Photo gallery: Stop Nuclear Power Demo

Anti-nuclear power demonstrators take the streets of central Tokyo

Photo gallery: Stop Nuclear Power Demo

An anti-nuke demonstrator marching on Omotesando

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The last time Shirouto no Ran called its supporters onto the streets, organisers claimed that 15,000 people joined them. Nobody disputed this, though the Time Out Tokyo staff in attendance that day would've guessed at a figure nearer 7,000. One month on, and the call came again, only this time the crowds would descend on central Tokyo. Planned for a Saturday afternoon, organisers openly hoped for a crowd to dwarf the Koenji turnout. Sadly, this was not to be.

Maybe the wet weather put them off, or perhaps the protest 'boom' is already on the wane – either way, the crowd today can't have topped 4,000. Speaking to policemen en route, Time Out Tokyo was given figures between 3,200 and 5,000. Matsumoto-San, the head of Shirouto no Ran, didn't have figures at the time we asked him, though he didn't seem as positive as he had done when we caught up with him during the Koenji event. However, those that did turn up did so with a much louder sound system and enough people power to make the streets of Harajuku, Omotesando, Aoyama and Shibuya stop and gawp.

Compared with the Koenji crowd, today's event seemed to attract both a more hardcore group and a slightly older demographic. The new age hippy contingent was prominent, and there were less young folk, suggesting that the Koenji demonstration had been attractive more as a rare spectacle rather than for its political ideals. The older people in attendance today seemed to take as their focal point the April 19 decision, made by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to raise the legally acceptable radiation level in Japan to 20 milli-sieverts per year. The decision, and the effect that it'll have on the children of Fukushima Prefecture, has been condemned as 'inhumane' by the anti-nuclear power community.

Despite the dwindling figures, and the continued lack of interest from mainstream Japanese media, Shirouto no Ran have said that they plan to stage another demonstration within the next month. We'll keep you posted on this as details come to light.

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Photo by Jon Wilks
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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