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Occupy Tokyo: Another Good Excuse to Come Out and Hate on TEPCO

ByStephanie Nakajima

Oct 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15th, Occupy Wall Street went global. Around 300 people around Tokyo came out to march in 2 separate locations. Japan Subculture went to check out what was happening at Hibiya Park, where 100 protestors marched through the Roppongi district.

How did Occupy Tokyo come about? The story is another testimony to the efficiency of social networking in organizing demonstrations. According to participants, just a few days prior to the event, “meetup” group members on the forum Occupy Together were testing out interest in Tokyo. Michele from California, one of the first to post on the Tokyo thread, tells about how she and many others decided to participate; “It started off with the post ‘What’s going on in Tokyo? I’m ready if you are’, and picked up from there”. It moved from the forum to Twitter, and then Facebook; and on Saturday about 150 people showed up at Hibiya Park to march in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests.

While many of the demonstrators carried signs in step with the New York City movement, many were not related to income inequality at all. Several people were out protesting against nuclear power, TEPCO, and the government, and there was also a small cohort carrying signs that said, “Free Tibet”.

All pictures were taken by Said Karlsson. More of his work can be seen at www.saidkarlsson.com.


The Procession



 The Characters

many present were echoing Occupy Wall Street's dissent
"Japanese people - keep your mouth shut til you get slaughtered like sheep? Smash your TV!"
many held signs protesting the Chinese government's treatment of Tibet
a woman in a passing bus contemplates the protest
boys in a passing bus take interest
anti-nuclear signs were among the most numerous
anti-nuclear signs were among the most numerous
Michele, from California, and her son (middle and left) with friend Rohini from Seattle have washed and re-used this towel many times since before the Iraq invasion. It previously read, "War is Wrong"

Stephanie Nakajima

Contrarian philosopher, half-woman, half-Japanese, all dolphin.

9 thoughts on “Occupy Tokyo: Another Good Excuse to Come Out and Hate on TEPCO”
  1. 300 people march in Tokyo? And what is the population of Tokyo? many of them seem to be foreigners too—so does this handful of “tourists” actually reflect the sentiment of the Japanese people? Probably not. Hopefully they spent plenty of money on their trip to Japan and thereby helped the Japanese economy just a little.

  2. If I understand well, you are saying that they protest against globalization and multinational companies by participating in the global campaign and solidarity with the protesters in the United States. So they are fighting against globalization, global culture by creating a global movement.
    In my opinion if someone is sincere in fighting against something he does not care whether his message will be visible and understandable in the USA. I do not understand the reasons or goals or the assets of the Occupy movement. There’s no better way to unite different people but to give them a common enemy.

  3. Wow!! I didn’t know the whole occupy movement went as far as Japan! I love that! I just wish they had more supporters, you know? And were a little more organized; like had one singular message and didn’t bash on the various issues they have going on in Japan. It’s good to show you want change through protests, but it makes a larger impact when there’s a collective idea of a problem that needs to be addressed. Either way, I support those that participated. And it’s very encouraging that it was all organized with the help of netizens. I love how the internet is being used as a medium to bring people of all different backgrounds and races together to protest. I think that shows the state of our globalization; that we all are – in one way or another – fighting for the same reasons.

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