A photo exhibition in Tokyo on January 23–26 celebrated the life and advocacy of Song Sin-do, who campaigned for an apology from the Japanese government for coercing her into sexual slavery during World War II, writes Melanie Barnes.
Last week I had a dream that my house in the western part of Tokyo was shaking violently around me. Then I woke up and discovered it wasn’t a dream at all. It was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in nearby Saitama. It was the second earthquake I had felt in less than a week following the March 11 anniversary of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. It was a frightening and potent reminder of exactly why it is so important to rid Japan of nuclear power plants.
Five anti-nuclear activists travelled from Australia to attend the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World held in the Japanese port city of Yokohama, over January 14–15. The conference was attended by 11,500 people over the two days including 100 international participants from 30 countries.
More than 65,000 people in cities and towns all over Japan marched on June 11 to mark three months since Fukushima nuclear disaster. Marchers called for an end to nuclear power. In Tokyo, separate marches took off from different routes through the city before assembling in front of Shinjuku station. The largest action, a “sound-demo” called by the Shiroto no Ran (“Amateur Riot”) network attracted thousands of young people. They marched through the city accompanied by sound-trucks plying a variety of musical styles, from punk to folk to techno.
A long running struggle to save a public park in the central Tokyo ward of Shibuya from private development by sporting goods company Nike intensified on September 15. The Shibuya ward authorities sealed off the park and deployed police and private security guards to stop activists and homeless people who live in the park from re-entering. Activists had been occupying the park since March. Situated in the centre of downtown Tokyo, Miyashita Park has long been an oasis of trees amid the high-rise buildings and expensive retail outlets of Shibuya.