Activists protest government suit to have anti-nuke tents removed
A citizens' group that set up three tents in front of a ministry office building that have served as a rallying point for anti-nuclear demonstrators said April 8 it will fight a government lawsuit demanding their removal.
The central government filed a lawsuit on March 29 against two members of the citizens' group, Taro Fuchigami and Taichi Masakiyo. Fuchigami, a 70-year-old leader of the group, said they want to keep the tents in place and will challenge the government’s legal action in court.
“I’d like to appeal to the public for the importance of the tents," Fuchigami said. "They represent the public’s voice for a nuclear power free Japan.”
The tents were set up on the grounds of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's office building in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district on Sept. 11, 2011, six months after the Great East Japan Earthquake set off the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Government officials said the tents need to be removed because they disrupt the day-to-day activities of the ministry.
“We requested that the activists remove the tents, but nothing has been resolved," a top industry ministry official said. "It will be best to ask the court to judge the case objectively.”
Although crowds visiting the tents have become smaller since they were first pitched, the anti-nuke protest group still receives encouragement and support from visitors from all across Japan.
[link to ajw.asahi.com]