Thousands Rally in Japan Against Nuclear Power

(AFP) TOKYO — Thousands of people rallied in Japan Saturday to demand a shift away from nuclear power after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl a quarter-century ago.

Braving spring drizzle, thousands of demonstrators gathered at a park in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, many holding hand-made banners reading: “Nuclear is old!” and “We want a shift in energy policy!”

The protest came a day after Prime Minister Naoto Kan called a halt to operations at a nuclear plant southwest of Tokyo because it is near a tectonic faultline, fearing a disaster like that which hit the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March.

“I’m happy to see the prime minister finally taking action,” said protester Manami Inoue, 28, who had a black and yellow “No” sign around her neck. “But I want to know when the plant will really stop operations,” she said.

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