Japanese demand end to nuclear power
Anti-nuclear protesters gather ahead of a demonstration in Tokyo, September 19, 2011.
Thousands of Japanese people have rallied in the capital Tokyo to demand an end to nuclear energy, six months after twin disasters of quake and tsunami led to an atomic crisis in the tremor-prone country.
About 60,000 people turned up on Monday in what organizers said was one of the biggest demonstrations since March 11 quake which sparked a nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Reuters reported.
“No more nuclear power plants! No more Fukushimas,” protesters chanted as they gathered in Meiji Park in central Tokyo before the march began.
Japanese government has banned people from within 20 kilometers of the crippled plant where the continuous leakage of radiation has forced some 80,000 residents to leave their homes.
The nuclear crisis dealt a heavy blow to Japan's former Prime Minister Naoto Kan who faced escalating criticism over his handling of the trouble and was finally forced to leave office in late August.
Kan told Kyodo News agency on Monday that he had contemplated evacuating as many as 30 million people from Tokyo and surrounding prefectures in a worst-case scenario of the nuclear crisis.
The former premier said there were no effective safeguardS since ''we had never foreseen a situation in which a quake, tsunami and a nuclear plant accident would occur at the same time."
While still in office, Kan had said that Japan had to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy which accounted for nearly 30 percent of the country's electricity supply before the crisis.