Taking to the streets

It took me quite a few years of working as a photographer to get round to a proper project, but In 2012 I started not one but two. This is the second. (The first is here).

Hard to believe now with the pro-nuclear LDP just voted back in, but last Spring and Summer there was a real sense that the Japanese people were rising up against nuclear power. These were the biggest popular protests since the anti-Vietnam demonstrations of the 1960s.

There was a lot of argument about exactly how many people took part but the last July the Financial Times reported that 75,000 people were at one of the largest Friday night demonstrations.

Things are very different now. The protests have dwindled down to a hard core of determined, largely elderly, activists.

During the summer and autumn I covered several of the protests and set up this Facebook page (please like it – I am uploading new photos one by one).

Personally I am against nuclear power, but my main aim taking these photos wasn’t to put myself on either side of the debate. Rather, I wanted to show how strongly Japanese people feel about this issue.

Popular protest in Japan is very small scale and low key compared to the UK, where I come from. The protests really felt like an exciting time for Japan and Japanese democracy. Such a shame that they now seem to be petering out. As it happens, I’ve struggled even to find publications willing to run these pictures so far.

Anti-nuclear protestors demonstrating close to the Japanese Diet.

Anti-nuclear protestors demonstrating close to the Japanese Diet.

Anti-nuclear protestors demonstrating close to the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration near the Japanese Diet.

Protestors at an anti-nuke demo near the Japanese Diet

 

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