Japan composer Sakamoto leads anti-nuclear concert

TOKYO - Japanese and foreign artists including iconic German group Kraftwerk performed at a mass weekend protest concert against nuclear energy inspired by Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

The 'No nukes 2012' event was held in the vast Makuhari Messe exhibition centre close to Tokyo. Thousands came to support the initiative of Sakamoto, a pioneer of electronic music whose own techo-pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra performed, along with Japanese rock band Asian Kung-Fu Generation and Kraftwerk.

The concerts held on Saturday and Sunday were also broadcast on the Internet, accompanied by anti-nuclear messages.

'Over a year has passed since the accident in Fukushima. The electricity company Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and the Japanese prime minister said that the acute crisis is over, but the reality is that the danger has not passed and the real resolution of the accident remains unclear,' the organisers said.

They added: 'The future is a total unknown for people forced to leave their area because of the nuclear disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, and it is likely that the health consequences of this tragedy will be discovered later.

'We organised these concerts to push for Japan to give up nuclear energy so that such a disaster does not happen again.'

The proceeds from the event will be donated to the 'Goodbye to nuclear power' movement which is also supported by Nobel prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe and whistleblowing journalist Satoshi Kamata, as well as Sakamoto, who won an Academy Award for his score for The Last Emperor.

The movement is behind a petition against nuclear power which has already attracted more than 7.5 million signatures, as well as weekly protests outside the Tokyo residence of the prime minister against the presence of reactors on Japanese territory.

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