Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets across Taiwan on Saturday to urge the government to speed up steps to abandon nuclear power, find solutions to the problem of radioactive waste and develop more sustainable energy resources.
The demonstrations came as Japan marked the sixth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Protesters gathered Saturday in the capital, Taipei; in the port city of Kaohsiung in the south; and in Taitung City in the east.
Organizers said the protests included representatives from more than 200 non-governmental environmental groups, human rights groups, child welfare organisations and others.
On a square in Taipei in front of the office of Taiwanese President Tsai ing-wen, demonstrators waved signs that read, “No Nukes,” “Low Carbon” and “Sustainable Energy.”
Taiwan’s government aims to phase out nuclear power by 2025. Tsai also has called for generating 20 per cent of the island’s total power from renewable energy by that time.
“Regarding the government’s plan to phase out nuclear power, we look forward to seeing more pragmatic measures needed to facilitate implementation of the policy,” Lai Wei-chieh of the Taipei-based Green Citizens’ Action Alliance told dpa.
As an example, Lai pointed to a nearly completed nuclear power plant, saying the government only halted construction in July 2015 without offering details about when the project will be scrapped.
Dozens of residents from Kungliao, where the controversial plant sits, gathered in Taipei on Saturday, shouting slogans as they urged the government to create a timetable.