the nation’s first nuclear emergency drill following the core meltdowns last year at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant omitted a reactor meltdown scenario from its disaster simulations, according to a draft obtained by Kyodo News.

While the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization said such a simulation “would stir concerns among local residents,” the exclusion of the meltdown scenario from the disaster prevention drill has been criticized as an inadequate crisis response.

(And how about the response you’re getting from Japan’s residents recently, JNESO?)

Article continues at:

And, from EX-SKF:

Fukushima’s “Lesson” Learned Well by the Japanese Government: Don’t Plan for Core Melt, Don’t Train, Don’t Alarm Residents

The first Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Training since the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident was being planned last year. What did the national government assume in an nuclear accident, now that they had supposedly learned the “lessons” from the Fukushima accident?

Why, eliminate the situations like “core melt” (meltdown), of course! We cannot alarm the public, can we?

Article continues at:

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Did anyone else happen to see this? I found it on a Facebook page. Looks like someone hacked the NHK web site.

(and… on a related note:)

Anonymous still on attack: member


NEW YORK — The hacker group Anonymous, which has warned of attacks on the Japanese government to protest a revision of the country’s copyright laws, will continue its campaign, a man claiming to be a member said Thursday.

“It’s going to continue of course. Anonymous is not going to stop fighting,” the member said. “We will keep fighting till we see our end result.”

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

“Problem after problem after problem” at Japan’s restarted nuclear plant — Self-sustaining chain reaction to be established Monday morning (VIDEO)

Ohi nuclear power plant to restart on Sunday
June 29, 2012

Kansai Electric Power Company, the operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, will restart the No.3 reactor on Sunday night for the first time in 15 months.


It will reach the critical stage on Monday morning. This is where a self-sustaining chain reaction of nuclear fission is established.


An interruption in the power grid monitoring signal, an accidental switch-off of the power source for monitoring instruments and six other minor problems have taken place.

Problem after Problem after Problem at Ooi Nuke Plant, Still Set to Restart on July 1
June 28, 2012

Problem after Problem after Problem at Ooi Nuke Plant, Still Set to Restart on July 1

(UPDATE) “… after Problem” Alarms sounded off in the central control room for the Reactor 3′s pump in the afternoon of June 29, according toJiji Tsushin (6/29/2012). The pump circulates the primary coolant that goes into the Reactor 3 Pressure Vessel.


In a matter of few days, Ooi Nuclear Power Plant has managed to have three separate minor problems, and two of them triggered alarms. First it was poor maintenance, then it was a human error, then probably another case of poor maintenance.


h/t Anonymous tip

Watch the video here

1 comment
  1. Anonymous said:

    Can not find the post on the man refusing to pay his NHK fee….please repost!
    I hope this news can be shared, this could be big if it hits the right media streams, people will grant its clear logic and hopefully start to question the validity of most Japanese news items
    Thank you

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