Anti Nuclear Power Protest Draws Thousands in Tokyo

Posted September 19th, 2011 at 5:16 am (UTC-5)
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Thousands of people marched through downtown Tokyo Monday, urging the government to quickly halt the use of nuclear energy.

Police said about 20,000 people took part in the march, making it one of the biggest protests since an earthquake and tsunami caused a catastrophic breakdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant six months ago. Organizers put the number of marchers much higher.

Protest leader Yasunari Fujimoto said the protesters want a clear commitment from the government that it will halt the use of nuclear power.

He said that will encourage the public to speed up the use of alternative energy sources.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his predecessor, Naoto Kan, both said they want Japan to phase out the use of nuclear power. However they say Japan is heavily dependent on nuclear power and can only get rid of it gradually.