A peaceful protest march was organized in Osaka yesterday by concerned Japanese mothers, starting in Motomachi-naka square at 1 pm and walking around Namba shopping area to the joyful sound of drums, saxophone and PET bottle-DIY “music” instruments and the supporting sound of friendly policemen telling people to “move along, stay in line” through their megaphones as they usually do for marathon runners. Protesters’ own PA system addressed the health issues and chanted the same “Bring down nuclear power plants! End nuclear power!” songs (in Japanese) which I witnessed last summer in Tokyo, which the additional local touch of “Stop Monju reactor!” (in nearby Fukui prefecture). Another strong message was “Protect the children!” as radiation is known to have larger effects on children than on adults.
Onlookers looked friendly and bewildered as most were unaware of the Mayor’s plan to incinerate a million ton of radioactive waste in their city, due to the PR department of Osaka City lack of communication on the topic. Protesters were joined by some foreign residents who supported their pledge, and in return, received discrete signs of acknowledgement and friendliness from onlookers, from parking tower guardians in uniform to shoppers. German, British, Canadian, American and even French had joined the protest which ended without any snag at 4 pm in the square, as agreed with the police.
Police officers, who ensured the security of protesters as well as drivers, displayed a much more neutral attitude compared to their tense and harrassing colleagues in Tokyo during the large protests on September 11 (Cf. Frenchman Beaten Up By The Police and Right-Wing Extremists on SurvivalJapan) and September 19, with more than 50,000 Japanese in the street.
The only reporter I could spot was from the Mainichi Shimbun. Read on Tokyo And Osaka Anti-Nuclear Rallies – Media Coverage on SurvivalJapan.