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2014-01-17

Protests Grow in Japan: "We Want to Bring Our Message to the World to Stop Nuclear Power Plants"

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Recent moves by the Japanese government to restart the country’s nuclear power plant facilities have been met by growing protests. "I think this is a problem of the world, not just of Japan," Kato Keiko told Democracy Now! at a protest outside the prime minister’s private residence in Tokyo. She describes how there is increasing expectation that voters will decide which candidate to choose in the upcoming election based on their position on nuclear power.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting for the last of three days from Tokyo, Japan. We turn right now to what took place just before we made it to the studio. Hundreds of people gathered outside the official residence of the Japanese prime minister to voice their concern about nuclear power.

KEIKO KATO: [translated] My name is Keiko Kato. I belong to this organizers’ group which organized this demonstration. And we’ve been here for two years to demonstrate against the nuclear power facilities. I think this is a problem of the world, not for just Japan. So, for us, for Japanese to be able to abolish the nuclear facility, this would save the world from the nuclear powers.

The people have been decreasing because of the weather, but starting from last week, more people are coming to the demonstration just because there are some movements in the government to restart some of the nuclear facilities, so people are very afraid that they are going to actually do it. That’s why more people are coming out now in this weather.

There will be gubernatorial elections next month, and one of the issues that we are discussing is either the candidate is for nuclear power plant or against the nuclear power plant. And that will be a serious issue that has to be discussed. And we can send a message from Tokyo to the Japanese government for nuclear policies. We are trying very hard to stop this movement that is starting. We want you to bring our message to the world to stop nuclear power plant facilities.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Kato Keiko, one of hundreds of people protesting nuclear power outside the official residence of the Japanese prime minister. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

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