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Jul 20, 2012

[Mainichi Shimbun] Demonstration in Front of Prime Minister’s Official Residence Prime Minister Can’t Go Out On Friday Night

Now we see the great effect of demonstration.
Masatoshi Takeshita

English translation of a Japanese article: BIGLOBE News – July 13, 2012 - (Source: Mainichi Shimbun)

Demonstration against Nuclear Power Plant Restart Prime Minister Can’t Go Out On Friday Night ….
 In Front of Prime Minister’s Official Residence Every Friday

Demonstration to oppose the restart of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s No. 3 & No. 4 reactors at Ohi nuclear power plant, Fukui Pref. has been expanding, which perplexes the Prime Minister’s Office.  Prime Minister Noda has been all out to calm down the situation by “trying to listen to various opinions.”  He tries not to set a schedule for going out of the official resident on Friday night.  He is forced to wait and see now.

On his way home from the prime minister’s office to the official residence adjacent to the office before 8 p.m. on 13th, the prime minister was asked by reporters “The demonstration is expanding, and are you thinking about taking any action?’   He replied “I would like to take various opinions seriously.”

Hearing many participants shouting “opposition to the restart,” on June 29th he made a slip of the tongue, saying “They are making lots of noise.”  This provoked a backlash among the participants.  Panicked by the reaction, the prime minister, in the House of Representatives Budget Committee on 10th, gave an excuse “I’m sorry, but I have no idea of where and in what form I used the word ‘noise.’”  However, he said he has no intention to have second thought of restart itself.

Since June 26 when he decided to restart the Ohi nuclear power plant, he has been virtually bound hand and foot on Friday night, feeling constrained by the protests.  He leaves the prime minister’s office directly for the official residence.  Those around the prime are fretting about this situation: “He can get out of the back gate.  But as a demonstration is staged in front of the main gate, the prime minister cannot furtively go out drinking.”

A demonstration was staged in front of the prime minister’s office on the 13th night too.  Demonstrators shouted “No nuclear power plant restart!”   Since this day, the Metropolitan Police Department has built iron fences and confined demonstration only to sidewalks.  There was no big confusion.

(Reported by Naoki Oida and Shunsuke Kotari)

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