Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Between 80 and 100 trade unionists from the eastern region of Tokyo gathered in front of the power company’s headquarters on Friday to demand the shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan.
With the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster approaching next week, trade unionists took turns to denounce the working conditions of TEPCO employees, one of whom reportedly died of overwork recently.
TEPCO is the much-criticized company that was – and still is – in charge of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that blew up following the earthquake and tsunami 10 years ago. Japan’s government is keen to restart nuclear power on a large scale in Japan and TEPCO would be one of the beneficiaries of such a move.
The Yomiuri reported that the protestors observed a minute of silence in memory of those who died – including some who committed suicide – during and after the nuclear catastrophe. They asked TEPCO for an apology and that the company takes responsibility for its mistakes and the suffering of those affected by the disaster. They also denounced the plan to release contaminated water stored around the plant into the Pacific Ocean.
According to TEPCO, the contaminated water is filtered to reduce the amount of radioactive isotopes, but the filtration process reportedly does not eliminate tritium, a radioactive isotope that could contaminate the food chain in the Pacific Ocean.