A group of some 350 people protested outside Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s head office on Aug. 3 over the contamination of beef with radioactive cesium from the disaster-stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima and to demand compensation.
The protest — organized by the Japan Family Farmers Movement, an advocacy group made up of consumers and farmers — included farmers from plant host Fukushima Prefecture and even a pair of cows trucked in to make the point.
“I can’t use my own straw to feed my cows, so I’m buying imported straw as well as storage containers, and my debt is just getting bigger and bigger,” said 70-year-old cattle farmer Seiichi Hashimoto, who owns about 60 head of cattle in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture.
After the group chanted protest slogans in front of TEPCO’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, a representative presented the company with demands for prompt payment of compensation for losses inflicted on farmers by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and for economic damage to local agriculture caused by widespread radioactive contamination fears.