On July 29, 2012 a candidate who ran a rare anti-nuclear platform lost the election for the Yamaguchi governor. Thousands of people formed and human chain around Japan’s Diet building complex to demand that the government should abandon the nuclear power.
Anti nuclear candidate Tetsunari Iida competed against former bureaucrat Shigetaro Yamamoto with 185,645 votes to 252, 461 votes in an election which was closely watched. The election was also contested by two other independent candidates.
The recent elections has highlighted the gap between the deep anti nuclear sentiments from the protests in Tokyo. Reactions were also seen in the distant rural areas where the plants are located.
Protestors marched from Tokyo park while banging drums and waving balloons and banners. The protestors also chanted, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to restarts,” and also lit candles. Shoji Kitano one of the protestors said, “All these people have gotten together and are raising their voices”. Kitano added that he has not seen such massive protests since 1960s. The 64 year old protestor also said that he Japanese do not ordinarily protest, but were raged over the restarting of the nuclear reactors. On Sunday the crowd appeared to be smaller. Participants said that they came from across Japan to mark the wide spread appeal of the protests.