From “Zero Plants in Operation” to “Zero Nuclear Power Plants” — Let us achieve a society where renewable energies are taken for granted

National Forum for Zero NPP held meeting to exchange campaign experiences

On May 26, 2012, “National meeting to exchange campaign experiences for Zero Nuclear Power Plants” was held in Tokyo. It was planned to achieve further development and expansion of the movement for phasing-out of nuclear power plants, which spread rapidly in the wake of Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident. A total of 250 people from across Japan took part in the meeting, which was organized by the National Forum to Abolish Nuclear Power Plants, formed in December 2011 by national Min-Iren, Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions), Zenshoren (National Federation of Traders and Industrialists Organizations), Nominren (Japan Family Farmers Movement) and other organizations.

The meeting was opened by Secretary General Odagawa Yoshikazu of Zenroren, who stressed, “It was the heightened people’s opinion and movement that brought all nuclear power plants in Japan to a complete halt on May 5 — a great change in this country.” He proposed that we should strengthen the movement by riding out this summer without relying on the “electric power produced by nuclear power plants” and urge the Japanese government to finally decide to achieve “Zero nuclear power plants.”
Special reports were given by the speakers from Fukushima and Fukui. Mr. Hayashi Hirokazu of Fukui Forum of People’s Movement on Nuclear Power Plants spoke about the daily sit-in protest action in front of the prefectural office, calling for the cancellation of the re-start of Oi NPP. He called for messages to be sent to the prefectural governor and the members of the prefectural assembly urging them not to allow the restart.
The meeting was joined by the documentary writer Kamada Satoshi, Co-convenor of the “Goodbye NPPs: 10 Million People’s Action”, Uehara Kimiko, Secretary General of Metropolitan Mayors Coalition against NPP (former mayor of Kunitachi City), and Misao Redwolf (illustrator) of Metropolitan Coalition Against NPP. Mr. Kamada said, “Nuclear power plants were created with such lies as ‘Economy would collapse without NPPs’ or ‘NPPs are necessary as oil reserves deplete.’ We must unite our forces beyond differences of positions, in order to achieve a society run by renewable energies.”

Unprecedented growth of the movement
Various campaigns were reported during the meeting. “On June 10, the prefectural office of Ehime (where Ikata NPP is located) will be surrounded by a human chain. Please come to join us from all corners of Japan,” said the representative of Ehime. Aomori representative said, “We held an anti-NPP meeting, inviting Mr. Yamamoto Taro (anti-nuclear actor). Out of 1730 participants, 56% learned about the meeting from the newspaper ad.” “We held two seminars to learn about the NPPs. About 100 people gathered at both occasions, including newcomers in the movement. When we asked for help to continue campaigning, more than 20 of them volunteered to cooperate,” said a campaigner from Tokyo.
Attracting great deal of attention of the participants was the report by Mr. Harada Akira of Aero NPP Suginami (Tokyo). Mr. Harada called for a rally, saying, “There are no organizers; No one is in charge; No one knows who has called for the meeting, but let’s get together on this day”, which was talked about a lot on the Internet. His report got a great laugh from the audience. “The venue was secured and leaflets were inserted in daily newspapers, so you cannot say no one has organized the meeting, of course. The demonstration is led by a contingent of Papas and Mamas with small children, who set a positive tone on the street. There were cars with DJs and karaoke systems. Besides, for those who insist on following a traditional style, we had a special unit of people chanting slogans.”

Getting over the summer without NPPs
On July 16, “100,000 People Rally to Say Goodbye to NPPs” will be held by Goodbye NPPs: 10 Million People’s Action and on July 29, Metropolitan Coalition Against NPPs is planning to surround the Parliament Building. Min-Iren has expressed its support to both actions.
In closing the meeting, Secretary General Nagase Fumio of Min-Iren called for participation in these actions and said passionately, “Let us raise the movement to make all local governments adopt resolutions to abolish all nuclear power plants. By getting over the forthcoming summer without the operation of nuclear power plants, we must prove we need no nuclear power. Let us create a historic movement that will mark a clear policy shift away from NPPs with the power of the people.”

(Article by Tada Shigemasa; Photo by Gomi Akinori)

100,000 People Rally to Say Goodbye to NPPs
Organizer: Goodbye NPPs: 10 Million People’s Action
Date & schedule: July 16, 2012
  12:30 Opening concert
  13:00 Rally and march
Venue: Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

Zero NPP: July 29 Action to Surround the Diet
Organizer: Metropolitan Coalition Against NPPs
Date & schedule: July 29, 2012
  15:30 Assemble at Nakasaiwaimon Gate of Hibiya Park
  16:30 Demonstration starts
  19:00 Surrounding the Diet with candlelights/ Rally