On May 5 the last of the Japan’s 54 nuclear shut down for periodic checkups. However, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced two weeks ago that Japan plans to restart two nuclear reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui, possibly by July 1.
To protest Noda’s decision, New York-based members of the anti-nuke group Todos Somos Japan organized a hunger strike. Beginning today at 9:00 a.m., organizers Yuko Tonohira and Sabu Kohso gathered in front of the Japanese Consulate at 299 Park Avenue and 48th Street, passing out flyers in an attempt to spread awareness about how the crisis in Fukushima remains a global problem.
The group stands in solidarity with citizens in Japan who have taken to the streets to protest the re-starting of the nuclear reactors as well as the Japanese government’s pro-nuclear policy.
“There have been many protests in Japan, and they have been organizing and communicating through Twitter,” says Mari Inoue of the Japanese non-profit Human Rights Now.
Likewise, members of Todos Somos Japan have been using social media to spread the word about their hunger strike and to raise interest in their activities, creating the event Hey Japan! Don’t Restart Nuke Reactors! on Facebook and updating their progress through their Twitter account, @TwitNoNukesNYC.
When asked why they chose to do a hunger strike, Tonohira says, “Because we’re so angry.”
Revered Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, a noted anti-nuke activist, stopped by to show his support.
The group will be in front of the Japanese Consulate’s building throughout the day today and plan to have a larger protest for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.
[callout title=Fukushima-related stories on JC•NYC]