Le Monde.fr, a French newspaper, criticized NHK, a Japanese national broadcasting organisaition, on July 14, 2012 for ignoring the Friday protests carried out every week in front of the Prime Minister' office. Critics analysed one of the reasons why NHK opened their way to report the Friday protests on the 20th, despite their reluctance until the 13th, was because of these criticisms made by the foreign newspapers such as Le Monde.
A part of the Le Monde article is sited below
The Atom and the Hydrangea
Every Friday night since one month ago, something happens that people are no longer used to in Japan: something of which the number of participants increases every week. The media only talks about them a little and the television channel NHK ignores them. The police claim that they are a tenth of their real number, which according to the organisers is about 100,000 or 150,000.
What unites them in front of the residence of the Prime Minister, in spite of the weather of the rainy season - these young people, mothers of families, salaried people, people with unsecured jobs, Buddhist monks, celebrities and ordinary citizens? It is the opposition to the reactivation of the nuclear reactors, a bit more than a year after the catastrophe at the Fukushima power plant. Caused by the tsunami of March 11, 2011, a panel of experts mandated by Parliament concludes in its report that this disaster is above all due to human negligence. Making official that which was already known, this damning report says that the cause is the collusion between the State and the private enterprises managing the power plant.
Over the decades, the voices of the opposition have been suppressed and ignored by the media. Today, this opinion is being heard. The most important protests since those (much bigger) against the renewal of the security treaty with the United States in 1960 and those which have continued since decades ago against the American bases in Okinawa, will these current protests transform into a "Revolution of the Hydrangeas" (which bloom in rainy season)? Another protest, on July 16, was by the movement Sayonara Genpatsu, whose representative is Kenzaburo Oe, the Nobel laureate of literature. 100,000 people attended.
The controversy about the number of protesters reveals how the government is embarrassed. The images of the protest of July 6, taken from a helicopter rented by the protesters, contradict the minimalist estimations of the authorities and show an impressive number of participants. A disproportionate police development, and the blockage of people coming out of the subways, at the place of the protests aim to discourage the protesters, and the "caution" of the media means them not giving the country a too spectacular image of the wave of protests. But, beyond the question of the number of protesters, a discontent is tangible.
Le Monde.fr 14, 07, 2012