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Thursday
Apr192012

Hunger Strike Launched at Antinuclear Tent City in Japan

seko Shirai, left, and Junichiro Yamada on the second day of their hunger strike.The eventual restart of two Japanese nuclear reactors may now look almost certain, but some concerned citizens still insist the fight against nuclear power isn’t over yet. 

To protest the likely reactor restarts, demonstrators started a hunger strike on Tuesday at a camp outside the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in an area in downtown Tokyo similar to Zuccotti Park.

Iseko Shirai, a sunny 76-year-old protester, has already taken her post outside the tent village even though it is 8 a.m. on a Wednesday. She makes her principled stand on the nuclear issue with a cheery smile. But black-suited businessmen bustling past hardly seem to notice her or her “Let’s Have Zero Nuclear Power!” sign as they seek the more pragmatic goal of arriving to work on time.

Ms. Shirai is one of the 10 or so protesters who will continue the hunger strike until May 5, when Japan’s last operating nuclear reactor is set to go offline for maintenance.

The day is also significant because it is Children’s Day in Japan, Ms. Shirai explains. Wall Street Journal

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