On March 11,2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on the Richter scale hit Japan. A tsunami of gigantic proportions followed. Following the quake Fukushima Nuclear plant was severely damaged and there was a nuclear leak of considerable dimensions.
This was the first time a nuclear emergency had been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20 km of the plant were evacuated. The total amount of radioactive material released is unclear, as the crisis is ongoing. The last of Japan's 54 reactors went offline for maintenance on May 5, 2012 leaving Japan completely without nuclear-produced electrical power for the first time since 1970. Despite protests, on 1 July 2012 Unit 3 of the Oi nuclear plant was restarted.
People in Japan started to protest against the government and thousands of citizens went to express their anger in front of the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence. Over the weeks, the number of people increased, also thanks to the participation of public figures such as music composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Consequently the police started to cordon off the area and made it impossible for people to reach the Japanese PM’s residence.
Nonetheless over the summer of 2012 people would congregate every Friday in front of the Diet Building and protest from 5pm until 8pm.