Category Archives: Energy

Soil & Peace Festival 2013

There will be a Soil & Peace Festival in Hibiya Park, Tokyo on Sunday October 20, 2013. Starting at 10:00 hundreds of farmers and activists and artists will hold a great event until the evening.

A great opportunity to meet your favourite NGOs and learn more about organic food, anti-nuclear campaigns and the future of Japan. Look forward to lots of inspiration! Music by Katou Tokiko and many others throughout the day, starting with a taiko performance by Gocco.

Website with more info (J) here

Energy Reform Symposium

What Will Happen With The Electric Utility Law Revision?
June 20, 2013 Symposium

Japan is debating the future of its electric power system. A special committee at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry made recommendations for reform in February, 2013, and a bill to revise parts of the Electric Utility Law was submitted to the Parliament after a Cabinet decision in April. However, there is concern that the bill has watered down many of the proposals. It is doubtful if the bill can be enacted during the current session of the Parliament and we sense dark clouds gathering over the anticipated reform, which had just started to look promising.

After the earthquake and tsunami disaster on March 11, 2011 we face a situation where parts of the country have been so contaminated with dangerous radioactivity due to the meltdown at the nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi that it is impossible for people to live there. Society rapidly needs to be converted into relying on a wide range of power sources including wind, solar, cogeneration, etc., in addition to large-scale expansion of energy-saving efforts. This is the time for structural reform of the electric power system, and we need to move forward on creating a realistic work schedule to make this happen.

Civil society supports the Electric Utility Law revision. In this symposium, we will debate electric power reform and discuss its merits for consumers, as well as learn about the design of the electricity market. We will also hear from energy consultant Yamada Hikaru about the current situation in Europe and North America.

Organizers: e-Shift (Association for Nuclear Power Phase-out and New Energy Policies) / Consumers Union of Japan / Electric Power Reform Project

Date: June 20, 2013 (17:00-19:30)
Place: House of Representatives Multipurpose Hall, Tokyo (衆議院第二議員会館)
Subway: Nagatacho or Kokkaigijidoumae st.
Entrance: 500 Yen

(Japanese only)

About e-Shift

Continue reading Energy Reform Symposium

Peace Boat Anti-Nuclear Campaign In Europe

Katsutaka Idogawa, former Mayor of Futaba Town, the site of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, will travel to France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Switzerland. He will be reaching out to municipal leaders and citizen groups about the ongoing situation in Fukushima.

Seven days after the disasters of March 11, 2011, Idogawa temporarily evacuated town residents 45 kilometers away to Kawamata City. After witnessing ashes floating down from the sky, fallout from the explosion at reactor no. 1, and measuring radiation levels on his dosimeter, he came to the conclusion that the only way for the people of Futaba to be safe would be to be as far as possible. Without waiting governmental advice, he put the safety of the people first and arranged for the town to be relocated to Saitama prefecture.

On May 12 he will meet with citizen groups at Penly Nuclear Power Plant in Le Havre, France on the English Channel where fires in April 2012 led to radioactive leakage. From May 13-15, he will participate in an international conference aboard Peace Boat on its way to Stockholm.

Participants include:

Alain Correa (STOP EPR Network, France)
Olivier Florens (Europe Ecology – The Greens)
Iida Tetsunari (Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies)
Lena Lindahl (Sustainable Sweden Association)
Andrey Ozharovskiy (Nuclear expert with Bellona working to prevent the construction of a plant by Hitachi in Lithuania)
Sato Kenta (“Fukushima Conference”, from Iitate Village)
Yoshioka Tatsuya (Co-founder and Director of Peace Boat)

After meeting with experts, politicians and citizens working on nuclear issues at an event organized by ICAN Sweden, IPPNW Sweden, and the Sustainable Sweden Association on the 16th, he will travel to the location of planned nuclear power plant at Pyhäjoki, Finland to meet with the mayor and citizens on 17-18. May 19-22 he will visit Helsinki and Latvia, making his way to the Middelgrunden Wind Farm in Copenhagen for May 24-25. He will end his tour with a presentations to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, please contact:
Meri Joyce, Peace Boat International Coordinator

(Note: Peace Boat is a Japanese NGO/NPO that made its first journey in 1983. For details about the current trip, click here. Read more about Peace Boat in English here!)

After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: The Roles of Consumers and Farmers

Symposium: What Can We Eat? Farmers and Consumers Reaching Out to Each Other

The Three Mile Island nuclear accident that took place in the United States on March 28, 1979 had some impact on Japan and influenced the anti-nuclear movement here, especially in areas with nuclear power plant construction sites. Media, however, continued to treat nuclear issues only as regional issues, and did not give much attention to the overall, nationwide concerns.

The April 26, 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union was an even bigger shock for Japan. The radioactive clouds reached the country and caused pollution of Japanese agricultural products.

Contaminated food is a particularly serious matter for young children and pregnant women, with possible consequences for coming generations as well. The consumer movement and anti-nuclear power plant activists have pointed out similar problems resulting from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster after the March 11, 2011 eartquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

However, there is another aspect to the meltdowns here in Japan. After Chernobyl, farmers and consumers in Japan did not take steps to cooperate and deal with radioactive contamination, in spite of the fact that agricultural lands and the ocean were polluted. After the Fukushima disaster, farmers and consumers have ended up divided on the issues, as the perpetrators – the government and TEPCO – have strongly continued to promote nuclear power over the years.

For over 40 years, the consumer movement demanded Japan to abolish nuclear power plants in order to avoid accidents. What is our role now? Even I could never imagine such a situation after an accident has actually occured.

Our biggest challenge is how to protect the children. We need to think clearly about how to deal with the issues that divide the producers and the consumers regarding the crops and foods that have been contaminated with radioactivity. This means we need to pursue the responsibility of the government and TEPCO, and at the same time realize a nuclear-free future for everyone.

The consumer movement is not simply a movement for buying, but also a movement to actively support producers, support Japan’s agriculture and fisheries, who can provide farm-fresh food, through partnerships that provide locally grown ingredients. We are on the verge of a crisis. The question that many are asking is how we can rise to the challenge and continue to ensure that we have safe and reliable food, while also continuing to support the farmers?

Will it be possible to create solid relationships between farmers and consumers? The purpose of this symposium is to involve many people who want to discuss the future of food and agriculture in Japan.

Amagasa Keisuke (CUJ Co-chair)

Symposium: What Can We Eat? Farmers and Consumers Reaching Out to Each Other
Time: January 19, 2013, 13:30-17:00 (Sat.)
Place: Bunkyo-ku Shimin Center 2 Floor (Room A)

Entrance: 800 Yen
Ono Kazuoki (Agriculture Journalist)
Tenmyo Nobuhiro (Farmer from Niigata)
Ishige Emi (Farmer from Yamanashi)
Ito Fumika (Consumer)

Proposal for a Basic Law to Abandon Nuclear Power!

Action for an election to get rid of nuclear power reactors: How you can participate

It is time for another general election in Japan. Let’s turn this into an “Abandon Nuclear Power Election” and spread the message about the election candidates and their views about nuclear power. You can participate by asking the candidate on your town to approve a Proposal for a Basic Law to Abandon Nuclear Power and help us release their reply.

In August, 2012, Nobel literature laureate Oe Kenzaburo and others launched a nationwide network seeking the abolition of nuclear plants in Japan. Consumers Union of Japan also joined this network together with many civil society organizations (NGOs). As a result, some 103 members of Japan’s parliament have so far supported and approved the Proposal for a Basic Law to Abandon Nuclear Power. This bill is now waiting for deliberation during the next session of the House of Representatives.

It is regrettable that even though 80% of the population in Japan supports reducing nuclear power to “zero,” the views of legislators have not reflected this percentage number. Thus, we need to act now to get many more candidates to support the Proposal for a Basic Law to Abandon Nuclear Power. We can achieve this by monitoring which of the candidates have clear views about this important issue, and who will work for this goal. It is worth noting that all political parties have expressed some opinion or other regarding the “reduction” of nuclear power plants. The nuances in their views vary among the different political parties, and we need to carry out the campaign to get the individual candidates’ views. Asking the candidates to sign a “policy contract” before the election on December 16, 2012 will ensure that the Proposal will be enacted as we elect candidates who agree with the Proposal.

For more information and the list of names of the candidates who support or oppose the policy contract will be added to the Datsu Genpatsu Hou Seitei Network website (J) and the Soshi Net website (J):