TOKYO — Japanese anti-nuclear demonstrators on Friday recounted the horror of World War II, days after the region marked Tokyo's surrender nearly seven decades earlier.
Thousands of marchers took to streets in the capital for a weekly rally in front of the prime minister's office and parliament to pressure the government to drop its policy of using nuclear power.
The rally came after Japan on Wednesday marked the 67th anniversary of its surrender, which came after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"I came here today because I worry about the lives of children and the future," said an elderly man as he grabbed a microphone near parliament.
He said the current government's push for nuclear energy reminded him of Tokyo's totalitarian governance during the war, which forced ordinary people to enlist and live in poverty under strict state control.
"At that time, Japanese people received orders from the government and big businesses that slighted their lives," he said.
"What's happening with nuclear power plants now is that the government and big business are disregarding people's lives," he said.
The crowd chanted slogans against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's decision to restart nuclear power plants following a total shutdown in the wake of last year's atomic crisis at Fukushima.
The turnout at the demonstration, which has been mainly organised online by anti-nuclear activists every Friday, was estimated by an AFP photographer at more than 1,000.
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