Tokyo: An estimated 1,700 people rallied
in the capital of Japan`s Fukushima region, home to a crippled
atomic power plant, on Sunday, calling for an end to nuclear
energy, local media reported.
"Abolish all the nuclear power plants!" and "Give
radiation-free Fukushima back to us," the demonstrators
chanted as they marched in Fukushima City, some 50 kilometres
from the nuclear plant.
The rally, joined by residents evacuated from areas
outside the Fukushima Daiichi plant, was organised by the
Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs as part of
its longtime campaign against nuclear weapons.
It was the first time that the leading anti-nuclear
organisation staged a rally in Fukushima to observe the
anniversaries of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.
"We have tended to focus on abolition of nuclear
weapons while being weak in our campaign against nuclear power
plants," Koichi Kawano, a Nagasaki atomic-bomb survivor who
heads the organising group, told the rally.
"Let there be no more nuclear plant accidents."
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami ravaged
the Fukushima plant on March 11, leading to radioactive leaks.
Hiromasa Yoshida, a 45-year-old school teacher
evacuated from the town of Namie inside a 20-kilometre no-go
zone outside the plant, told the rally: "Let us become the
last victims of any nuclear plant accident.
"Now is the time to shift away from nuclear power
The organisation is due to hold similar rallies in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the run-up to the 66th anniversaries
of the bombings.