Friday, June 22, 2012

45,000 People Protested Against Ooi Restart in Front of PM Official Residence in Tokyo on June 22, 2012, Media Finally Report

(UPDATE) Video of TV Asahi program reporting the protest in the latest post.


Well well. People in Japan did it the old-fashion way to attract media attention (not that they did it to attract attention, but...). Every single media in Japan ignored the protest on June 15 with 11,000 (or 12,000) people, but they just couldn't ignore the June 22 crowd of 45,000. (The number is according to the organizers. The police puts the number at 11,000.)

(The photographs are from Mainichi Shinbun. There are more at Mainichi's site. Amazing.)

Quick report from Tokyo Brown Tabby (original in Japanese; I translated it quickly, may revise later):

Just now, TV Asahi's program "Hodo Station" [news and commentary show] took up the protest in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence earlier today [June 22].

The program devoted a decent amount of time reporting the protest, it did mention 45,000 protesters - the number as announced by the organizers, it also said the protesters were just totally ordinary people. They even interviewed several organizers. A female newscaster of the program went there as a reporter and interviewed them. The program further mentioned that the protest is carried out every Friday, and that it started out with only a few hundred people but the number has grown rapidly.

What was amazing was that the reporter went inside the PM Official Residence during the protest and picked up the sound from the protest. It was deafening.

The reporter even asked Edano and Hosono, "So what do you think of the demonstration outside?" [TBT didn't say what their answer was.]

The main newscaster of the program Furutachi was positive on the demonstration, saying that the demonstration was "the voice of ordinary citizens" and that the politics in Japan had become so dissociated with the ordinary citizens. A commentator on the program tried to change the subject and started to say the Japanese citizens should also turn their attention to the contradiction that Japan is showing the sign of moving away from nuclear power generation but at the same time selling nuclear power plants to foreign countries. Mr. Furutachi cut him off, and said "We should first tackle the contradiction of restarting nuclear power plants while the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is far from over."

Why did they suddenly decide to report the protest? Last week [June 15], I thought it would be them, if anyone should report. But they didn't. It's a mystery. Anyway, it was a very decent report.

Tokyo Brown Tabby didn't go this time, but plans to go to the future ones. TBT also says there is a plan to surround the National Diet building on July 29.

According to the Japanese mainstream media who suddenly decided to report this 45,000-strong protest in the central Tokyo, the Metropolitan Police put the number at 11,000. Some news outlets (like FNN) only reports this lower number, but Mainichi reported "45,000", so did Tokyo Shinbun.

I just noticed the FNN news video starts out by focusing on a very small contingent of ultra-right nationalists (the "black truck" people), as if the protest were being done by extremists. The June 16 protest, which some media did report, was framed as if it were about ultra-left extremists.

Asahi Shinbun decided to report only the protest in front of KEPCO in Osaka City, where 1,500 people gathered to protest the restart of Ooi Nuke Plant. Yomiuri Shinbun completely ignored both protests, so did NHK. True to form.


(FNN screen shot, right after the focus on ultra-right nationalists):


JAnonymous said...

Ha ha, the police is such a joke. They probably quote the number they estimated would show, as opposed to their count.

We could see their forecast was bogus, from the fact that they had to close large parts of the road because the sidewalk could not accomodate the protesters anymore.

The protest was HUGE, much much bigger than last week's.

See you *all* next week !

Anonymous said...

What Edano and Hosono think:
"That's a lot of walking meat-sacks with money in their pockets. Raise the taxes!"

Anyway... it shouldn't have to take any large number of people for anyone with a brain to even consider the dangers of nuclear contamination. And still the people around me insist that radiation isn't dangerous and won't affect us. It's a sad, sad world we live in.

Did I mention how I saw a woman comment that radiation from a nuclear meltdown is the same as radiation in an ordinary banana? I suppose she thinks drinking cyanide is the same as adding salt, or that being infected by ebola and AIDS is the same as catching a common cold. Maybe she reads Shakespeare - "Tis but a scratch! *dies*"

Anonymous said...

Low air fares to Japan should persist through mid July.

Visit now and witness history being made. And be a part of it. These demonstrations have been taking place just outside the Kokkaigijidomae station of the Chiyoda and Marunouchi lines of the Tokyo subway.

station details at:

Need an inexpensive hotel within walking distance:

Demonstrations are up the hill from the hotel, two hundred meters northeast. They have been starting at 6PM Friday evenings.

Japan's 50 remaining reactors, in the most seismically active region of our planet threaten the pacific ocean and the world. This is not a Japan internal issue. It is EVERYBODY'S business.

If you've ever thought about visiting Japan, NOW is the time.

Anonymous said...

Toyokoo Inn is sold out for the next month.

Try booking other hotels in English at

Area is Central Tokyo but Tokyo has an excellent public transportation system. You don't need to hotel within walking distance. Even suburbs OK. And in Japan, even the less expensive hotels are always clean and service is always excellent by western standards.

Anonymous said...

100,000 people and more needed at the next peaceful demonstration to bring Japan to a new era of clean natural energy. No Nuclear Japan! Do it for future generations! Never reopen nuclear plants that can and will meltdown and will ruin beautiful country for generations.

Anonymous said...

And bring your kids. tell them its an anti-nuclear matsuri

Scott said...

If the news won't report. The people must record and report on their own. YouTube and Twitter must be used to their fullest potential to let the world know the common Japanese isn't as dull as the fat cat government officials that inadequately represent them.

arclight said...

i am amazed and in tears here!! i can only put that down to your great job of reporting these events and not forgetting all those japanese bloggers out there..
you all kept the faith.. my respects and admiration
especially to TBT and exskf admin san!!
"history being made"

Beppe said...

Yesterday TBS (I think it was TBS) reported 40,000 demonstrators but the news probably lasted 30s, much much shorter than Asahi. I do not recall them mentioning that this is happening every Friday either.

Anonymous said...

Great, finally people are waking up to the steady stream of lies and bullshit put out by the Japanese government...!

Hikarius said...

Asahi Shimbun did report the demonstration in front of Kantei as early as on Friday night.

Tokyo Brown Tabby said...

A friend of mine posted the English guidelines for voicing your opinions on this issue to the Prime Minister's Office.

live sports said...

nice work

Chuckredneck said...

NHK think themselves equivalent to BBC in England, but listeners consider them an advertise agent of Japan's rotted bureaucrats and their ministers whose front porch light is out. That's the reason they'll never report any movements which might provoke peoples power. A far cry from democracy here in Japan, it's really sad and miserable situation!!

stephen said...

i've been to four friday evening protests at Kantei-mae, and each one is much bigger than the previous one. the first one i went to was on April 6--about 1,000 in two-and-a-half months, it has grown about 40-fold. the atmosphere last night was different to last week. not just the number of people, but the fact that despite a virtual media blackout huge numbers of ordinary people were turning up. this is really important, imho. before, you might go as a symbolic action. now, it's no longer got that feeling. it feels like we are ready to take the nuclear criminals on--and win. it's because of the weekly focus on one place. up till now the demos have been big and small all over the place, but if you look at Tunisia or Egypt, you can see that one focal point is a huge advantage. next week: 100,000.

Atomfritz said...

I am so hopeful that is just the beginning of sort of a "Japanese spring".
Thank you, Ex-SKF, Tabby, and all the unnamed heroes who spread the word.
Thank you to everybody who stands up!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing that link. Thank you many times over for the translating/captioning you are doing. For people all around the globe hearing the voices and protests of the Japanese is so important.
Each time I go out with my sign( this morning @ the local farmer's market) there are parents wanting to know in particular about the picture of the children wearing dosimeters. Now directing those who are interested to this website and your yt channel.
There are many of us in Illinois supporting the actions of the citizens of Japan while we work at home trying to address our own toxic nuclear legacy.
Arigato TBT and EX-SKF

Anonymous said...

Anon@2:45: Thank YOU also for your efforts there in Illinois. It is empowering to know that people in Illinois are so concerned as you are about the crimes being committed against Japan's children. Sincerely, thank you.

Anonymous said...

To TBT @ 10:44 and anyone who'd like to write the Japanese government:

I think the English form for voicing your opinion can be found at this link:

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