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Japan’s Anti-Nuclear Movement at High Tide

SNA (Tokyo) — On the day before the planned restart of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, the Shingetsu News Agency is re-releasing the 22-minute documentary it made during the summer of 2012. Looking back from today’s perspective, we can now perceive that the anti-nuclear movement was at its high tide at that period. Although the anti-nuclear protests grew steadily after the March 11, 2011, Fukushima disaster until they reached the scale of tens of thousands of people in the summer of 2012, thereafter they began to fade. The “revolution” that many activists spoke of at the time failed to occur.

And yet, as the Shinzo Abe administration returns the nation to nuclear power, public opinion polls show that majorities still oppose the use of nuclear energy in Japan and that supporters are only around the 30% level. The anti-nuclear activism has faded, but the public opinion on the matter hasn’t altered much between the summer of 2012 and the summer of 2015.

Take a few minutes to watch the video above to recall the spirit of the times in Japan as it existed just three summers ago.

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