By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, reiterate our long standing policy of supporting the Japanese people in their struggle against nuclear power plants. We congratulate them for demonstrating their outrage over the Japanese government’s decision to restart the Oi nuclear power plant.
Tens of thousands of people rallied in front of the residence of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the national Parliament building in Tokyo last Friday, 29 June. They vigorously shouted antinuclear slogans and beat drums. This protest mass action is the largest in central Tokyo since a long time ago. Estimates of the crowd ranged from 50,000 to 150,000.
The Japanese people are alarmed that the start of the Oi nuclear power plant signals the reactivation of Japan’s 50 nuclear reaction plants which have been idled as a consequence of the meltdown of three reactors of the Fukushina Daiichi complex. They have accused Prime Minister Noda of ignoring public concerns about safety.
Noda argues that the restart of two Ohi nuclear reactors is necessary to avoid power shortages. But opinion polls show that two-thirds of the Japanese population oppose the restart and say that the government has failed to convince them that the plant is safe. The residents near the plant are worried that there is no way for them to escape in case of meltdown and have been trying to block the road to prevent the restart.
We condemn the Japanese government for refusing to heed the demand of the Japanese people to shut down the nuclear power plants in Oi and the whole of Japan. We consider it reprehensible that the Japanese proceeded yesterday to reactivate two reactors in Oi despite the large protest action on June 29. We therefore endorse and look forward to the protest rally and march against nuclear power plants on 16 July.
We, the ILPS, firmly stand in solidarity with the Japanese people against the reactivation of the nuclear power plants. Their success in bringing about the biggest mass protest in central Tokyo since the 1960s is the basis for advancing to a new and higher level of struggle. The people of the world are inspired by their perseverance and by the effectiveness of their militancy.