More Protests Planned In Japan, Political Upheaval Grows

This weekend brought a number of unusually large protests against the reactor restart at Oi and nuclear power in Japan. A protest on Friday in Tokyo had about 200,000 people according to reports from organizers. There was also a protest in Chiba in PM Noda’s home town. There was a huge multi-day occupation of the Oi nuclear plant.

It was a landmark weekend of protests but even more are planned. On July 7th the “No Nukes Allstars” rally is planned in Shibuya Tokyo.  Anonymous has a public engagement effort the same day July 7th,  in Shibuya Tokyo. The regular Friday night protests in front of the Prime Minister’s residence are expected to continue. There is also a large demonstration planned for July 29th at the Diet.

July 29th (Sunday, not a Friday), at 15:30 in front of the Diet.  http://coalitionagainstnukes.jp/?page_id=637
“The Coalition Against Nukes says that on July 29th it plans to completely surround the Diet with a human chain, and ensure that the politicians can hear (literally) just what the regular population wants.”

There is also a call for people to gather at a METI meeting on July 3rd that is expected to be about the active fault under Oi nuclear plant.  A no nukes festival is planned in Gunma for July 14th.

49 members of the DPJ have left the party over PM Noda’s tax hike. There are various guesses on what this means. It may solidify cooperation between the remaining DPJ politicians and the LDP or it could be the start of a new party or cooperation among politicians against Noda’s policies. Noda’s popularity is at an all time low. The political defections left them just short of numbers needed to get a no-confidence vote on PM Noda. Meanwhile more calls for a Green Party in Japan have come out. Former PM Kan has been pushing for one recently. The head of Softbank announced the construction of a number of solar plants in Japan. He took jabs at the government and the current dogma that nuclear power is needed and that renewables are not economically viable. A number of these solar parks went online over the weekend and will take advantage of new laws to support renewable power.

The public is heavily opposed to the reactor restarts and both the government and safety agencies seem poised to go back to business as usual without any nuclear safety reform.

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