Taiwan No Nuke hopes to emulate Japanese ideas

YOUNG PEOPLE NEEDED::The activist group says protests need to be more flamboyant and creative if they want to motivate younger Taiwanese to join

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sat, May 28, 2011 - Page 2

An anti-nuclear group is hoping to learn from the creative campaigns organized by one of its Japanese counterparts to help it attract young people to the cause, a spokesman said yesterday.

During a meeting with Japanese environmentalists, Yang Zi-jie of Taiwan No Nuke, a group composed mainly of artists, musicians and students, said he hopes to make it easier for young Taiwanese to participate in the broader anti-nuclear movement.

“Most of the environmental demonstrations in Taiwan are highly regimented and formal, which can sometimes put younger people off,” Yang said.

More creative and flamboyant protests should be organized to encourage young people to “take to the streets in swathes,” he said.

Some of the appeals made by Japan’s anti-nuclear groups in the wake of that country’s post-earthquake radioactive fallout crisis are worth learning from.

“I don’t really expect anything from a rally of any kind; I just want to express myself in an entertaining way,” said Hajime Matsumoto, founder of Japan’s Shiroto no Ran (Amateur Riot) network.

An anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo’s Koenji district organized by the network on April 11 attracted about 15,000 demonstrators — mostly young people. The turnout, which Matsumoto said was being at least 30 times bigger than similar protests in the region, appealed to young people because of the carnival-like atmosphere.

Yang said his group would echo Shiroto no Ran’s appeal through a series of nationwide creative events on June 11 such as concerts and art exhibitions.