Japanese protest outside prime ministers office on Friday – More than half of residents near Ohi still opposed to restart

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Japan’s prime minister has said he may order the restart of one of the nation’s idled nuclear plants as early as next week, but hundreds of Japanese anti-nuclear protesters gathered outside the prime minister’s office on Friday, beating drums and chanting slogans against the planned restart of the reactors.

Prime Minister Noda claims to be “winning understanding from local authorities, but an NHK survey has found that more than half of the residents, over 55 percent, near a Japanese town hosting a nuclear power plant oppose restarting the offline reactors, while only 38 percent were in favor.

Regarding the government’s handling of the plant’s restart, 74 percent of the respondents in the neighboring municipalities had a negative assessment while 21 percent were positive. Even in Ohi Town, 60 percent of the respondents felt negatively while 33 percent had a positive feeling.

Some claim that people hope to get through the summer without restarting the plant, by saving energy and having power firms procure electricity from each other.

Others argue that a decision on the restart should be made after a report by the Diet committee investigating the cause of last year’s nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Source: NHK

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