TOKYO - Sixty thousand protesters gathered in central Tokyo on Monday demanding an end to Japan's reliance on nuclear power, six month's after the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

Japan has banned people from within 20 km (12 miles) of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeast Japan, which had its reactor cooling systems knocked out by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, triggering meltdowns.

Some 80,000 people have been evacuated from the area around the plant, which is still leaking radiation, in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 which prompted the government to rethink its energy policy.

The protest leaders, including 1994 Nobel-prize winner Kenzaburo Oe and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, called the rally "Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants".

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