Demonstrators in dozens of small boats on Tuesday (16 October) failed to prevent the Japanese nuclear-powered freighter, Mutsu, from docking at a ship repair yard in Sasebo, in southern Japan.
GV At sea, off coast, tug in foreground escorting nuclear ship Mutsu. (2 SHOTS)
CU Captain of Mutsu on bridge.
GV Demonstrators in small boats alongside Mutsu.
SV Ship's crew waving off demonstrators.
GV Tugs warding off demonstrators.
TV Tugmen hosing demonstrators with water.
SV INT Japanese sailors being briefed in nuclear reactor room.
SV ZOOM TO Mutsu approaching harbour, surrounded by demonstrators in small boats.
GV ZOOM INTO Ships blocking harbour as the Mutsu tries to enters.
SV Demonstrators in boats.
SV Mutsu tying up alongside jetty. (2 SHOTS)
SV Demonstrators chanting.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Demonstrators in dozens of small boats on Tuesday (16 October) failed to prevent the Japanese nuclear-powered freighter, Mutsu, from docking at a ship repair yard in Sasebo, in southern Japan.
SYNOPSIS: The Mutsu has been laid up since its nuclear reactor sprung a leak on its maiden voyage four years ago. Her impending refit will take three years, and conclude repairs to the faulty reactor.
Sasebo is close to Nagasaki, which was hit by an atomic bomb in 1945, and is very sensitive to anything nuclear. Local politicians agreed to accept the Mutsu only because Sasebo Heavy Industries, a big local employer, has financial troubles.
Even water cannon did not deter the demonstrators, who included survivors of the 1945 atomic blast.
The Mutsu is the only Japanese nuclear-powered ship.
It was hoped the Mutsu would become the prototype for a fleet of nuclear-powered freighters. As she approached the harbour, some four thousand riot police, some of them veterans of fierce battles with radicals at Tokyo's newly-opened airport, were on hand. The four thousand demonstrators included one thousand of Japan's toughest radicals from Tokyo. They staged marches in the city, as well as manning the boats, which were finally foiled by a floating barrier around the Mutsu. The demonstrators were reduced to attempting to have the last word.