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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oi decision draws international outcry

Reactor restarts hit by protests from Europe, America, Asia

Staff writer

OSAKA — The decision to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant has sparked international concern, with antinuclear activists and politicians in many countries sending letters of protest and holding rallies outside Japanese embassies and consulates over the past week.

Politicians from green parties in Australia and Europe, as well as doctors, activists, and labor unions, have all formally opposed the restart, citing the Fukushima disaster.

In Germany, all 53 members of the green party sent a letter of protest Tuesday to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa via the Japanese Embassy.

Also in Berlin, Rebecca Harms, a German Green and member of the European Parliament, sent a letter on behalf of European Green Party members calling for a halt to the restart.

In Australia, meanwhile, Sen. Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens sent a letter of protest June 12 to Japan's Embassy in Canberra.

In Italy, an appeal for a moratorium on restarting nuclear power plants bearing 3,700 signatures was presented to the Japanese Embassy in Rome, while antinuclear activists in New York delivered letters opposing the restart to the city's Japanese Consulate on Friday.

A separate rally to protest the decision is planned in front of Japan's Embassy in Washington on Monday. Other antinuclear groups in Chicago and Los Angeles will hold similar events this week and also deliver letters opposing the Oi restart to local Japanese consulates.

In Asia, antinuclear activists in Thailand held a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy on Friday and urged Tokyo to rethink its decision, while Japanese residents in South Korea joined local activists for a demonstration in front of Japan's Embassy in Seoul, also Friday.

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