Tag Archives: Energy

Anti Nuclear Demonstration in Tokyo, Japan

Consumers Union of Japan participated in the 18 September 2023 rally in Tokyo, protesting against nuclear power, for 100% renewable energy.

Consumers Union of Japan banner at protest in Hibiya, Tokyo

Watashi no Mirai My Future
Protest debate in Hibiya, Tokyo



TOKYO — As the world witnessed record heat this summer and rain disasters become more frequent, thousands of people joined a climate protest event here on Sept. 18, calling for a society powered 100% by renewable energy with stricter climate policies and no nuclear power.

The gathering, part of the “climate action” protests worldwide, was organized by the youth group Fridays for Future Tokyo and others. The Tokyo version featured a panel discussion and live music performance at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward. The organizers said a total of some 8,000 people participated in the event and protest march from the park to Shibuya Station, with signs that read, “No to fossil fuel” and “Passing Earth to the next generations.”

Energy Shift

Energy Shift: Urgent Statement Against the Resumption of Nuclear Power Plant Operations on the Pretext of Tight Power Supply and Demand Due to the Extreme Heat

The rainy season ended about 20 days earlier than usual this year, and since the last week of June, there have been extremely hot days in many parts of Japan. As a result, the government has issued an “Electricity Supply-Demand Stress Alert” in the service areas of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and other areas, and has issued a request for power saving. As if in response to this situation, there is a growing demand for the restart of nuclear power plants. Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ) feels a strong sense of crisis over this trend toward restarting nuclear power plants, and we hereby express our clear opposition to it.

Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, nuclear power plants, which had provided nearly 30% of the nation’s electricity needs, were completely shut down. Until now there has never been a problem with the supply and demand of electricity because there is enough absolute capacity.

The current tight power supply-demand situation is a result of the government’s decision to shut down aging thermal power plants with low profitability during this period, while leaving it up to individual power companies to make their own decisions. The danger of nuclear power plants is not only a matter of the government’s own judgment but also that of the public.

The dangers of nuclear power are self-evident to both those directly involved in nuclear power plants and to local residents, especially in Japan, where earthquakes and disasters are frequent.

The power supply must be converted to renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind power, and biomass as soon as possible. However, mega solar power plants and giant wind turbines are causing various problems such as environmental destruction in the surrounding areas. Rather than relying on huge power capital, it is desirable to decentralize and bottom-up energy systems so that local residents can participate in building systems that contribute to local revitalization.

At the same time, along with appropriate energy-saving lighting and air conditioning in offices and houses, we should also promote insulation and energy saving in buildings without going all-electric, use of public transportation and bicycles in urban areas, and other efforts. It is necessary to clarify the power generation capacity and other aspects of in-house power generation owned by companies and other entities, and to formulate measures to address electricity supply and demand.

Let us urgently work on an energy shift away from dependence on nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Japan Resources – 183

Please click here for our latest English newsletter: JR 183

Special focus on energy


From the Editors: Energetic Japan

Nuclear Power in Japan, 10 Years after the Fukushima Disaster

CUJ Opinions on the Draft Basic Energy Plan

Will genome edited food be labelled in Japan?

Another Citizens’ Food Summit: The “Green Food System Strategy” proposed by MAFF is not that “Green”

Trend: The 2nd National Nanohana Blossom Summit in Oyama was held in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, on 11-12 December 2021

From the Editors:

Energetic Japan

Welcome to issue No. 183 of Consumers Union of Japan’s English newsletter. This time, the theme is energy, a topic that is always timely in resource-poor Japan.

We note that 10 years after the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, only 10 nuclear reactors have been restarted. Consumers Union of Japan is proposing another way forward, with our motto, local production for local consumption.

We hope you will stay updated with CUJ’s activities and news on our English website, as well as on our new English Twitter account: https://twitter.com/consumerunionjp/

Opinions on the Draft Basic Energy Plan

Consumers Union of Japan submitted the following opinions on 1 October 2021, in response to the Japanese Government Agency for Natural Resources and Energy’s call for opinions on the formulation of the Sixth Basic Energy Plan.

Opinions on the Draft Basic Energy Plan

Please change “(6) Restructuring of nuclear power policy” in “(5) Policy responses toward 2030 with a view to 2050” to “(6) Transformation of nuclear power policy” and state “Immediately stop restarted nuclear power plants and realize zero nuclear power plants.

The accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has completely destroyed what has become known as the “safety myth” of nuclear power. It also revealed that the accident was a “man-made disaster” caused by the fact that TEPCO’s management knew in advance about the danger of tsunami, but neglected to address it.

In fact, everyone is well aware of the dangers of nuclear power plants, including local residents, citizens who call for zero nuclear power plants, and even residents of the so-called “nuclear village.” Even if a major accident does not occur, it is hard to argue that nuclear power plants are economically viable when decommissioning and other expenses are factored in.

Looking back at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, it is clear that the world has come to recognize that we cannot coexist with nuclear power plants, especially in Japan, a country of frequent earthquakes.

The Sixth Basic Energy Plan has as its key theme to show the path of energy policy toward the realization of carbon neutrality in 2050.

As climate change is occurring around the world, efforts to create a decarbonized society are accelerating, and more than 120 countries, including Japan, have already declared zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Renewable energy sources account for 70-80% of the electricity generated in Austria, Denmark, and Sweden, and more than 40% in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, in France, where the percentage of nuclear power plants is high, it is only over 20%. As for Japan, where the percentage is still around 18%, it is clear that Japan is lagging behind, even though solar power generation has been increased in recent years.

For example, in Germany, which relied on nuclear power for nearly 30% of its electricity in 2000, and renewable energy accounted for only 5-6% of its electricity. It has since reached the 40% level and has decided to go “zero nuclear” by 2022.

Japan also had no nuclear power plants immediately after the Fukushima nuclear accident, so it has already proven that it can sufficiently meet its electricity demand without relying on the restart of nuclear power plants. It is appropriate to follow the example of European countries and raise the renewable energy target for 2030 to 36-38%, and achieve zero nuclear power plants.

In 2016, the total deregulation of electricity retailing led to a shift from the 10 major power companies to new municipal power companies and small local power companies. By decentralizing and bottoming up the energy system, this movement will lead to the revitalization of local communities by establishing “lifestyles suited to one’s size” (local economic zones) through local production for local consumption. In order to achieve this, it is desirable to have the participation of residents, and the key points are involvement and participation in the decision-making system politically (secured by ordinances, etc.) and involvement in the business as economic participation (investment, etc.).

Energy-saving lighting and heating/cooling in offices and houses, building insulation, switching to electric vehicles, using public transportation and bicycles in urban areas, are among the efforts needed to make it possible to achieve 100% renewable energy for local low-voltage electricity in the near future.

At the prefectural level, Akita Prefecture, with its large amount of hydroelectric power generation, Kagoshima, Gunma, and Miyazaki Prefectures, with their large amount of solar power generation, and Oita Prefecture, with its large amount of geothermal power generation, have already achieved about 50% self-sufficiency in electricity from renewable energy sources.

By municipality, it is said that more than 100 municipalities in Japan have a regional energy self-sufficiency rate of more than 100%.

While it is true that the formation of regional economic zones based on local production for local consumption faces various challenges, the power shift is becoming more widespread in Japan through the various efforts of each region.

Thanks to the power of these regions, the shift away from nuclear power and toward renewable energy is steadily progressing in Japan, albeit belatedly.

The draft of the Basic Energy Plan assumes dependence on nuclear power plants, stating, “Nuclear power plants will be used on the necessary scale in a sustainable manner. Consumers Union of Japan notes that the draft of the Sixth Basic Energy Plan assumes that Japan will depend on nuclear power plants, but such reasoning will probably be overcome by reality sooner or later.

Japan Resources – No 166

Please click here CUJ-JR-166 for the latest issue of Consumer Union of Japan’s English newsletter, Japan Resources (pdf). The theme this time is nuclear energy and the many problems facing this country and all of us as energy consumers.

We hope you will continue to stay updated with CUJ’s activities and news on our English website, and support our campaigns!


From the Editors: Thinking about Nuclear Energy

Japan on the Wrong Track with its Export of Nuclear Plants

Do Not Shift Nuclear Power Plant Related Costs to Our Electricity Bills

Withdraw the Proposed New System to Shift Nuclear Power Plant Related Costs to Our Electricity Bills

Smart Meters: Saying No, and Yes, You Can Switch Back to an Analogue Meter


The Ecologist: The Collapse of Toshiba