J A P A N 日本語

 

Flag Japan

Japan logo for sustainable jpeg

 

     

    Logo Worldview Mission  ワールドビューミッション    /  世界観のミッション

 

 

.

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at

http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

.

———————————————————————-

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

.

—————————————————————–

.

JFS WEEKLY 22 – 28 Mar. 2016

22 – 28 Mar. 2016 Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.6 — Supported by JFS
Tohoku and the World: 5 Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
April 6, 2016

here.

It’s been five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. This time we will listen to stories from guest speakers Robin Lewis, International Coordinator in Disaster Relief for Peace Boat, and Angela Ortiz, Representative Director of OGA for Aid, who dedicated themselves to disaster reconstruction in the affected region.

Jump in, listen to their stories and exchange ideas with each other!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/229782012/

.

———————————————————

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.6 — Supported by JFS
Tohoku and the World: 5 Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
April 6, 2016

It’s been five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. This time we will listen to stories from guest speakers Robin Lewis, International Coordinator in Disaster Relief, Peace Boat and Angela Ortiz, Representative Director, OGA for Aid, who dedicated themselves for disaster reconstruction.

Jump in, listen to their stories and exchange ideas each other!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/229782012/

.

———————————————————-

.

Japan for Sustainability

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.6 — Supported by JFS
Tohoku and the World: 5 Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
April 6, 2016

It’s been five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. This time we will listen to stories from guest speakers Robin Lewis, International Coordinator in Disaster Relief for Peace Boat, and Angela Ortiz, Representative Director of OGA for Aid, who dedicated themselves to disaster reconstruction in the affected region.

Jump in, listen to their stories and exchange ideas with each other!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/229782012/

Thailand to Produce Biofuel Using Japanese Biotechnology

.

———————————————

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

WWF Japan Calls for More Sustainable 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

 

Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Some Rights Reserved.

Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Some Rights Reserved.

.

———————————————————————

.

click here.

.

————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #161
————————————————————————

January 29, 2015
Copyright (c) 2016, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

.

————————————————————

.

Japan For Sustainability – See Interview conducted by Junko Edahiro

Researcher Succeed in Generating Electricity Using Ammonia-Fired Gas Turbine: One Step Closer to Hydrogen Power

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

.

—————————————————-

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

.

        Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #160
—————————–
December 28, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for SustainabilityJapan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

In the January 2016 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Using the Circulation of Local Money to Recover the Economy and
Population (Part 2): Research Shows the Benefits of ‘Taking Back’
Rural Revenues
- NPO Bank ‘of the People, by the People, for the People ‘
- Learning and Applying Lessons from the Sustainable Economy of the Edo
Period

——————————————————————–

Using the Circulation of Local Money to Recover the Economy and
Population (Part 2): Research Shows the Benefits of ‘Taking Back’ Rural
Revenues
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035470.html

In the last JFS Newsletter, the December 2015 issue, we introduced the
1% Rural Recovery Strategy, a plan to take back the local economies and
populations of rural areas by 1% annually, based on a lecture given by
Dr. Ko Fujiyama, chief of the regional research group of the Shimane
Prefectural Mountainous Region Research Center, on October 26, 2015.
This issue features the second part of Dr. Fujiyama’s lecture, which
focuses on just how much income can be recovered by encouraging the
circulation of money locally. The information reflects research done in
Japan, but we believe the message is universal .

Using the Circulation of Local Money to Recover the Economy and
Population (Part 1): Featuring the 1% Rural Recovery Strategy and the
‘Local Multiplier 3′ Effect
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035436.html

 

.

——————————————————————–

In the December 2015 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Aiming for Happiest Marginal Community in Japan through Renewable Energy

- Grace Co. – Assisting Environment-Related Job Recruitment to Promote
Japan’s Environmental Efforts

- Using the Circulation of Local Money to Recover the Economy and
Population (Part 1):
Featuring the 1% Rural Recovery Strategy and the ‘Local Multiplier 3′ Effect

——

Aiming for Happiest Marginal Community in Japan through Renewable Energy
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035428.html

.

See also:
Environment-friendly Recruitment Fair 2017 (In Japanese only)
https://www.kankyo-job.net/library/eco2017.html

.
Related article in the JFS archive
Human Resources Solutions for a Sustainable Society ? Grace Co., Ltd.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id029490.html

.

.

——————————————————————————

.

*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–

*–*–*–*
Season’s Greetings from JFS
*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for
the interest, encouraging feedback, and continuous support we have received
from our readers and supporters during the past year.In the coming year 2016, we intend to keep moving forward and
contributing to efforts to make our world more sustainable.
To this end we welcome your collaboration and feedback at any time.

Please note that our office will be closed from December 29 to January 4
and any requests received during that period will be handled after that
date.

We wish you a happy and more sustainable new year in 2016!

Japan for Sustainability

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- This month’s cartoon:
“Let’s reduce environmental load together,
little by little!” (2015/12/09)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035419.html

- JFS Newsletter No.159 (November 2015)

Delivery of Magazines Together with Food Ingredients
Increasing in Japan(2015/12/21)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035409.html
Finding Balance between the Two Extremes of Economic
Growth and Happiness(2015/12/12)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035410.html
Community Happy Solar!(2015/11/28)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035404.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

Back issues of the newsletter are also available.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/index.html

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qXZr9t
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  ”Japan for Sustainability, http://www.japanfs.org/index.html.”

.

JFS WEEKLY 1 – 7 Dec. 2015

 click here.

Japanese NPO Proposes New Sport for All; Barrier-Free-Tennis

.

Energy / Climate Change

New Power Companies Soar in Japan in 2014, Increase of 1.8 times from 2013

24 – 30 Nov. 2015

click here.

.

Japan For Sustainability

click here.

Diversity

Japanese NPO Proposes New Sport for All; Barrier-Free-Tennis

.

.

JFS WEEKLY 17 – 23 Nov. 2015

Japanese Youth to Make Voices Heard at COP21

here.

.

——————————————————————————-

.

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at

Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #159

http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

November 30, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for SustainabilityJapan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

.

——————————————————-

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
 
Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.4 — Supported by JFS

November 23, 2015

JFS will hold its fourth meetup event, on November 23.
This time we will have a lunch at a unique restaurant which offers a variety of vegetarian foods using organic Japanese traditional millet grain.

Interested in the food?
Jump in and exchange ideas each other while enjoying lunch together!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/226645158/

.

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
10 – 16 Nov. 2015

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.4 — Supported by JFS
November 23, 2015

JFS will hold its fourth meetup event, on November 23.
This time we will have a lunch at a unique restaurant which offers a variety of vegetarian foods using organic Japanese traditional millet grain.

Interested in the food?
Jump in and exchange ideas each other while enjoying lunch together!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/226645158/

.

.

Japan For Sustainability

Giving Disaster Victims a Shoulder to Cry on

view this, click here.

.

[jfs] JFS WEEKLY 27 Oct. – 9 Nov. 2015

Giving Disaster Victims a Shoulder to Cry on

click here.

JFS WEEKLY 18 – 24 Aug. 2015

Halocarbon Emissions Rise in Japan Following 2011 Earthquake

click here

.

—————————————————————————-

.

“Invitation” – Public Symposium, Tokyo, Japan – UNU-IAS Headquarters “Linking Science and Policy for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

Dear SDG Colleagues,
United Nations University Institute of Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) cordially invites you to a public symposium on the topic of Linking Science and Policy for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The symposium will bring together leading international scholars to discuss different approaches to linking science and policy, drawing on a range of previous experiences including those from within the UN system.
The greatest challenge to the implementation of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the upcoming 15 years will be a successful translation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into meaningful national policies and actions. Robust links between science and policy at the global, regional and (sub-)national levels will be crucial to achieving the SDGs. Such links are important not only for the monitoring of SDG progress, but also for regular assessment and as early warning systems to identify new challenges.

The speakers will pay particular attention to the gaps in development of such science–policy links, as well as the need for scientific capacity building at all levels of implementation. The symposium will discuss how existing platforms, such as Future Earth and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) could engage with policymakers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to help make sustainable development a reality.

**Linking Science and Policy for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development**
Venue: UNU Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan
Dates/Times: 24 October 2015, 14:00-17:00
Fee: Free
————————————————————
Lucia KOVACOVA (Ms.)
Communications Associate
United Nations University
Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
.

.

——————————————————————————

.

Japan For Sustainability

Radiation health Japan 4 Sustainable

Citizen Group in Disaster Area Publishes Booklet to Provide Basic Information on Radiation

click here

.

.

—————————————————————————-

.

Japan For Sustainability

JFS Weekly – view this email click here.

.

—————————————————————————-

.

Japan for Sustainability Newsletter #158

October 30, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

.

.

JFS WEEKLY 20 – 26 Oct. 2015

here.

.

JFS WEEKLY 6 – 12 Oct. 2015

here.

.

JFS WEEKLY 29 Sep. – 5 Oct. 2015

here.

.

Japan For Sustainability

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

Restaurant Company’s Rice Paddy Biodiversity Project Introduced at Ramsar COP12

.

Chile Suffers – Japan may be hit with tsunami

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Chile.
In Peace,
Pam Puntenney and Bremley Lyngdoh
UNSD Education Caucus Co-Chairs
Co-Coordinators Climate Change
__________________
Dr. P. J. Puntenney
Environmental & Human Systems Management
1989 West Liberty
 Ann Arbor, MI  48103  USA
Cell: +1-(734) 352•7429
Landline: +1-(734) 994•3612

.

—————————————————————-

.

click here.

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.3 — Supported by JFS
October 12, 2015

JFS will hold its third meetup event, on October 12. This time we will discuss fashion and sustainability with a guest from a European non-profit organization, MADE-BY.

Interested in this topic?
Jump in, listen to her stories, and exchange ideas each other!

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/225774105/

.

—————————————————————————————

JFS Weekly

.

Japan For Sustainability

If you cannot view this email click here.

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
15 – 28 Sep. 2015

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
8 – 14 Sep. 2015

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.2 — Supported by JFS
September 28, 2015 @Seijo

JFS will hold its second meetup event, on September 28. This time we will play a role-playing game — a Climate Talks Simulation exercise.

Let’s learn about climate change together and “enjoy” experiencing climate negotiations! Guaranteed to be interesting.

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/225340156/

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
1 – 7 Sep. 2015

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
25 – 31 Aug. 2015

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Japan for Sustainability Celebrates Its 13th Anniversary
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

.

——————————————————————

.

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

 


Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #157
————————————————————————

September 30, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

.

—————————————————————

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Vol.2 — Supported by JFS September 28, 2015 @Seijo 

JFS will hold its second meetup event, on September 28. This time we will play a role-playing game — a Climate Talks Simulation exercise.

Let’s learn about climate change together and “enjoy” experiencing climate negotiations! Guaranteed to be interesting.

To join us, please sign up from the following web link.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/225340156/

.

—————————————————————-

.

Japan For Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability Celebrates Its 13th Anniversary

here.

.

———————————————————————-

.

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/

E-mail: info@japanfs.org

.

——————————————————————–

.

Japan For Sustainability

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

Main Street of Kyoto Develops into Pedestrian-Centric Space

.

———————————————————————————

 .

The Challenges Facing Full-Scale Renewable Energy Development and Expectations of Electricity System Reform (Part 2)

click here.

JFS WEEKLY 11 – 17 Aug. 2015

click here.

Main Street of Kyoto Develops into Pedestrian-Centric Space

4 – 10 Aug. 2015

click here.

The Challenges Facing Full-Scale Renewable Energy Development and Expectations of Electricity System Reform (Part 1)

28 Jul. – 3 Aug. 2015

click here.

.

———————————————————————–

.

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

——————————

——————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #155
————————————————————————

July 31, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

In the June 2015 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Japan’s Depopulating Society: Population Concentration in Tokyo and
the Disappearance of Local Municipalities (Part 2)

- Yahaba Waterworks Supporters Workshop ? Citizens Decide on the Future
of the Water Supply

- Biomass Energy Powered the Edo Period

——————————

————————————–

Japan’s Depopulating Society: Population Concentration in Tokyo and the
Disappearance of Local Municipalities (Part 2)

The previous issue of the JFS Newsletter introduced problems resulting
from a declining population and future challenges for Japan nationwide.
It was based on the first half of an April 23, 2015, lecture on the
depopulation in Japan, by Hiroya Masuda, who is chairperson of the
private think tank Japan Policy Council (JPC) and guest professor at the
Graduate School of Public Policy of the University of Tokyo.

This issue of the JFS Newsletter continues with the second half of
Masuda’s lecture, focusing on Tokyo’s challenges, which are aggravating
the situation in Japan, and possible solutions for smaller municipalities
away from the metropolis.

—————————————

Excess Concentration of Population in Tokyo:
Young People Continue Moving In from Around the Country

The trend of population flow in Japan since the period of high economic
growth in the 1960s reveals an over-concentration of people in the Tokyo
metropolitan area. Data on changes-in-residents’ registration in 1961
show that areas away from the big cities faced a decline in population
of 650,000, while three large cities had a considerable inflow of people
(about 360,000 into the Tokyo area, 220,000 into the Osaka area, and
70,000 into the Nagoya area).

Since that time, however, the population has been growing only in the
Tokyo area and not Osaka or Nagoya. Statistics for 2014 show that
100,000 people moved out of regional towns and cities, while 110,000
people moved to Tokyo. Since the population itself is declining in Japan,
the overall number moving in is decreasing, but it is apparent that a
majority of people moving from the regions are coming to Tokyo.

Data from residents’ registries shows that the largest age group moving
to the Tokyo area is 20- to 24-year-olds, the age when most people enter
the job-seeking phase, followed by newly enrolled students at
universities and colleges in Tokyo. Ninety-five percent of the 110,000
people who moved to Tokyo in 2014 were of the younger generation, people
of a child-bearing age.

Tokyo Area Seeing Low Birth Rate and Increasing Number of Seniors

Despite the inflow of young people, the total fertility rate (TFR) in
Tokyo was 1.13 in 2013, very low compared to the national average of
1.43. (TFR is the average number of children born to a woman over her
lifetime.) A TFR of 1.13 basically means that most couples have only one
child. As a result, the number of children is dropping in Tokyo,
creating an inverted V in the population curve. It is a big problem for
the overall Japanese population that a large number of young people are
moving to Tokyo, where the birth rate is low.

The Tokyo metropolitan area will also see an explosive increase in the
number of elderly people at the same time birthrates are dwindling.
Outside the metropolis, on the other hand, there is a concern that many
municipalities are at risk of disappearing entirely due to population
decline, but it is actually Tokyo that will have to face a more
difficult situation than any other municipality.

The post-war baby boom generation in Japan will reach the age of 75 or
older in 2025, bringing with them a pressing need for medical and
nursing care. Even today, in Tokyo, many seniors are on waiting lists
for “special elderly nursing homes,” or public nursing-care facilities
run by municipalities or social welfare corporations (the number of
names on the lists often exceeds 1,000 per facility), making it
extremely difficult for older adults to move in to the special elderly
nursing homes in any of Tokyo’s 23 wards. Such facilities on the
outskirts of Tokyo also have little room to accept new applicants.
Thus, in some cases, seniors in need of nursing care have to find a care
home located away from Tokyo.

Caring for the elderly at home, on the other hand, requires constant
care and attention. Because of this, an increasing number of people are
forced to give up their jobs. In Tokyo, people seem to have better
access to medical services, but the situation will deteriorate in light
of estimates that the senior population will more than double. In large
hospitals, for example, patients will have to wait for three to four
hours just to have a 10-minite examination. Such cases are expected to
occur more often.

Regional Towns and Cities Can Address Elderly Issues More Easily

The number of elderly people in regional towns and cities is projected
to decrease by 2040, which will allow local hospitals and nursing-care
facilities to have more capacity to operate.

At the same time, however, these municipalities will have to face
economic difficulties. According to an estimate made about a decade ago,
revenue sources for a typical municipality with a population of about
10,000 in semi-mountainous areas were from seniors’ pensions, public
works, and profits from agriculture, forestry, commerce, and industry,
each of which accounts for one-third of the total. Pensions are paid to
the elderly every two months and used for shopping and other costs, but
the number of elderly people will decrease, leading to less revenue. In
addition, public works are on a sharp decline. Thus, the revenues of
these municipalities will shrink.

Under these circumstances, regional towns and cities should create more
job opportunities, for instance, in the agriculture sector. Previously,
the total fertility rates in agricultural areas were very high, but now,
the rate is 1.4 in Iwate Prefecture and 1.28 in Hokkaido Prefecture, for
example. To increase the number of children in these areas, work
environments in the agricultural sector must be improved so that young
women may be more willing to engage in agriculture. Otherwise, it will
be difficult for many agriculture-based municipalities to sustain their
population levels.

A good example is the case of the village of Ogata, Akita Prefecture,
where agricultural corporations have large-scale mechanized farming
operations, using machines for farm work that would otherwise be
strenuous even for male workers. Farming done by companies also involves
desk work such as bookkeeping, which women can also do.

An example in the service industry is tourism in the town of Niseko,
Hokkaido Prefecture, where the number of tourists from overseas
countries, including Australia, has been increasing. More interpreters
are needed and hotel receptionists are required to speak English, which
means Niseko has more jobs for women than before.

In Tokyo, for economic reasons (high costs), young workers in their
twenties or thirties often cannot live near their workplaces, so they
spend an average of more than three hours commuting to and from work. In
addition they often have to put in a lot of overtime work hours, which
exhausts them. These conditions also keep young people from getting
married or having children.

Komatsu Ltd. is a positive example of how some companies are addressing
these problems. This multinational manufacturer , which has its head
office in Tokyo, moved its human resources training base to the city of
Komatsu, along the Sea of Japan, in Ishikawa Prefecture. According to an
in-house survey, female managers working in Komatsu had three children
on average, while those in Tokyo had only 0.9. With just 30 minutes of
commuting to the office, workers in Komatsu can go home when needed and
then return to their workplace. In contrast, many of workers in Tokyo
cannot live near their workplaces, therefore, they cannot get home
quickly, even when something urgent happens. In this regard, life is
better for working women who live outside rather than inside the major
metropolises.

Like Komatsu did, other companies could relocate departments that do not
have to be located in Tokyo, to areas where land prices are more
reasonable, while leaving their head offices in Tokyo. If companies were
to recruit workers and offer the same conditions as can be had in Tokyo,
they could hire well-qualified school graduates who live in the regional
towns and cities, which can be a big benefit for the company.

Along with such efforts, it will be important to make workplaces in
outside the metropolises more comfortable for young workers by reducing
weekend work, and other measures.

(End of Masuda’s lecture)

—————————————

From the editors: It is a critical structural problem that young people,
whose population numbers are declining in Japan, are concentrating in
Tokyo, where the birth rate is lower. Hearing that more municipalities
around the country could vanish due to population decline, one might
assume that they face tougher challenges, but in his lecture, Masuda
showed how regional cities and towns can address the problems more
easily than the big urban centers. That idea was very impressive.

Japan is facing a declining population nationwide, so the issues should
be tackled by the whole nation. Solutions will come not by just thinking
about things one city at a time, but by taking a wholistic and
comprehensive view of the challenges.

Countries around the world are witnessing the increasing concentration
of population in cities. Reading this, do you see some ideas that might
apply in your own community? Please “share” your information and leave
comments!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035317.html#comments

Edited by Junko Edahiro and Naoko Niitsu

——————————————————————–

Yahaba Waterworks Supporters Workshop — Citizens Decide on the Future
of the Water Supply

At a symposium on local governance and the water supply in November 2014,
I heard Water and Sewerage Section Chief, Ritsuji Yoshioka, of Yahaba, a
town in Iwate Prefecture, describe an interesting initiative. He said,
“Citizens’ understanding is essential to implementing water supply
policies, but in reality they are less and less interested in the water
supply. Most citizens have had tap water all their lives, so they take
it for granted. For them, it is natural to get water by just turning on
a faucet. Those who are interested in the water supply have two main
concerns: tastier tap water and cheaper water rates.”

Water supply management has become more and more difficult due to a
declining recipient population, necessary waterworks renovations and
other factors. Countermeasure implementation, however, varies depending
on the local government. Regarding waterworks crisis awareness, many
water suppliers are still at a stage where they vaguely recognize the
danger ahead. Only a few have estimated their future figures in detail.

As to democratization of waterworks, most municipalities do not share –
or they just think they share — their thoughts and plans with their
citizens. When water suppliers say they have shared information with
citizens, it often turns out they have uploaded just a few pages of
documents onto their websites. In short, they are merely posting
information, not sharing it.

Aware of such problems, Yahaba worked out a two-step PR strategy. The
first step has been to publish a cartoon booklet to inform the town of
the current water supply situation. For a government-produced document,
it is quite trendy. The second has been to hold workshops in which the
citizens participate as “Waterworks Supporters.” The participants,
consisting of citizens selected from among applicants, join study
sessions together with town officials, where they learn about the
current situation and water supply issues. As a result, the town has
received comments from the participants such as, “It is necessary to
raise water rates to ensure a secure water supply.”

What caused their thoughts to change from asking for tastier tap water
and cheaper water rates to accepting an increase in water rates to keep
their water supply secure? Seeking an answer, I visited the town and
joined the workshop.

In a meeting room on the fourth floor of the Yahaba town hall, about 20
Yahaba Waterworks Supporters had gathered. They split up into two groups
of about 10 people, and sat in chairs arranged in a U-shape in front of
a whiteboard.

Each group had a facilitator and record keeper who wrote down the
participants’ comments on large pieces of papers and posted them on the
whiteboard. They used one sheet of paper for each question to write down
their comments. There were other sheets of papers posted on which
participants’ comments from the first study meeting had been written.
Looking at these, I could see they were seriously committed to sharing
information and reaching an agreement with the residents.

First, the facilitators asked the participants a question, “Do you think
current priorities among waterworks issues will change in 30 or 50 years?”

To answer this question, the members needed not only a good
understanding of the current issues, but also a wide range of knowledge
for predicting issues 30 or 50 years from now.

I worried whether they could handle this without getting stuck. My
concern, however, proved pointless. They spoke frankly with no
hesitation, with one after another bringing up current issues, including

- decrepit water pipelines
- a staffing shortage in waterworks
- a financial shortage due to a declining population receiving water
- disaster countermeasures
- and other concerns.

When asked if they thought waterworks issues priorities would change in
30 or 50 years, they replied,

“Priorities will change according to how current issues are ascertained
and countermeasures are implemented,” and, “It is important not to pass
the burden on to future generations, our generation must also pay the
costs.”

From the beginning, I was deeply impressed with the great insights of
the Yahaba Waterworks Supporters.

The Yahaba Waterworks Supporters was established to reflect the voices
of the citizens, who are generally less conscious of waterworks. The
supporters’ system, however, does not exist in isolation. It takes a
multi-layered approach to sampling the citizens’ opinions on waterworks,
through public comments, outreach and the Yahaba Waterworks Supporters.

- Public comments ensure citizen participation in water supply
operations.
- Outreach is conducted by waterworks staff, who interview citizens and
write down their opinions on cards.

Interviews on waterworks have been conducted at a shopping center and
other public spaces. A total of 954 people out of 1000 citizens
cooperated without hesitation. “It is not that they have little interest
in waterworks, but rather, they do not direct their attention to it,”
said Yoshioka. The citizens’ opinions were found to be:

- Water supply rates are expensive.
- Tap water smells like chlorine.
- I usually drink ionized water from the supermarket.
- Tap water tastes bad.

The citizens’ major interests were water rates and the quality of tap
water. The waterworks operators wanted people to know how hard it was to
manage a large volume of water through pipelines or at water
purification facilities. The interviews revealed a large gap between the
operators and citizens.

Moreover, the Yahaba Waterworks Supporters, who are paid volunteers
selected from among applicants, learn about the waterworks regularly,
thinking about the future of the Yahaba waterworks.

Seven people applied the first year, fiscal 2008. The town held a
monthly workshop and tried to discuss water supply operation issues.
The participants wrote down their opinions on paper, one by one. The
opinions were categorized into small groups, then into medium-sized
groups, and then into large groups.

Among the 11 participants in fiscal 2009, one person had a prior
interest in waterworks. Most were amateurs. They learned about
waterworks while talking and enjoying sweets. They watched videos,
tasted tap water and mineral water for comparison, and conducted a site
visit to the water purification facility.

Since then, supporters have been selected from among applicants each
year. It is not a place for individual learning, but has become a
learning organization. New members have been added every year, and they
deepen their understanding year by year.

In the postwar years of rapid economic growth, municipal governments all
over Japan established waterworks. These have all aged and entered their
renewal period at the same time. There have been cases in Japan of local
citizens having to bear part of the costs for maintaining the waterworks.
The Yahaba Waterworks Supporters have sought a way to manage their town’s
waterworks project and its desirable future form sustainably.

Over time, the supporters have developed their knowledge, and their
awareness of waterworks has changed:

-I used to take waterworks for granted, but I have learned a lot of
things in the supporter program including the basis of water supply
rates.
-I have come to know how hard it is for people engaged in waterworks.
I’ll use tap water more consciously from now on.
-To maintain water supply operations, adequate investment is necessary,
and for that purpose, raising water rates is unavoidable.

Waterworks supporters have also been engaged in drafting a waterworks
vision, depicting ideal water supply operations. They draw cartoons to
help promote this vision. The cartoons are delivered to each household
with the water bill, and made available at convenience stores in the
town for free.

Cartoons featuring Yahaba’s waterworks
http://suidou.town.yahaba.iwate.jp/archives/manga/manga (in Japanese only)

Yahaba’s politics is characterized by a struggle to reflect the views
of the silent majority. How do we hear the voice of the silent majority?
It is a challenge not only for municipal policy-makers, but also for
those of the national government. Seeking public comments, conducting
interviews and building learning organizations could also serve their
needs in many ways.

I was impressed that the discussion at the Yahaba Waterworks Supporters
Workshop was based on decent preliminary data. The premises of the
discussion included previously shared information on population decrease,
changes in water demand, facility performance and the maintenance status
of reservoirs.

Based on these premises, the participants examined approaches to
facility maintenance from a mid-term viewpoint of about 40 years. Water
supply accounting balances were divided into the routine business of
supplying tap water (revenue income and expenses) and purification plant
operation and pipeline maintenance business (capital income and expenses).
In the case of Yahaba, the revenue income and expenses were in the black,
paying for facility costs with accumulation of an internal reserve. The
town had no debts (corporate debts) and maintained an extremely sound
financial status.

Many water supply operators tend to run in the red with revenue income
and expenses due, for instance, to the declining recipient population.
The operators borrow money to build facilities, so they face serious
financial difficulties. During the past few years, some operators have
suddenly announced water bill price hikes with no explanation.

In fact, Yahaba’s waterworks is very sound financially, but there are
two major issues from mid- and long-term viewpoints. One is the
difficulty of continuing a positive revenue income and expense balance
as the population decreases, and the other is an increasing capital
expense balance due to aging water pipes that need to be updated.
In short, it is a situation where income is decreasing and expenses
increasing.

Therefore, first, they need to estimate how old the facility and water
pipelines are. Water pipelines will need to be updated one after another.
If updates are postponed until the last minute, the burden on the next
generation will be increased, because even if the cost of updating
remains the same, the cost per person will be larger as the population
decreases.

Considering the situation, the participants at the Yahaba Waterworks
Supporters meeting said, “Some price hikes in water bills will be
inevitable,” and “It is like setting money aside for a refrigerator
replacement.” They think of it as an insurance-like investment to reduce
the burden on the next generation. This opinion is being reflected in
the town’s water supply business.

In Yahaba, citizens gain a thorough understanding of the status of water
supply operations, assess the situation using concrete data from mid-
and long-term viewpoints and make future-oriented decisions.

One reason Yahaba has succeeded in creating rapport with the citizens is,
of course, that the town’s water supply is in the black thanks to their
management efforts. Regardless of whether the business is in the black
or in the red, however, it is essential for all water supply operators
to disclose their financial situation to the citizens.

People may be surprised or upset if they learn that the waterworks of
the town they live is having serious trouble.

What a person can do then is either run away or accept responsibility.
If we don’t want to move, we need to get involved, think logically about
what to do and make decent decisions.

Junji Hashimoto, water journalist

——————————————————————–

Biomass Energy Powered the Edo Period

The interval of Japan’s history between 1603 and 1867 is called the Edo
Period. During this era, Japanese society established a unique and
sustainable society that operated within the capacity of its domestic
resources by properly using plant-based materials without depending on
overseas imports including fossil fuels.

The novelist Eisuke Ishikawa, one of Japan’s leading researchers on the
Edo Period, delivered a keynote speech at the “Kanto Biomass Forum” in
2004 hosted by government-affiliated associations in the Kanto region.
The theme of this forum was to consider biomass energy with a
perspective spanning three generations — encompassing Japanese
traditional culture and future biomass use. This article will introduce
Ishikawa’s keynote speech with the permission from both Ishikawa and
the Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office.

—————————————

In Japan, it seems to me like this: on one pretext or another, Japanese
people stopped following the daily habits that we now call “recycling” and
“volunteering,” using words borrowed from English. This gave rise to an
array of problems, and so we imported the same ideas from overseas and
started doing the same things again, using foreign words, as such things
were formerly taken for granted and not conceptualized in the Japanese
language.

On the other hand, the case of the imported word or idea of “biomass” is
slightly different. It seems that the idea of biomass is perceived in
Japan as directly analogous to our traditional recycle-oriented lifestyle.

We tend to say, “Let’s go back to a recycle-based society,” however,
this will never be achieved in our current society.

This is because an enormous amount of energy – as much as about 120,000
kilocalories (kcal) – is now consumed per capita every day in Japan.
About 100,000 kcal of this is generated from fossil fuels, which cannot
be replenished once they are used. Since fossil fuels are necessary even
for material recycling nowadays, it is completely impossible to do “true”
recycling.

I call our current world a one-way civilization. Resources such as
fossil fuels are consumed at a rapid rate while resource replenishment
hardly ever occurs. What we call a “recycling-based society” is simply
like spinning a top on a one-way conveyor belt.

In this context I think of Japanese society in the Edo Period as a
society on a turntable. All the material resources flowed through the
society in a cycle we can compare to a turntable spinning a record; it
was a truly recycle-oriented society. The turntable revolved 360-degrees
over the course of a year, because almost all materials in those days
were biomass resources derived from plants.

I define “biomass” here as “biological resources, mostly plant-based
materials.”

Almost all commodities consumed in the Edo-Period lifestyle were made
from fast-growing plants. Anything that wore out was disposed of or
burned and the residue would decompose into water and carbon dioxide,
which helped grow plants during the following year. This kind of cycle
would not increase the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while
maintaining a stable annual material balance.

Of course, metal products, ceramics and other products not derived from
plants were used in daily life. People used biomass resources such as
charcoal to refine metal products and to fire ceramics. As long as plant
materials are used properly and within certain parameters, they do not
become depleted.

Photosynthesis made it possible to operate such a system. Carbon dioxide
and water are taken up into plant tissues again and again using energy
from sunlight.

The simplest example of biomass use in the Edo Period is rice cultivation.
The population in the 1720s was about 30 to 31 million, of which 14
million people – nearly half – were engaged in growing rice. Wet-paddy
rice cultivation is the most suitable agricultural practice given
growing conditions in Japan. Compared to wheat production during
the same period in Europe, wet-paddy rice cultivation in the late Edo
Period (1751-1868) could produce enough food for about 10 times more
people using the same sized area.

In these former times, people chose to grow rice varieties that would
produce as much straw as possible, since rice straw has many uses.

After we eat rice, we produce excreta. In our present modern era, we
process human excreta using enormous amounts of energy. However, people
in the Edo Period sold human waste as fertilizer. Such fertilizer went
back into the soil and never flowed into drainage systems. Therefore,
the river water in Edo (present-day Tokyo & vicinity) and Osaka was
clean enough to drink. Well water was used for daily housework such as
washing clothes and house cleaning. People drank water from the rivers.
This was exceptional because no other [urban] river in the world at that
time could provide drinking water.

Thus, farm crops consumed in cities ended up as a source of fertilizer.
For farmers, it can be said that cities functioned as a device for
converting food into fertilizer.

As for rice straw, according to researchers, half of the straw produced
was returned to farmlands as fertilizer in the form of compost or
barnyard manure.

About 30 percent of straw was used for fuel, and even ash left after
burning straw was a useful resource. Ash is an important source of
potassium in fertilizer, and so there were ash buyers who collected ash
in cities in the Edo Period. Though many cultures throughout the world
are said to use ash, Japan is the only country where ash was sold to
specialized merchants, as far as my own research shows. Ash was a
marketable biomass product.

The remaining 20 percent was used for producing daily commodities.
Philip Franz von Siebold, a German physician and botanist, wrote in his
diary: “During my travels in Japan, I saw heaps of sandals made from
straw everywhere. Tourists change their old sandals for new ones at
fixed sites. Local farmers gather the old ones and recycle them into
fertilizer.” Straw sandals were much less durable than modern shoes.
However, end-of-life sandals were easily recycled; they became fuel with
ash being so valuable that ash buyers purchased it.

Both rice and rice straw were totally recycled back into the earth
within a year. Solar energy alone supported this recycling system. In
the Edo Period, more than 99 percent of kinetic power came from human
labor, and humans were fed by grain mainly harvested in the previous
year. The grain harvest was also the product of human labor and solar
energy during the previous year. Therefore, when we consider human
resource use, at present we depend on fossil fuel, but our ancestors
depended on biomass.

I have often said that “Japan was a ‘plant-based country’ in the Edo
Period.” In the sense that Japanese people grew the plants on which
their daily lives depended, I think the expression “plant-based country” is
appropriate. We can also say “biomass-based country” to express the same
thing in a trendier way. For some reason I prefer the latter so, I plan
to say “Japan was a ‘biomass-based country’ in the Edo Period” from now
on.

Biomass was also used as an energy source for light and heat. In the Edo
Period, most people in cities used lanterns as lighting equipment.

Lanterns were very dim – only about one-hundredth to one-fiftieth of the
brightness of a 60-Watt bulb. Lanterns also produced black soot,
blackening the walls and ceiling of the house. That’s why a thorough
house cleaning used to be called “susuhaki,” which means sweeping the
soot out of the house. Thus, as lighting equipment, lanterns had some
down sides.

However, the oil used for lighting was mainly from rapeseed and cotton
seed sources. Thus, lighting oil was also a product ultimately extracted
from the solar energy of the previous year. When oil was burned, it was
converted to carbon dioxide and water, which were absorbed by plants in
the following year, with oil being produced again from the harvested
plants. That is, when burning oil in lanterns, people also promoted
circulation in the recycling system. People took good care of plants and
led their lives in a society based on biomass.

If you ask whether people led comfortable lives in this kind of biomass
society, I would say that life in our current society is much easier.
Especially, for people in my generation who spent their childhood during
World War II, the biomass-based life of former days seemed frighteningly
hard.

But, I don’t really think that is true. From the era of our prehistoric
ancestors down to the present, the human genome or DNA (deoxyribonucleic
acid) sequence has basically not changed much. Therefore, I’m sure that
our bodies are designed to be adaptable to difficult circumstances, such
as food shortages and cold weather.

Meanwhile, our lifestyles have dramatically changed in only 50 years or
so. The easy modern lifestyle does not put so much of a burden on our
bodies, but in fact I think it might be forcing us to put a heavy burden
on society as a whole.

Why do problems emerge in our present society one after another without
surcease, in spite of our affluence? Lots of suggestions no doubt come
to mind.

It is impossible for us to go back to a lifestyle that is 100 percent
dependent on biomass. But, we might be more comfortable in a real sense,
if we could return to a biomass-based life.

As a researcher working on Edo energy issues, I would like to give my
opinion on how we can develop our ideas about biomass use.

I don’t think we should force ourselves to increase the amount of
biomass use. In our present Japanese society, it will be difficult to
replace even 10% of fossil fuels with biomass.

I’m not saying that every effort is useless. We just need to do whatever
we can do, however small. I think the important thing is that we try
many different approaches and gain as much experience as possible.

I believe this because it is doubtful that we can continue to consume as
much fossil fuel as we desire. One reason for this uncertainty is that
we do not know whether Japan will continue to be an economically
powerful nation. Another reason is that we might be entering an era in
which we hesitate to use fossil fuels due to environmental deterioration.

One good approach that can lessen our fear of failure is to try using
biomass as widely as possible. This works even better if you enjoy doing it.

As one example, Japan’s food self-sufficiency is rated at 40% based on
calories. At the same time, 40% of kitchen garbage collected in the city
of Kyoto is comprised of leftovers, according to one researcher. The
percent of leftovers is the same as Japan’s food self-sufficiency ratio,
meaning that this city is throwing away an amount of food equivalent to
its supply of home-grown agricultural products.

According to data published by the Science and Technology Agency in 1999,
Japan’s gross agricultural production amounted to 12.4 trillion yen
(about US$101.64 billion), while the monetary equivalent of discarded
leftovers amounted to 11.1 trillion yen (about US$90.98 billion) based
on market prices. In monetary terms, this means that we are dumping the
equivalent of 90% of domestically-produced food.

This data implies that we are actually living on 60% of the food that is
already accessible. At the same time, Japanese people are increasingly
suffering from weight gain because of over-supply. So if we ever become
unable to import food, 40% of the 60% we are actually living on now
could be replaced with home-grown products, on the condition that we don’t
waste food. Calculating 40% out of 60% gives us 66.666%; this would
raise Japan’s food self-sufficiency to nearly 70%. And if we try to eat
less and import about 10% of the food we consume, it might be possible
to live without relying too much on imports.

The same goes for energy. Per capita energy consumption in the Edo
period was equivalent to 0 kcal in terms of present standards; however,
present, daily per capita consumption of energy from fossil fuels alone
is as much as 100,000 kcal. Back in 1970, this figure was only 50,000
kcal. And I, for one, still follow more or less the same kind of
lifestyle I did in the 1970s.

This means that half the amount should suffice to maintain our present
lifestyle. If the fossil fuel energy supply decreases, the use of
biomass will automatically increase whether we like it or not.

I find it very promising that many of you here are promoting biomass
energy. I think the use of biomass is already part of our lives.
There are still many people adept at making charcoal, which is a good
example of biomass-derived energy, as well as those who are creating new
energy sources. You don’t need to try too hard to increase the use of
biomass because society will soon be demanding it. For the time being,
we just need to patiently try every available technology.

In the Edo period, there weren’t many kinds of energy sources available
except biomass, most of which was derived from fast-growing plants. You
may think that tree growth would have been too slow to keep up with
firewood demand, resulting in insufficient firewood supply. However,
Japan’s population at that time was only 30 million and only 1,000 kcal
of energy from firewood was required per day. This was actually
considerably less than percent of tree growth at the time. It was an era
when forestry was managed properly.

Life in the olden days was no doubt hard, but you are quite mistaken if
you think that people in the past were inferior and we are superior.
There are many things that we should learn from their ways of life.

From the website of Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office
http://www.maff.go.jp/kanto/kihon/kikaku/biomass/ktrenraku/foram/ishikawa.html

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- This month’s cartoon:
“Check the quantity of each one’s CO2 emissions!”. (2015/07/03)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035301.html

- JFS Newsletter No.154 (June 2015)

The Pursuit of Economic Growth Requires a Balance
between ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’(2015/07/20)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035300.html
Japan’s Depopulating Society: Population Concentration in
Tokyo and the Disappearance of Local Municipalities (Part 1)
(2015/07/13)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035298.html
Illegal Logging Issues – Significance and Challenges:
Pertinence of Forest Management Governance
in Japan & Other Countries(2015/06/30)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035292.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

To unsubscribe, please click the following link and fill in the form
E-mail Newsletter Unsubscribe:
http://www.japanfs.org/acmailer/unsubscribe.html

Back issues of the newsletter are also available.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/index.html

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qXZr9t
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  “Japan for Sustainability, http://www.japanfs.org/index.html.”

.

————————————————————————–

.

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.
JFS Weekly
21 – 27 Jul. 2015

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Supported by JFS
August 5, 2015, @Shinjuku

JFS will organize its first meetup event regarding food and sustainability issues, inviting a guest speaker from Belgium, and would like to invite participants living in/near Tokyo.

Let’s enjoy discussion, sharing ideas and information, and learn together!

To join us, please sign up from the following weblink.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/224202325/

Photo: Solar panel
Image by Chris Baird Some Rights Reserved.

Chigasaki City in East Japan has been implementing the “Chigasaki Solar Energy Credit” program since April 1, 2014. The program converts the environmental value of power generated by residential photovoltaic generators into emission credits, sells them to businesses, and returns the sales profits to residents.

Membership in the program is open to residents who installed solar power at their home after April 2013 and have no other generation equipment nor a storage battery. The Chigasaki Renewable Energy Network (REN Chigasaki) adds up the electricity generated and consumed at home, converts it into emission credits under certification from a national organization, and sells them to businesses in the city.

Program members not only can sell surplus power to their power company but also use power consumed at home to generate emission credits and receive a return in the form of gift coupons or other value. Businesses, meanwhile, can purchase the credits to offset their carbon dioxide emissions and advanced their climate mitigation programs.

Members are asked only to report their total power generation and total power sales once a year by mail. In conjunction with the program, the city is also promoting renewable energy generation through a program that subsidizes the cost of installing photovoltaic equipment.

Photo: Shining the Light on the Future of Futaba
Shining the Light on the Future of Futaba
Copyright Yayoi Minowa All Rights Reserved.

A weekly column called “Tohoku Reconstruction Diary” (Tohoku Fukko Nikki in Japanese) in the regional newspaper “Tokyo Shimbun,” which covers eastern Japan in delivering news and stories on reconstruction efforts in the areas devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, published a series of articles submitted by the “JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society,” a certified non-profit organization, about an initiative called the “Yui-Yui Project” that supports victims of the earthquake. We present here a translation of an article published on February 20, 2015, featuring the efforts of communities affected by the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the 2011 earthquake.

Before the Great East Japan Earthquake, Yonomori — a community in Tomioka Town — was one of the best cherry blossom-viewing sites in Fukushima Prefecture. It’s as if time has stopped in Yonomori since the earthquake, seen in things like the large number of bags still lined up along the roadway between the towns of Naraha and Tomioka that are filled with soil and dry grass collected in the process of decontamination of radioactive materials.

“I used this roadway as a school route during my high school days,” says Hideaki Niitsuma, who grew up in Naraha and went to high school in Tomioka. He acts as a guide and a storyteller of the community. After the quake, he joined the Iwaki Otento SUN Enterprise Cooperative, whose aim is to create Fukushima’s new future by harnessing renewable energies. In the cooperative, he is in charge of study tours to introduce his hometown to visitors in his own words. This time, I participated in its “CSV matching study tour aiming to consider the reconstruction of Hirono Town,” co-organized by the JKSK, and I toured the towns of Hirono, Naraha, and Tomioka in Futaba County.

An evacuation notice has been lifted in some areas of Naraha and Tomioka, and Naraha Town has set a target of enabling local people to live in the town starting in the spring of 2015, but there are still many problems to solve. Niitsuma asked us, “Would you feel like going back to and living in a place next to a temporary storage space for radioactive materials?” This question made me better understand the fundamental, serious problems of nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile, in Hirono, which is next to Naraha, 30 percent of the local people have returned to their hometown, showing a new movement for the town’s recovery. Projects have started up, such as the Fukushima Organic Cotton Project, where local people grow Japanese cotton organically and manufacture products from the harvested cotton. The cultivation of organic cotton has expanded from Iwaki City through Hirono Town.

I also saw the construction site of Hirono Community Electric Power — a photovoltaic power generation system with an output of 49 kilowatts — which is being built on town-owned land. Revenues from the sale of electricity generated in the system will be allocated to management costs of cotton fields and disaster-prevention green spaces. The town plans to hold workshops on tree planting and effective ways to use the green spaces being constructed in the Asami River District, with a view to promoting interactions among people in and outside of the community, as well as creating job opportunities.

Each of the communities in Fukushima Prefecture has completely different issues. Particularly, Futaba County is under the most severe conditions, so I felt that Futaba’s reconstruction is like a mirror reflecting Japan’s future.

Yayoi Minowa
Environmental Journalist

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)

.

—————————————————————————

.

21 – 27 Jul. 2015

Tokyo Sustainability Meetup Supported by JFS
August 5, 2015, @Shinjuku

JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click here.

JFS will organize its first meetup event regarding food and sustainability issues, inviting a guest speaker from Belgium, and would like to invite participants living in/near Tokyo.

Let’s enjoy discussion, sharing ideas and information, and learn together!

To join us, please sign up from the following weblink.
http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sustainability-Meetup/events/224202325/

Shining the Light on the Future of Futaba
Copyright Yayoi Minowa All Rights Reserved.

Reconstruction of Communities in Fukushima to Reflect Japan’s Future

 

Japan for SustainableJapan for Sustainability (JFS)

Website

.

——————————————————————-

.

City of Minamisoma Testing Power Generation Using Local Wood Waste to Make Switch from Nuclear to Renewables

14 – 20 Jul. 2015

click here.

.

Japanese Company Pushes for Organizational and Social Reform

7 – 13 Jul. 2015

click here.

.

———————————————————————————————-

.

Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #154
——————————

——————————————

June 30, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

——————————————————————–

In the June 2015 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Illegal Logging Issues – Significance and Challenges:
Pertinence of National Forest Management Governance in Japan & Other
Countries

- Japan’s Depopulating Society: Population Concentration in Tokyo and
the Disappearance of Local Municipalities (Part 1)

- The Pursuit of Economic Growth Requires a Balance between ‘Yin’ and
‘Yang’

——————————————————————–

Illegal Logging Issues – Significance and Challenges:
Pertinence of National Forest Management Governance in Japan & Other
Countries

Ever since the global decrease in tropical forests became a matter of
concern in the 1980s, timber-importing countries have been making
efforts to draw up a framework for timber import and procurement
designed to prevent illegal logging and to promote appropriate forest
management. This issue of the JFS newsletter will introduce Japan’s
responses to illegal logging issues, courtesy of Dr. Takashi Fujiwara,
President of the Woodmiles Forum, a general incorporated association
that investigates environmental impacts during the timber transportation
process. We present one of his articles that appeared in the journal
“Shinrin Gijutsu (Forest Technology)” (No. 876, March 2015, published by
Japan Forest Technology Association) titled “Illegal Logging Issues -
Significance and Challenges: Pertinence of National Forest Management
Governance in Japan & Other Countries.”

—————————————

Introduction

To address global illegal logging issues, the Japanese government
decided in 2006 that timber products and building materials whose
legality has been verified should be preferentially procured, and as a
guideline for suppliers of wood and wood products, the Forestry Agency
published the “Guideline for Verification on Legality and Sustainability
of Wood and Wood Products” (hereinafter the “Guideline”): ten years will
have passed in February 2016 since this Guideline was published.

The system to verify legality based on this Guideline, which more than
11,000 business operators participate in and implement, is
internationally well known as “Gohowood.” This system has been compared
frequently with measures against illegal logging being taken in the U.S.
and EU countries. As a leading member who has been involved in
implementation of this system from the very beginning, in this article I
discuss its significance and present challenges to the system in Japan
from a global point of view. I hope that new horizons will be opened up
in this important system as it marks its 10th anniversary.

Backdrop to the Response to Illegal Logging Issues

In the 1980s, a decrease in tropical forests on the global scale became
apparent, and forest management became a matter of concern as a global
environmental issue. Against this backdrop, agreement on a global forest
convention was sought at the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992; however,
no convention was adopted due to objections from developing nations).
To solve this problem, a global environmental framework involving
developing nations had to be created, a very challenging task. After the
Earth Summit, various efforts have been made by both the public and
private sectors, including intergovernmental talks and market approaches.

When agreement on a global forest convention that would have directly
aimed for international consensus on forest management obligations and
support broke down, market approaches offered an alternative direction.

Mostly through the efforts of an environmental nongovernmental
organization (NGO) that was leading the initiative to boycott tropical
wood, etc. and of the industry itself, a movement to secure appropriate
forest management through supply chain management based on certification
schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme
for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) began
expanding. However, government-based efforts in consumer countries
involving the market can be considered more pertinent to controlling
illegal logging than this kind of privately based consumer country
effort.

Measures against Illegal Logging by Governments

The Group of Seven, initially a forum for economic policy coordination
among advanced nations, raised the priority of environmental policies in
the latter half of the 1980s and, as previously mentioned, it proposed
the global forest convention that was rejected by the Earth Summit in
1992. The 31st G8 summit, held in 2005 in Gleneagles, was notable in
that an environment-related action plan was agreed to, which states
“We agree that working to tackle illegal logging is an important step
towards the sustainable management of forests. To tackle this issue
effectively requires action from both timber producing and timber
consuming countries.”

(1) Japanese Government’s Initiatives

In line with this action plan, since 2006 measures have been taken by
the Japanese government to promote preferential purchase of timber
proven to be legitimate in accordance with the Green Purchasing Law and
its associated Guideline for determining legitimacy.

The Guideline lays out three methods to determine legitimacy: (1)
through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management
Certification and Chain of Custody Certification; (2) through companies
under the authorization of an industry association; and (3) through
original measures taken by each company. Among these, the second method
was the original and played a significant role. More than 150 industry
associations have granted powers of authorization for guaranteeing
legitimacy to over 11,000 companies throughout Japan in order to
establish a system to provide legitimately harvested wood.

Regarding the three methods, see also:
http://www.rinya.maff.go.jp/j/boutai/ihoubatu/pdf/gaido1_e.pdf (page 6 to 8)

(2) The United States Government’s Initiatives

To deal with illegal logging, the United States amended the Lacey Act in
2008 as follows:

1. It is unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell,
receive, acquire, or purchase any plant taken, possessed, transported,
or sold in violation of any foreign law (Section 3372 – Prohibited acts
(a)(2)); 2. Any person who intentionally or knowingly engages in conduct
prohibited by 1 and in the exercise of due care should know that the
plants were taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any
underlying law shall be fined (Section 3373 – Penalties and sanctions (d)
Criminal penalties), or civil forfeitures shall be governed (Section
3374 – Forfeiture (d)); and 3. Declarations for the botanical name of
any plant imported, the amount and the price of imported plants, and the
name of the country where plants were taken must be made.

(3) EU’s Initiatives

Since 2003 the European Union (EU) has been seeking bilateral agreements
with developing countries regarding the intensification of the
enforcement of its Forest Law. To strengthen the measures, EU enforced
EU Timber Regulations in 2013.

These regulations specify: (1) Operators are prohibited to place
illegally harvested timber and products derived from illegal timber on
the EU market (Subsection 1 in Section 4); (2) Traders operating within
the EU who are placing timber on the EU market for the first time are
required to exercise “due diligence” (Subsection 2 in Section 4); and (3)
Traders operating within the EU have to keep records of whom they bought
timber from and to whom they sold the timber (Section 5).

Green Supply Chain Management

Environmental supply chain management has been proposed as an advanced
version of supply chain management, which regards every operation of the
entire process — starting with raw material procurement all the way to
supplying end users — as a single business process and is used as a
fundamental of strategic management tool. Environmental supply chain
management provides users and consumers with environmental information
throughout the supply chain, starting with raw material procurement
sites.

Any approach that aims to secure forest management governance throughout
the wood supply chain is regarded as a form of environmental supply
chain management. Initiatives to solve social problems occurring at
natural resource procurement sites, such as problems related to conflict
diamonds, conflict minerals and certified marine products, have been
widely implemented using supply chain management. In many cases, however,
the efficiency of supply chain management depends on the quality of
social responsibility exercised by the major companies that serve as the
core of the supply chain. At the same time, the supply chain of “forests
to wood products” often depends on a network of many small- and
medium-sized companies without global core companies. That is why it is
necessary to devise ways to manage this supply chain.

In this connection, the reliability of a forest certification program is
rooted in its dependence on relatively large-scale companies, as they
expand their control over the supply chains extending to and from such
companies. Unlike regions where global corporations cover the market,
such as in Northern Europe and North America, applying this kind of
scheme in markets which are mainly dominated by small- and medium-size
enterprises (SMEs) gives rise to cost barriers. The Lacey Act, EU Timber
Regulations and other recent schemes impose duty of care on stakeholders
at the point when timber crosses national borders in the course of their
supply chains, and punish them if they fail to comply.

Controlling cross-border trading makes economic sense because: 1) the
main players in cross-border trading are relatively large-scale
corporations; 2) existing customs procedures can be used for public
control of the networks. The ability to control the importation process
is a necessary condition for incorporating a penalty system as grounds
for a scheme’s reliability. This method, however, does not function to
control the many tons of timber products that do not cross borders, such
as timber products traded within the EU zone.

The intent of Japan’s Guideline is to establish the reliability of a
network that mainly consists of SMEs by making a commitment to fulfill
the social responsibility of an industry association. As such, it will
be necessary to address global illegal logging issues by taking into
account and incorporating into the Japanese system the different
characteristics of these other mechanisms.

Forest Management in Japan and the Forestry Agency’s Guideline

Comparing the content dealing with illegal logging in the Forest and
Forestry Basic Plans of 2001, 2006 and 2011, we find that in the first
two plans, illegal logging was mentioned solely as one of the
international issues to be considered in the context of international
cooperation and contributions and measures to deal with importing forest
products. In addition to the understanding as the international issue
the current plan adopted in 2011 is marked by a description of the issue
presented in a context of ensuring proper forest management in relation
to domestic forest governance, stipulating that the national government
shall make efforts to promote mechanisms to certify wood products
harvested using a proper logging procedures and thus facilitate the
promotion of proper forest management.

Strengthening the governance of all forests, in both developing and
developed countries, is a challenge for any country. The Guideline
clearly defines its own role as an important tool to improve the
governance of forest management in a unified manner by involving the
government, relevant industries and citizens (consumers). It can be said
that the system’s universality and significance, which were not
recognized while the Guideline was being drawn up, came to be recognized
in the process of its execution.

Conclusion

In order for the Guideline to fulfill its role as mentioned above, it
will be necessary to upgrade the voluntary monitoring system in its
implementation phase and develop a “control tower” type oversight
function that can fulfill the accountability needs of the system. To
that end, it is essential to establish a market-supported system by
coordinating, for example, with housing policy. The present tenth
anniversary of its publication offers a perfect opportunity to work out
these issues. This valuable tool, which was born in Japan, is expected
to reach a higher level and further spread out through the global
society.

Written by Dr. Takashi Fujiwara, President of the Woodmiles Forum

——————————————————————–

Japan’s Depopulating Society: Population Concentration in Tokyo and the
Disappearance of Local Municipalities (Part 1)

A report released in May 2014, the so-called “Masuda Report,” made a big
impact throughout Japan with its prediction that almost half of
municipalities in the nation might disappear due to population decline
and an inability to maintain administrative functions. Since these
“municipalities at risk of vanishing” are mostly located in rural areas,
people have rapidly become aware of the urgent need to cope with rural
community issues.

The term “municipalities at risk of vanishing” (“shometsu kanosei toshi”
in Japanese) was coined by the Japan Policy Council (JPC), a private
think tank headed by Hiroya Masuda, a guest professor at the Graduate
School of Public Policy of the University of Tokyo. On April 23, 2015,
he gave a lecture on this topic at the invitation of the Institute for
Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, an organization that JFS is
working with as an outreach partner.

From his talk, we learned that depopulation is not just an issue for
rural areas, but also one to be tackled by the whole nation. In addition,
we realized that Tokyo might face more difficulties than rural areas.
The JFS Newsletter introduces here an excerpt from his speech, focusing
on the big picture of the issue in Japan (Part 1) and the relationship
between Tokyo and rural areas (Part 2) in a future newsletter.

—————————————

Lecture by Hiroya Masuda

Rural Depopulation I Witnessed as Governor

I served as governor of Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan for 12 years,
from 1995 to 2007. During that period, I actually witnessed the
shrinking of populations in rural areas. For example, in the early days
of my governorship, I saw many young adults at coming-of-age ceremonies,
held by small municipalities, which I attended as a guest. However, near
the end of my term, the number of young people at the ceremonies had
dropped significantly. In some cases, the number of young people was
just a little more than a dozen, including those who came home from
Tokyo to attend. That was less than the number of guests. So I could see
that the number of 20-year-olds still living in their home towns was
really small.

The number of elementary schools also decreased to a surprising degree.
Seeing a drop in the number of young people at coming-of-age ceremonies
and in the number of elementary schools, I wondered how it could have
happened. As governor, I wanted some data on shrinking populations, by
municipality. How much of their populations were municipalities losing
and how quickly?

No data on future populations at the municipal level were available,
however, because of the difficulty in estimating demographic changes
caused by social factors, such as young people leaving home for higher
education or getting a job in another area. It was only in 2003 that the
National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (IPSS)
released the first projections of municipal-level populations. Since
then, the IPSS has produced demographic projections by municipality
every five years, with the latest data released in 2013. Based on the
2013 data, the Japan Policy Council, to which I belong, made its own
estimation.

Note that there is a difference in the projections between the IPSS and
JPC. We estimated that the process of increasing concentration of
population in Tokyo would continue longer than the IPSS thought. We
predicted that the population of Tokyo would gradually increase until
the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Thus, according to our overall estimation, the
population of Tokyo would not decrease very much, while local
municipalities would continue losing their populations.

The JPC summarized the result of its estimation on municipalities at
risk of vanishing. It shows that the population of women aged from 20 to
39 is estimated to decline to less than half during the period from 2010
to 2040 in 869 municipalities (49.8 percent of all the municipalities in
Japan).

Japan’s Historical Population Trends Now and into the Future

The Japanese population increased slowly from 7.57 million in the
Kamakura era (A.D. 1185 – 1333) to 30 million by the end of the Edo era
(1603 – 1867), with the populations of the period greatly affected by
rice yields. In the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) the population
dramatically increased, reaching 100 million in only about 100 years.
(The Japanese population passed the 100 million mark in 1967.)

Now the population is dropping at the same pace as it grew, after
peaking at 128.08 million in 2008. According to medium-range projection,
the Japanese population will be less than 50 million in 2100, 85 years
from now.

In short, the Japanese population gradually grew from the beginning of
the Meiji period, increased by 70 million in the 140 years up to 2008,
and is about to decrease by 70 million in the 90 years leading up to the
year 2100.

It is quite tough to stop this significant decrease. Normally the number
of births increase if the birth rate increases, but in Japan today, the
number of births is not increasing even if the birth rate rises.

In Japan, the total fertility rate today (the number of children that
would be born to a woman aged 15 to 49) is on a recovering trend. After
the post-war baby boom, the rate declined steadily, except in the second
baby boom (the generation of post-war baby boomers’ children), and
reached 1.26 in 2005. It increased to 1.43 in 2013, and although the
birth rate has increased compared to 10 years ago, the number of births
has been constantly declining.

Why has the number of births not increased even as the birth rate has
been increasing? It is because the number of young people who can bear
children has been dropping. The population age distribution shows that
the last second-baby-boomer was born in 1974, which means those in that
group are over 40 years old now. So, the number of young people will
dramatically decrease in the future, as 95 percent of women who may give
birth to children are in the 20- to 39-year-old age bracket. This means
that, even if the birth rate were to increase slightly, the number of
births will never increase. The relation of the birth rate and the
number of births represents a major feature of Japan today.

Even if were able to carry out every possible countermeasure from now on,
the number of births will still decrease to about 700,000 per year, of
which approximately half are girls. So we have to devise ways to
increase the number of babies born to those 350,000 women. I think it
necessary for that purpose to consider a social mechanism with a focus
on the ways young people live in society.

What Can Be Done to Reduce How Population Declines?

The Japanese government set a target to keep the population above 100
million until 2060 and stabilize it at around 90 million in and after
2100. I think this will be difficult to attain.

To attain its target, the government aims to increase the birthrate to
2.07 (in replacement level) by 2040. Even in France, however, which is
the most advanced country renowned for its high birthrate, the rate is
2.01. You can easily imagine how difficult it would be to increase the
birthrate in Japan to a higher level than France’s. In addition, even if
Japan’s birthrate increased to 2.07, the population will still decrease
by 40 million by 2100 compared to now.

An important measure to counter such a situation is to change the ways
we work in Japan, by raising the minimum wage, shortening working hours,
and increasing the number of hours for enjoying things other than work.

Japanese working women are frequently confronted with the choice between
work and family, which leads to low fertility. In contrast, in Sweden,
the higher social participation of women has led to higher fertility.
Some economists estimate that, if the ways of working are changed so as
to boost the birthrate of working women, the effect would be equivalent
to adding 10 million workers, which would make up for the portion lost
by the shrinking of the population.

Another problem is long working hours. The average number of hours
worked per worker per annum is 1,728 hours in Japan, 1,476 hours in
France, and 1,644 hours in Sweden. Workers who work 49 hours or more a
week are 22.7 percent of workers in Japan, 11.6 percent in France, and
7.6 percent in Sweden. The average hours spent doing housework and
childcare by a husband is one hour a day in Japan, two hours and a half
in France, and three hours and 20 minutes in Sweden. These data show the
difficulties in raising children in Japan.

Another feature of Japan is the extremely low proportion of children
born outside of marriage. Many other countries have changed their legal
systems to allow common-law marriage, with the hope of putting a stop to
declining populations. The proportion of children born outside of
marriage is 2.1 percent in Japan, 52.6 percent in France, and 43.7
percent in England. How we define the family is a matter of debate, but
it may have a major impact on population.

—————————————

Hiroya Masuda, Guest professor of Graduate School of Public Policy of
the University of Tokyo and Chairperson of the Japan Policy Council
Edited by Junko Edahiro and Naoko Niitsu.

——————————————————————–

The Pursuit of Economic Growth Requires a Balance between ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’

The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society (ISHES),
with JFS as its outreach partner, is undertaking a project called “What
Is Economic Growth? — Interviews with 100 People.” How does Eastern
wisdom view economic growth? Here we introduce the responses to this
question by Yoshifumi Taguchi, a scholar of the works of Lao Tzu and
Chuang-Tzu, and director of the Research Institute for Integration of
Eastern and Western Wisdom.

—————————————

ISHES: What is economic growth?

Yoshifumi Taguchi: I’m very concerned about the idea that the economy
must grow continually. A fundamental principle of Eastern wisdom is the
yin and yang theory; where there is yin, there’s always yang.
If something has two wheels, it is more stable than with one wheel.

In this sense, when I hear the words “economic growth,” I feel uneasy,
because it means a thing with one wheel. The economy is only one side of
the balance between yin and yang. In yin and yang theory, expansion and
growth are yang, and fulfillment and innovation are yin. Economic growth
is expanding and growing, so it falls into the yang category.

So what goes into the yin category? Dignity and education. We need to
discuss what assumptions we have in mind when we say we need economic
growth? Economic growth without satisfaction of mind is like a kite
flying after the line breaks. It gets blown around, out of control.
People ended up being tossed around as the economy fluctuates.

Capitalism, accompanied with economy, centers on money and goods, which
are in the yang category, while dignity and culture are yin. While money
and goods are important, things that have more importance are reason,
principles, humanity, and human behavior. Economic growth and a society
based on the economy as we see now do not care about dignity and
education. It seems to me as if they keep running toward dreadful
self-destruction.

Moreover, growth means something is expanding. We can say that what is
expanding is our desire.

Confucian philosophy, as well as the philosophies of Lao Tzu and
Chuang-Tzu, do not deny “desire,” because they see that desire has
something good. So they don’t deny it, whereas Buddhism is ascetic and
partly denies desire.

For example, motivation is one form of desire. Improving a dangerous
situation and altering inconvenience to convenience for humanity are all
derived from one’s motivation. It is a good thing. However, we need to
think about yin and yang there, too. The more we accept the existence of
desire, the more we need to have firm ethics and morality.

I often say, “If we compare desire to being an accelerator, then our
society is like a vehicle with only an accelerator. No brakes.” A brake
is compared to reason, in other words, spirit and awareness. We need to
put a focus on both of them evenly, and they should be dealt with
collaboratively. Otherwise, we are like driving a vehicle without brakes
and do not know how far it will race forward.

So we need balance and harmony. We need to balance economy, capitalism,
and market supremacy on one side, and humanity and real human
satisfaction on the other. Both economy and culture, as two wheels, turn
in a fine balance.

ISHES: Why has the world now lost balance and gone to one side?

Taguchi: Because it is easy. It is hard to discipline or control oneself.
Actually becoming a person of integrity would make us the happiest. But,
naturally, the training for that involves a little suffering. Those who
run countries never ask the people to do something that requires some
pain. They only talk about the easy ways to get things. That is why we
ended up where we are now.

ISHES: I just realized that we hardly ever hear the expression “becoming
a person of integrity” anymore. Many people, however, talk about
“becoming rich,” and there are many books and seminars on that. I assume
some books talk about how to become a person of integrity, but I don’t
think they are very common.

Taguchi: Classical writings do, however. Why is it important to read
classical writings? Why am I constantly giving lectures on classical
writings? It’s because that is the part completely missing in modern
society. Our world is not balanced, because of the overwhelming power of
society that places money and materialism above anything else.

In the corporate world, making a profit without putting out too much
effort is considered a management skill, as in the approach to gain
profits the shortest way possible. But if we go on like that, we would
be “no better than beasts,” according to Confucian philosophy. Mencius
said, “We are like beasts if we wear warm clothes, eat until we are full,
and live freely without learning.” This is what we are now.

It is a serious problem. The main theme for me is to sustain this
society as a human society. We need to think about “What are human
beings?” and “What should human beings value?” Furthermore, money and
goods won’t make us happy. The key to happiness is becoming a person of
integrity. Happiness is something we make ourselves, not something given
by other people. That’s why we need to become people of integrity.

You may think “Why do we become happy if we become a person of integrity?”
We can be someone who is welcomed and appreciated wherever we go for
being a person of integrity. Or someone who is not welcomed and not
invited, because of being a nasty person.

Depending on that, our entire daily life will be either pleasant or
unpleasant. When I say this, everyone says, “True. Neither money or
social status makes us happy.” So I tell people to become persons of
integrity, because that is the only way to become happy.

ISHES: So it doesn’t matter how much or how little money we have, or how
much our salaries increase.

Taguchi: There is nothing outside of us that can ever define happiness.
It is inside, how our hearts feel. Basically, it is a matter of how we
can feel satisfied and grateful from our hearts. However, our world is
focusing too much on “outside” when we look at it from the viewpoint of
yin and yang.

I am not saying that “outside is no good.” I do have certain desires and
want to have some amount of money. I also want to drink good sake.

Balance is the key. In terms of happiness, the point is whether or not
we can control our desires — in other words, whether or not we have a
brake on our desires. As soon as we let up on the brake, we would have
unpleasant things, such as getting into trouble with the police. However,
as long as we keep the brake, it wouldn’t get serious, as we can handle
it on our own. That represents the famous saying in the Analects of
Confucius, “At seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without
transgressing the norm,” or an old saying, which is my motto, “He who
knows enough is enough will be always happy.”

ISHES: Back to economic growth, thinking of the current situation, we
are heading toward a dreadful, self-destructive future as you mentioned
before, and there are three possible scenarios left, I think. What do
you think about that?

The first possibility is the worst scenario. Human beings tend to take
an easy road, and we would lose our character and education easily. Once
we lose, it is hard to get them back, and then things get worse and
worse. Eventually, we lose human feelings and our human nature.

The second is to keep balance. According to yin and yang theory, when
things lean to yang, they always get back to yin in the end. So even
though we are focusing on economic growth now, time will come for things
to get back to yin by the Heavens’ guiding hand, achieving a balance.

The third one is the time might come, not to choose either economic
growth or dignity and education, but to bring the two together to create
something new.

Taguchi: That’s it! After all, what we should do in our life is to
balance yin and yang that you mentioned, I would say. To make the
present better, we should add the missing one in the first place.

Next is the classic word “Aufheben” (one of the basic ideas of Hegel’s
dialectics; a German word with several seemingly-contradictory meanings,
but the closest here might be “transcend”). It is very important to get
over the contradictions, and this is a theme that human beings really
need to deal with.

So, economic growth is not the theme. There is a contradiction between
“economic growth” and “culture, dignity, and education.” The question is
not “Which do we choose, ‘money and materials’ or ‘dignity and education’?”
The question is “How can we choose both?” Because we need both. When we
look carefully behind these things, we can see that both aim for the
same thing.

That is the absolutely paradoxical identity theory Kitaro Nishida wrote
about (a prominent Japanese philosopher, 1870 – 1945). Absolute paradox
is to include plenty of identicalness, and so it should reach the point
where we can see it says the same thing after all.

Where is that point? It is economic growth that leads to true happiness
and our spiritual satisfaction. When it comes to industry (meaning
productive pursuits), this means industry that leads to spiritual
satisfaction will flourish the most.

ISHES: What kind of industry are you referring to?

Taguchi: I am thinking of “industry (productive pursuits) of opportunity.”
Our lives are full of opportunity. But many people don’t think so.
Industry that creates and brings in many opportunities, showing that
“life is full of opportunity, like this and that¡Ä” If we think that all
our life is opportunity, from the moment we are born until even after we
die, we can find an amazing amount of things that should become industry.

ISHES: Thank you very much for speaking with us. That was very inspiring
and thought provoking.

Yoshifumi Taguchi,
Director of the Research Institute for Integration of Eastern and Western
Wisdom
Edited by Junko Edahiro

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- Interview with Jay Tompt for JFS’s “Local Well-being” Project
(2015/06/26)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/interview/interview_id035287.html

- This month’s cartoon:
“Please act with consideration for the whole of society…”
(2015/06/08)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035273.html

- JFS Newsletter No.153 (May 2015)

Abundance at Lake Saroma, Japan: Saroma Fishery Cooperative
Practices Socialism within a Capitalist System (Part 2)
(2015/06/17)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035270.html
JFS’s Local Responsible Consumers Study Meetings(2015/06/09)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035268.html
Developing Rural Community-Based Economies to Preserve
Prosperous Villages for Future Generations(2015/05/29)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035262.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

.

———————————————————————————————-

Japan Submits INDC

Dear Climate Colleagues,
20_July_2015: The UNFCCC Secretariat has announced that Japan is the 47th Party to formally submit its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC), which sets out a reduction target of 26% by fiscal year (FY) 2030 compared to FY 2013 (a 25.4% reduction compared to FY 2005). This reduction equates to approximately 1.042 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) as 2030 emissions, according to the INDC.
Has your country submitted its INDC yet?  What are its strengths and where is their room for improvement?  What grade would you give their INDC in terms of preparing society for climate change, for protecting the planet.  And of course engagement of stakeholders?
All the best,
Pam Puntenney and Bremley Lyngdoh
Co-Coordinators Climate Change

.

————————————————————————-

.

DBJ Launches Green Building Certification for Residential Developments

 

 
JFS Weekly
Japan For Sustainability Updates
23 – 29 Jun. 2015
 view this email click here.
.
.
——————–
9 – 15 Jun. 2015
JFS Weekly – If you cannot view this email click   here.

.

————————————————————————

.

In the May 2015 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Developing Rural Community-Based Economies to Preserve Prosperous
Villages for Future Generations

- JFS’s Local Responsible Consumers Study Meetings

- Abundance at Lake Saroma, Japan: Saroma Fishery Cooperative Practices
Socialism within a Capitalist System (Part 2)

——————————————————————–

Developing Rural Community-Based Economies to Preserve Prosperous
Villages for Future Generations

On February 9, 2015, Japan for Sustainability (JFS) held a symposium on
the theme of “What local initiatives can lead to their own survival? –
From the viewpoint of local economy and development,” as part of JFS’s
Local Well-Being project. At the symposium, people who are playing
leading roles in local community development gave presentations on their
efforts. This issue of the JFS newsletter will introduce a presentation
by Junko Owada (sustainable community producer) on cases of economic
development based on “satoyama,” areas of community-based forest and
surrounding countryside.

—————————————

I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in recent years I’ve been spending
about 150 days a year traveling around Japan. Today, I want to share
some information about initiatives ongoing in some of the local
communities I visited.

I used to work in the distribution industry. Have you ever heard of
LOHAS? In 2002, I wrote an article about LOHAS (an acronym of Lifestyles
of Health And Sustainability) for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (the Japan
Financial Times, Japan’s leading economic newspaper), which is said to
have been the first article about LOHAS published in Japan. Since around
2008, I have had many opportunities to visit local communities, where I
interview people about organic farming and local community development.
Based on these interviews, I released a book “Agri Community Business”
in February 2011. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11,
2011, I have helped some affected areas to build communities based on
organic farming, biodiversity, and renewable energies. I am also a
member of an expert committee on Globally Important Agricultural
Heritage Systems at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries.

I think it is important to develop the economy based on satoyama
communities, and shift away from conventional society based on mass
production/mass consumption and heavily dependent on petroleum, towards
a society that places emphasis on renewable energies, local resources,
and local production. Based on this concept, I have worked with people
in local communities to help them develop their economies using their
local resources. We have promoted this work based on a common awareness
that “Good health is not only for local people but also for local
communities and the environment,” and “Sustainability is compassion for
future generations and developing countries.”

Community is one keyword in my work, and I think urban communities are
usually in a more serious situation than rural communities. When the
Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, gasoline was not available and
there was no rice was to be had at any supermarket [in Tokyo]. Since
then I have felt anxious about how distant we are from farmers, while
not knowing when and where an earthquake will occur. So, after the
earthquake, I stocked up on food and checked out serveral evacuation
spots in different directions from my home.

In the case of rural communities’ initiatives, their futures are greatly
influenced by their leadership and the vision of each local government
head, but the main players are still local people, and their future will
depend on their enthusiasm. I want to support women in particular, so I
call on the ladies, saying, “Let’s develop for the future of the
community,” and talk a lot with them. Of course, I also talk with the
men over drinks.

To give some actual examples, I will first introduce an initiative of
Ogawa Town, Saitama Prefecture. This town is located about 50 kilometers
from central Tokyo, and this enables people living in urban and rural
areas to interact with each other. Yoshinori Kaneko, who lives in the
Shimozato district of Ogawa, launched organic farming in 1971. One
Japanese term for “organic farming” (yuki nogyou) was also coined in
1971. Kaneko has continued using this type of farming method for more
than 40 years at his Frostpia Farm, a three-hectare idyllic farm with
cows and chickens. His basic philosophy is “achieving self-sufficiency
in food and energy by harnessing resources existing in the neighborhood,
without depending on industrial products or petroleum.”

Every year, Kaneko’s farm accepts some trainees who learn farming while
living under one roof for a year. Graduates are now standing on their
own two feet all across Japan. Many seem to select the
half-farmer/half-X lifestyle — growing food for themselves while making
a living on other skills.

Upon hearing about Kaneko’s farm, many people want to buy the vegetables
produced there, but they are not sold in supermarkets in urban areas,
and in fact most are not sold in retail stores at all. So, where are
they sold? They are sold in direct cooperation with consumers. Recently,
the term Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has gradually become
known in Japan. In fact, the type of farmer/consumer (TEIKEI)
cooperation originally started by Kaneko was introduced to the U.S. and
later brought back to Japan in the form of CSA.

Thus, an individual effort by Kaneko led to the introduction of organic
farming into the entire community 30 years later. In 2010, this effort
was awarded the Emperor’s Cup in the Community Building Category of the
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Festival, the most prestigious prize
awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Recently,
Japan’s Imperial couple visited the Shimozato region of Ogawa Town, and
local residents were very pleased to receive their visit.

At the farm, a variety of vegetables are grown in low volumes in
non-monoculture fields. Leafy greens are planted next to green onions,
which help keep pests away. A wood boiler is used for under-floor
heating. Kaneko’s house was built from 80-year old Japanese cedars and
cypresses growing on the hills behind the site.

The farmyard is full of machines and tools, including machines that
produce liquid fertilizer and gas from cattle feces, human excrement,
raw garbage, etc., and the farm has recently started producing electric
power using this gas. Large-scale cogeneration biomass power generation
systems can be complex, but this system is small enough to grasp easily.
There are also refiners for waste food oil which produce oil (straight
vegetable oil) used as fuel for tractors, cars and other vehicles. A
system for living that does not depend on petroleum for energy and fuel
is nearly complete.

Since around 1988, agricultural products organically grown in the
Shimozato region and processed products made from them, including rice &
Japanese sake, soybeans & tofu, have formed a foundation for the local
economy. Taking rice as an example, in 1988 the Japan Agricultural
Cooperatives (JA) bought it at around 200 yen (about USD $1.67) per
kilogram, while a local sake brewery bought it at 600 yen (about USD
$5.00) per kilogram. The same applies to soybeans. JA buys them at
around 300 yen (about USD $2.50) per kilogram, while Tofu Kobo Watanabe,
a tofu workshop located in a neighboring town, buys it at 500 yen (about
USD $4.17) per kilogram. If agricultural products can be bought at
prices that encourage farmers to grow them again or work harder next
year, the local economy becomes sustainable.

In this way, all farm produce, including rice, soybeans and wheat, are
organically grown in the community and used by various local businesses.
The annual sales of Tofu Kobo Watanabe amount to about 350 million yen
(about USD $2.9 million). Since its products are sold only at its local
shop, some urbanites take the trouble to visit the town to buy tofu. I
wish this tofu were sold at department stores, but the company says it
will sell its products only in the local community.

Tofu Kobo Watanabe endeavors to produce traceable tofu based on
face-to-face relationships in which the people who produce the soybeans
and make, deliver, buy and eat the tofu all know each other. Company
president Kazumi Watanabe has every confidence in Kaneko and buys all
soybeans produced in the Shimozato region. This single tofu producer
buys 60 to 100 tons of soybeans annually. “So, we must sell tofu,” says
Watanabe, who is making every effort to develop new products. Every time
I go to the shop, new products are being sold or events are being held
and I always learn a lot.

Ogawa Town is also well-known for its washi Japanese paper, and has
local brand breweries and other unique stores. Tours and study sessions
are also held using an old schoolhouse of the former Shimozato Branch
School, a wooden building with a nostalgic air attractive to city people.

Three years ago, Kaneko initiated a discussion with other local people
on how to create a mechanism to promote more interaction between people
in urban and rural areas and opportunities for young people to play
active roles in the community. This led to seminars on organic
vegetables and a system to lease vegetable garden plots to promote
organic farming. It’s been four years since I terminated the lease of an
expensive vegetable garden in Tokyo and started vegetable farming in
Shimozato, Ogawa Town.

Kaneko always says “If farmers are energized, the village becomes
beautiful.” I visit Ogawa Town every year and I find the town is
becoming more beautiful every year.

Another example I want to share is Higashi-shirakawa Village, a small
town in Gifu Prefecture with a population of 2,400. This town markets a
brand of cypress wood called Tono Hinoki and the forest where the
cypress trees are grown is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC). I met members of a local non-profit organization (NPO) who told
me that they want to establish a new mechanism to interact with people
in urban areas. So, I introduced them to a business hotel chain, Super
Hotel Co., which is headquartered in Osaka City.

In 2007, I launched a group called the LOHAS Business Alliance. It’s a
group of businesses supporting companies and people in urban areas who
pursue LOHAS. The chairman of Super Hotel is a member of this group, and
told me he wants his business hotels to pursue LOHAS. Super Hotel is the
only company in the hotel industry certified under “Eco First,” a
program implemented by the Ministry of the Environment to approve
companies that commit to environmental conservation activities and act
as role models in their respective industries. The Super Hotel chain is
a middle-size enterprise, operating 106 hotels nationwide. The company
is working hard to improve the quality of their management and has
received various awards.

The Super Hotel chain also carries out carbon-offset activities. However,
since the company needs a huge amount of credits, it uses foreign carbon
offset credits, which are about ten times cheaper than domestic credits.
Thus I learned that the company wishes to use domestic credits as far as
possible, so I introduced them to Higashi-shirakawa Village.

The hotel chain decided to take advantage of the FSC certification of
the village forest to offset carbon dioxide emitted from two of its
hotels in Gifu Prefecture. The company also conducted training programs
in the village for new employees in 2013 and 2014 because it wanted its
employees to see the actual forest and to do something tangible there so
as to better understand the significance of carbon offset, which is, in
a sense, an intangible activity.

During the training program, hotel employees had the opportunity to
watch the process of cutting down cypress trees and helped chop the
branches and leaves off from the logs with saws. Then they brought the
cut branches and leaves to the local forestry cooperative where
essential oil was extracted. Now, the company is considering using this
essential oil in its hotels.

Each training program also included a workshop to consider “what kind of
contribution can Super Hotel make?” Creating shared value (CSV) is a
concept that deals with the process of people in urban and rural areas
working together to find solutions for local issues and create new
values: based on this concept, workshop participants designed new items
using the resources available in the village. The first item workshop
participants created was a cypress chair to be used in the common bath
facilities of its hotels. A message, “We support Higashi-shirakawa
Village,” is branded on the chairs. In addition, they made pillows using
cypress chips and small cypress-wood message holders to be used in guest
rooms. The quantity needed of these two items will be large since the
chain hotel has close to a total of 15,000 guest rooms.

Today, I introduced initiatives in two local areas. Over the last 4
years, I have used a diagram to explain what I have learned about
regional development. The vertical axis represents the agricultural,
forestry and fishing village resource capacity and the horizontal axis
represents the social capital capacity. First, a community should pursue
self-sufficiency in energy and food. Once it has achieved that, then the
next step is to enhance its economy in the form of an agro-commerce-industry
collaboration or “sextiary (6-step) industry,” a scheme advocated by the
government, in which people in primary industries, for example farmers,
are encouraged to also process their crops into products and market them
instead of simply farming, etc. The social and environmental aspects in
a community are also very important. With all of these aspects combined,
a community can enhance its attractiveness and capacities.

Social capital capacity means the ability to effectively interact with
others and create trusting relationships. This kind of asset will lead
to the realization of forest, energy and agriculture development which
is supported by community (Community Supported Forest, Community
Supported Energy, Community Supported Agriculture). These concepts can
be also applied to the field of health care (welfare or Community
Supported Care). I would like to apply these concepts to create more
sustainable communities together with local people. This is the
conclusion that I have reached so far after having facilitated
sustainable community development in different areas for the last 3
years since the great earthquake in 2011.

Written by Junko Owada, Sustainable Community Producer
Edited by Junko Edahiro

——————————————————————–

JFS’s Local Responsible Consumers Study Meetings

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) has held seven study sessions titled
“Local Responsible Consumers ” with a total of 20 people, from February
2015. The sessions were conducted among small numbers of close friends
with the support of the Environmental Grants Program of Patagonia Japan,
hoping to facilitate learning opportunities different from ordinary
study sessions. How did the participants’ awareness change as the result
of the study sessions?

The purpose of the study sessions has been to pass along the results of
the survey, also conducted with Patagonia’s support, on local community
and consumer behavior as well as the impacts of shopping at local stores.
To deliver the information to people who do not usually attend study
sessions on local economic matters, JFS asked some people to get
together with their friends at a cafe, for example, where we provided
them study sessions. In other words, we literally “delivered” the study
sessions.

Everyday Shopping Can Promote Local Economies, Says JFS Survey
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035190.html

At the study sessions, we asked people to fill out a short version of
the questionnaire that we had used in December 2014 and explained the
results of our national survey. Then we talked about the economic
impacts of shopping locally, and finally asked the participants to fill
out the same questionnaire again to ascertain changes in their opinions.
In this article, I introduce part of the study session contents, changes
in the participants opinions as a result of the sessions, and their
comments afterwards.

Study Session Content–Shopping at Local Private Businesses Helps the
Local Economy

Through these study sessions, we wanted to deliver the message that
anybody could contribute to a prosperous local economy through everyday
shopping. The study sessions were therefore based on “Plugging the Leaks,”
a theory developed by the New Economics Foundation in the U.K. Let me
explain the idea briefly.

Imagine people pouring water into a bucket. This bucket represents a
community. The water poured by the people represents money going into
the community through tourism and investment. This bucket, however, has
a lot of holes, and the water (money) coming into the community starts
to leak from the holes.

If housing construction is subsidized in a community, for example, but
the construction company is not local, the money goes through the
community and quickly leaves. In fact, only 12 percent of the metal
parts used by electronics manufacturers in Scotland are made in Scotland.
In our increasingly globalized world, our local economy is just like the
leaking bucket.

The leaking bucket theory emphasizes the circulation of money in an area
as well as plugging the leaks. For example, money enters an area through
tourism, and in the next cycle, it goes to the employees who live in the
area as their income. Later, the income is spent in their local shopping.

In this way, by falling into many hands locally, the money’s value will
be multiplied. Suppose someone spends 20 percent of his $100 income in
the area, with the rest being spent outside the area, and the cycle is
repeated. In the first round, $20 of $100 is spent at local restaurants,
for example, and it stays within the area. In the second round, 20
percent of it ($4 of $20) stays in the area. Thus, the total amount of
money repeatedly spent in the area ultimately amounts to about $120.

In contrast, suppose someone spends 80 percent of his $100 income in the
area and the rest is spent outside the area, and the cycle is repeated.
In the first round, $80 of $100 stays within the area, and in the second
round, $64 stays locally. In this way, changing many hands slowly within
the area, $100 can eventually have a worth of about $500. Circulating
money within the area can have large economic effects.

To read more about the theory, see the New Economics Foundation
website, where you can download their booklet free of charge
http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/plugging-the-leaks

So how about shopping at a supermarket or chain store? In these kinds of
shops, a not-so-small percentage of their sales is sent to their
headquarters. For example, a Japanese convenience store pays 40 percent
of its total sales to the franchise headquarters as a royalty.

Moreover, many local stores and businesses place orders with other
businesses in the same local area for procurement, accounting, printing
and cleaning. This means the money can be used repeatedly within the
area. In contrast, in the case of a large chain store, the money paid to
the local people is limited to the form of wages, and other services are
contracted mainly from national-scale businesses. Online shops never
bring money into a community, even as wages.

For example, according to a study by an American group, Advocates for
Independent Business, while $14 remains in the local economy when we
spend $100 at a national chain store, if we spend the same amount at an
independent retailer, $48 stays in the area. Regarding employment, the
research says that for every $10 million spent, a local store hires 57
people, while Amazon (a major online store) hires only 14 people.
http://indiebizadvocates.org/2014/11/10/shopping-local-infographic/

Thus, in terms of the local economy, it is more effective to shop at a
local, independent business. Moreover, we can help not only the economy
in which we live now, but also other areas. For example, you can help
the area where your workplace is located by shopping at an independent
store near your office. Also, although I noted above that major online
stores create no jobs locally, you may help the local economy in some
areas if you shop at online stores that are based in your hometown or
any area you support. You can also help local economies by making
different choices of hotels, restaurants or shops when you travel.

The booklet Plugging the Leaks introduces a case in Cornwall in the UK
(about the size of Tottori Prefecture in Japan). According to the study,
it is estimated the money spent in the local area would increase
annually by 52 million pounds (about 9.5 billion yen , or about US$ 79.2
million), if travelers, local residents and businesses allocated one
percent of their spending to local goods and services.

Why not help the local economy as much as possible by shopping at a
local independent store once a week?

Study Session End Survey — What Changes Occurred in Participants’ Ways
of Thinking?

At the end of each study session, we asked the participants to look
through the survey again to see if they would change their answers.
Regarding the question on whether they cared if the money they paid
would help the local economy, roughly a quarter of the participants
changed their opinion to “yes.” As for the question on whether they
thought it was necessary to change the current state of the local
economy of their living area, 20 percent of the participants changed
their answers. This indicates changes in the participants’ understanding
of the actual situation as a result of the study sessions. Furthermore,
some participants deleted “supermarket” from their list of shops where
they wanted to buy vegetables.

At the end of the sessions, some participants said that they had never
considered contributing to the local community by shopping in it, and
that they would go to a local, independent restaurant for dinner that
day. When they left, they put what they had learned into practice right
away.

JFS believes we can find a key to our happiness and sustainability of
the global environment in local communities, so we will keep you
informed of interesting practices with a focus on Japanese local
initiatives.

Written by Naoko Niitsu

——————————————————————–

Abundance at Lake Saroma, Japan: Saroma Fishery Cooperative Practices
Socialism within a Capitalist System (Part 2)

In last month’s issue of the JFS Newsletter, we introduced the first
half of an article about unique approaches to protect a local economy
and community (Abundance at Lake Saroma, Japan: Saroma Fishery
Cooperative Practices Socialism within a Capitalist System
(http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035244.html) by Kanichi
Sugawara (in translation), with permission of the author and editorial
team. This month we provide the second half of his article, which was
originally published in the magazine “Kagaribi” (“Bonfire” in Japanese)
in December 2010.

—————————————

The Abundance of Lake Saroma

Lake Saroma, in the northeastern part of Hokkaido, Japan, has a surface
area of 151.81 square kilometers and a shore length of 87 kilometers. It
is a coastal lagoon connected to the Sea of Okhotsk through two
artificial channels in the sandbar; one is 300 meters wide on the west
side and another is 50 meters wide on the east side. Fishing rights in
Lake Saroma are granted to a total of 410 member fishermen belonging to
three fishery cooperatives in Saroma, Tokoro, and Yubetsu. Target
species and fishing methods are pretty much the same among these three
cooperatives, but the management system of the Saroma Cooperative is
quite unique, in that it is a type of socialism within a capitalist
system, as described in Part 1. All three cooperatives have detailed
rules for fishing methods and seasons, etc., to avoid depletion of the
fishery resources.

The total allowable capacity of scallop cultivation in Lake Saroma is
over 43 million scallops (43,616,000), of which 19 million are allocated
to the 59 members of the Saroma Cooperative. For example, Koji Funaki, a
member and also bureau chief of the magazine “Kagaribi,” has a quota of
186,000 scallops. A longline system is used to suspend scallops in the
water, as the cultivation method. One main line is 100 meters long, and
each member is allowed to use a maximum of 45 main lines, with a
specific amount of space for cultivation allocated to each member within
the lake.

Funaki explains, “Just as farmers have ownership of their crop fields on
land, fishermen have licenses to use allocated sections for aquaculture
in Lake Saroma and are forbidden to enter anyone else’s territory. As
the boundaries are not as visible as they are on land, it would seem
difficult to separate each territory in the lake, but there are actually
more distinct borders there than those on land.”

Besides scallop cultivation, oyster cultivation and shrimp fishing are
also popular in Lake Saroma, and in the open Sea of Okhotsk, fishers
catch chum and pink salmon in a fixed-net fishery and harvest
bottom-cultured scallops, categorized as wild. Bottom culturing is a
technique in which young scallops grown in the lake are released on the
sea bottom for their final grow-out phase.

Though all 59 members of the cooperative are granted rights for scallop
cultivation, they have to choose either shrimp or pink salmon to catch.
Those who choose shrimp are not allowed to catch pink salmon and those
who choose pink salmon are not allowed to catch shrimp.

Yoshiteru Abe, the cooperative’s president, says, “The annual catch of
pink salmon provides quite a large income, amounting to around 10
million yen (about U.S.$83,000), while shrimp brings in 2 to 3 million
yen (about $17,000 to $25,000) at most. Both are done in cooperation
with a couple of fishermen. It may seem obvious that fishing pink salmon
is more advantageous than shrimp fishing because of the larger catch,
but salmon fishing includes the high costs of fishing for equipment such
as fixed nets and paying a crew, and then there’s the risk that nets are
lost in a storm. In contrast, with just an outboard motor, shrimp
fishing is relatively easier and cheaper in comparison. As both have
advantages and disadvantages, determining which one to choose is done
through discussion among the members.”

What’s unique with the Saroma Fishery Cooperative is that wild scallop
and chum salmon fisheries in the open Sea of Okhotsk are not operated by
members of the cooperative, but by freelance fishermen it directly
employs. For this reason, it owns three boats for scallop fishing and
one for chum salmon fishing.

Abe says, “The members of the cooperative are busy with their own
fishing and can’t also manage salmon fishing and bottom culture of
scallops in the open Sea of Okhotsk, so the cooperative manages it. It
is the duty of members to release two million scallops every spring, but
they do not harvest them. Out of the total catch, revenue is equally
allocated to the cooperative members after deducting the cost of paying
for the freelance fishermen, fuel, equipment, and fees. In the case of
scallops, each member receives about 10 million yen ($83,000) a year.”

Members must work for a week to 10 days to release the young
scallops, but in return they are fortunate to receive a dividend of
nearly 10 million yen. They also receive a dividend from the harvesting
of salmon.

Funaki says, “Our salmon fishing follows suit with harvesting scallops,
but harvesting salmon sees larger ups and downs compared to scallops. So,
we sometimes have dividends of nearly five million yen (about $41,700)
and sometimes there’s a deficit. When we have a deficit, members cover
it equally.”

The average value of each fisherman’s annual catch is about 20 million
yen ($16,700). The half of this value comes from these dividends.

Socialism Operating within a Capitalist System

The Saroma Fishery Cooperative is a type of hybrid socialism operating
within a capitalist system, and its operation is thoroughly managed,
with neither winners nor losers among its members.

Funaki says, “In a sense, we do not dream to get rich quick. In our
system, even if one member worked hard, there is no way he can earn 100
or 200 million yen on his own ($830,000 to $1,660,000). We don’t compete
excessively with each other, so no one goes bankrupt. This can be
disappointing for the more ambitious fishermen, but the current members
respect the predecessors who created this system.”

Due to this sense of respect, it would be quite a disgrace for the whole
cooperative if anyone ever went bankrupt. Once a member is found to be
in trouble, the cooperative provides him with thorough instructions on
many things, ranging from his fishing to his personal life.

Abe says, “It may look like there is no competition between members, but
actually there is. In scallop aquaculture, for instance, wild spat
(juvenile scallops) are collected with collector bags, grown in pearl
nets until they grow as big as about four centimeters, and then released
to the open Sea of Okhotsk. Before releasing the young scallops, we rank
our 59 fishers by the size of the young scallops they grew and announce
the results, from the top performing fisherman to the last one. This
ranking does not directly affect their income, but it does matter to
their pride as fishermen, so they take it seriously. Even in aquaculture,
it makes a subtle difference in the growth of young scallops, depending
on the ingenuity of each fisherman. Auctioning or bidding on the
scallops are conducted by fishermen individually, and their sales are
affected depending on the size of the young scallops they grow.”

Abe explains that the cooperative system makes a difference in revenue
of millions of yen but not beyond tens of millions.

Fishermen in Saroma may look very happy, with promising prospects, but
the Saroma Fisheries Cooperative’s system is not perfect.

“The biggest problem is the early retirement of member fishermen. The
families with sons can hand over their fishing rights and boats to their
sons, but the families with only daughters choose to retire from fishing
at earlier ages because they hesitate to continue their family fishing
business by having their daughters’ husbands as successors. The decrease
in the number of members causes financial problems for the cooperative,
so we try to persuade them to keep working a little longer. All the
money saved is refunded when they retire from fishing, so they are not
worried about their post-retirement years. That is why they can easily
decide to stop fishing,” Abe says.

There are many requests from members of other cooperatives asking to
join the Saroma Cooperative, but its system makes such requests
difficult to be granted.

“According the rules of Saroma Fishery Cooperative, only people who have
engaged in fishing for a certain period of time, are qualified to
become a member. And the cooperative’s rules also require operational
experience, but obtaining fishing rights is a prerequisite for a
fisheries operation, so practically nobody is able to become a new
member. However, if the person is very honest and diligent, we ask him
to work for three years or more as a sub-member. We then consult with
the member certification committee regarding his status and offer him a
way to work jointly with other regular members.”

The system of the Saroma Fishery Cooperative, which boasts the largest
savings per person among all Japan’s fisheries cooperatives, was created
by Chozo Funaki, the first president, followed by Chotaro Funaki, the
second president, in the early development stage of the cooperative. And
its spirit was learned from a set of precepts, known as “Hotokukun”
(literally, “precepts of the requital of kindness”), written by Sontoku
Ninomiya, a prominent 19th-century Japanese agricultural leader and
philosopher.

["Hotokukun" by Sontoku Ninomiya
The Precepts of Gratitude (provisional translation)]

From the decrees of Nature — Parents
From the care of parents — Sound body of child
From the couple’s diligence — The child’s inheritance
From the labors of ancestors — Parents’ wealth and status
From the good acts of parents — One’s wealth and status
From our diligence today — Our children’s wealth and status
From good food, clothing and shelter — A healthy and long life
From fields and forests — Food, clothing and shelter
From work of the people — Fields and forests
From last year’s efforts — This year’s food and clothing
From this year’s tribulations — Next year’s food and clothing
What must never be forgotten — Gratitude.

The last three lines in the precepts, in particular, are taken to heart
by the Saroma Fishery Cooperative.

The Sea of Okhotsk in winter lies under a heavy gray sky, creating a
cold atmosphere, but the sea looks rather warm after listening to the
stories from this cooperative’s leader.

Written by Kanichi Sugawara

——————————————————————–
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
Miracle Miracle Website to Close
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Since August 2011, “Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to
Create the Future,” an online community for young people around the
world founded by Sompo Japan Nippon Koa Inc. and Japan for
Sustainability has been encouraging youth worldwide who want to think
for themselves about the environment and society, learn from each
other, communicate and take action. The website has been well-received
for over four years.

As the website has completed its mission, it will be closed on Sunday,
May 31, 2015.
We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who supported
this site.

Japan for Sustainability

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- “Current Status of Renewable Energy in Japan” page updated.
(2015/05/25)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035258.html

- This month’s cartoon:
“Are these events happening in another world?”. (2015/05/08)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035245.html

- JFS Newsletter No.152 (April 2015)

Abundance at Lake Saroma, Japan: Saroma Fishery Cooperative
Practices Socialism within a Capitalist System (Part 1)
(2015/05/20)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035244.html
“Rooftop Leasing” Photovoltaic Generation Spreading
across Japan(2015/05/13)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035243.html
Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido: Establishing an Energy-
Sustainable Small Town Management Model with Local Forest
Resources (Part 2)(2015/04/30)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035236.html

- Updated contents in
“Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future”

Miracle Report:
Turn Events Eco-friendly with Reusable Food Ware!
(2015/05/15)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000299.html
Dress Up and Drive Out Evil Spirits! (2015/05/08)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000295.html
Listen to the Sound of Bugs (2015/05/01)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000287.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

To unsubscribe, please click the following link and fill in the form
E-mail Newsletter Unsubscribe:
http://www.japanfs.org/acmailer/unsubscribe.html

Back issues of the newsletter are also available.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/index.html

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qXZr9t
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  ”Japan for Sustainability, http://www.japanfs.org/index.html.”

.

———————————————————————

.

[jfs] JFS WEEKLY 28 Apr. – 11 May. 2015

** Corporate / CSR **

Asahi Breweries Education Program Wins Ministerial Award
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035240.html

.

 <<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 21 – 27 Apr. 2015

.
CONDOLENCE

We lament deeply the earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015.
Our hearts go out to those who passed away, to those who have lost loved
ones and to all those who suffer from the catastrophe.

=============================================================
** Well-Being **

Nara City Enacts Child-Friendly City Ordinance
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035231.html

============================================================== 

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #152
————————————————————————

If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #152

April 30, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

——————————————————————–

.

 <<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 14 – 20 Apr. 2015

=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **

Patagonia Japan Launches Dam Removal Campaign with Documentary Screening
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035228.html
=========================================================================

.

FS WEEKLY >>> 7 – 13 Apr. 2015

=========================================================================
** Energy / Climate Change **

Tokyo Plans to Increase Renewable Energy Ratio to 20% by 2024
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035227.html
=========================================================================

The Tokyo Metropolitan area consumes huge amounts of electricity and
energy to sustain its economic and urban activities. Meanwhile, since
the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, it has become increasingly
important to boost the ratio of renewable energy use, as well as to
reduce energy consumption, while considering environmental issues and
our lifestyles. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an
important opportunity to demonstrate both in Japan and to the world
renewable energy has been making steady advances.

In June 2014, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) held a meeting of
its Review Committee for Expanding Renewable Energies to discuss
specific measures and processes to expand the use of renewable energy.

After the discussion, the Committee decided to aim to increase the rate
of renewable energy in Tokyo’s total energy consumption to around 20
percent by 2024. It also specified individual goals for each category,
such as introduction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation of
approximately 1 million kilowatts by 2024, about four times that of
2012. Also, as a related initiative, TMG will introduce approximately
22,000 kilowatts of PV power generation by 2020 in its facilities. In
addition, TMG set the goal of introduction of cogeneration systems for
business use to 600,000 kilowatts by 2024, about twice that of 2012.

As a concrete measure for the introduction of renewable energy
facilities on the supply side, TMG is striving to revitalize urban and
rural areas, through waste biomass power generation and utilization of
rich wood biomass resources. Also, since hydropower is a stable and
reliable power source, TMG will enhance medium- and small- scale
hydroelectric power generation, in which both public and private
institutions have been involved. Furthermore, TMG will expand the
introduction of renewable energy to its facilities and promote local
consumption of locally produced renewable energy in the Tama region and
islands within the jurisdiction of TMG.

For energy management on the demand side, TMG will promote stable and
efficient use of renewable energy by demand control while optimizing
energy use and minimizing energy consumption. Cogeneration systems will
be more important in terms of energy demand and supply adjustment and
disaster prevention, along with the contribution to energy conservation
and reduction of demand through the use of high-efficiency energy.

For efforts to expand renewable energy use in the future, by using new
materials and structures, technology is being developed for
high-efficiency solar power batteries that far surpass current batteries
in energy conversion efficiency. R&D is also under way for ocean
energy, balancing of energy supply and demand, mechanisms to promote
renewable energy, and the use of algae as an energy source.

TMG expects to achieve these objectives by expanding the introduction of
renewable energy, enhancing energy conservation, and R&D of new
technologies throughout Tokyo. There are high hopes that these efforts
will contribute to a sustainable future.

=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
7 – 13 Apr. 2015
=====================================================

- This month’s cartoon:
“Manager! No one is ordering meat dishes”. (2015/4/11)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035224.html

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
7 – 13 Apr. 2015
=====================================================

Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido: Establishing an Energy-Sustainable Small Town
Management Model with Local Forest Resources (Part 1)
JFS Newsletter No.151 (March 2015)

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) worked on its Local Well-Being Project
since April 2013, because we believe that local activities for
well-being are the key to our happiness and planetary sustainability.
Likewise, the state of the local economy is an indispensable item to
consider when we are looking closely at happiness and its relationship
to local activities.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035217.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 7 – 13 Apr. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: UK Play Lot to Have Fun with Children around the World

Across the United Kingdom, there are Children’s Centers that are open to
preschool children for a casual visit and play.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000277.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

—————————————————————

 Energy / Climate Change **

Tokyo Plans to Increase Renewable Energy Ratio to 20% by 2024
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035227.html
===========================================

The Tokyo Metropolitan area consumes huge amounts of electricity and
energy to sustain its economic and urban activities. Meanwhile, since
the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, it has become increasingly
important to boost the ratio of renewable energy use, as well as to
reduce energy consumption, while considering environmental issues and
our lifestyles. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an
important opportunity to demonstrate both in Japan and to the world
renewable energy has been making steady advances.

In June 2014, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) held a meeting of
its Review Committee for Expanding Renewable Energies to discuss
specific measures and processes to expand the use of renewable energy.

After the discussion, the Committee decided to aim to increase the rate
of renewable energy in Tokyo’s total energy consumption to around 20
percent by 2024. It also specified individual goals for each category,
such as introduction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation of
approximately 1 million kilowatts by 2024, about four times that of
2012. Also, as a related initiative, TMG will introduce approximately
22,000 kilowatts of PV power generation by 2020 in its facilities. In
addition, TMG set the goal of introduction of cogeneration systems for
business use to 600,000 kilowatts by 2024, about twice that of 2012.

As a concrete measure for the introduction of renewable energy
facilities on the supply side, TMG is striving to revitalize urban and
rural areas, through waste biomass power generation and utilization of
rich wood biomass resources. Also, since hydropower is a stable and
reliable power source, TMG will enhance medium- and small- scale
hydroelectric power generation, in which both public and private
institutions have been involved. Furthermore, TMG will expand the
introduction of renewable energy to its facilities and promote local
consumption of locally produced renewable energy in the Tama region and
islands within the jurisdiction of TMG.

For energy management on the demand side, TMG will promote stable and
efficient use of renewable energy by demand control while optimizing
energy use and minimizing energy consumption. Cogeneration systems will
be more important in terms of energy demand and supply adjustment and
disaster prevention, along with the contribution to energy conservation
and reduction of demand through the use of high-efficiency energy.

For efforts to expand renewable energy use in the future, by using new
materials and structures, technology is being developed for
high-efficiency solar power batteries that far surpass current batteries
in energy conversion efficiency. R&D is also under way for ocean
energy, balancing of energy supply and demand, mechanisms to promote
renewable energy, and the use of algae as an energy source.

TMG expects to achieve these objectives by expanding the introduction of
renewable energy, enhancing energy conservation, and R&D of new
technologies throughout Tokyo. There are high hopes that these efforts
will contribute to a sustainable future.

=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
7 – 13 Apr. 2015
=====================================================

- This month’s cartoon:
“Manager! No one is ordering meat dishes”. (2015/4/11)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035224.html

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
7 – 13 Apr. 2015
=====================================================

Shimokawa Town, Hokkaido: Establishing an Energy-Sustainable Small Town
Management Model with Local Forest Resources (Part 1)
JFS Newsletter No.151 (March 2015)

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) worked on its Local Well-Being Project
since April 2013, because we believe that local activities for
well-being are the key to our happiness and planetary sustainability.
Likewise, the state of the local economy is an indispensable item to
consider when we are looking closely at happiness and its relationship
to local activities.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035217.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 7 – 13 Apr. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: UK Play Lot to Have Fun with Children around the World

Across the United Kingdom, there are Children’s Centers that are open to
preschool children for a casual visit and play.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000277.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

—————————————————

.

Japan for Sustainability

 

<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 31 Mar. – 6 Apr. 2015

=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **

Nippon Paper Group’s Green Action Plan to Focus on Effectiveness
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035221.html
=========================================================================

Nippon Paper Group, Inc. of Japan established the Charter on the
Environment centering on its environmental business management, which
positions the reduction of environmental burden from its business
activities as a key social responsibility. Based on the charter, the
group formulated its environmental action plan called “Green Action
Plan” to set tangible goals and implement actions effectively as a whole
group.

Green Action Plan 2015 for fiscal 2011 to 2015 includes the following
four points: a) To adopt a “total quantity” for its CO2 reduction target
against global warming; b) To clearly state the enhancement of
traceability to protect and nurture forestry resources; c) To adopt
“recycling rate” as an indicator for the promotion of cyclical use of
resources; and d) To enhance “precautionary approach” management
together with “compliance with laws and rules” to reduce environmental
load.

In fiscal 2013, the third year of the five-year plan, the group reduced
its CO2 emissions from fossil energy by more than “25 percent from
fiscal 1990 levels,” and attained its goal that “all imported hardwood
chips are certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest
Certification Schemes, or by the Forest Stewardship Council, bringing
favorable results.” This means that the group’s efforts are producing
good results.

=========================================================================
** Civil Society **

Fukushima Cotton’s Appeal
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035223.html
=========================================================================

Tohoku Fukko Nikki (Tohoku Reconstruction Diary) is a weekly article
which appears in an Eastern Japan newspaper called the Tokyo Shimbun,
and delivers news and stories on reconstruction efforts in the areas
devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The series of
articles is submitted by JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society, a
certified non-profit organization, about an initiative dubbed the
“Yui-Yui Project,” which supports victims of the earthquake. This time,
JFS will introduce an article published on May 23, 2014, featuring an
agricultural revitalization initiative.

The Fukushima Organic Cotton Project started its third year of
cultivation in its cotton fields, and like previous years, many
volunteers are coming to help with the work each weekend. There are many
repeat volunteers, some of whom are enjoying reunions with one another
in the cotton fields. Fields cultivated in 2014 will add up to 22
locations (approximately two hectares), including locations in Iwaki
City and Hirono Town, both in Fukushima Prefecture. Four farmers have
now obtained organic certifications for their fields, and the project
has been making steady progress toward obtaining certification for
organic cotton production.

This year, JKSK is arranging four volunteer bus tours to bring
volunteers to work, including a seeding activity on June 1, weeding in
the summer, and harvesting in the fall. In addition to working in the
cotton fields, the tours will include a visit to see part of the process
of producing cotton fiber, and a workshop to experience cotton spinning
using a spinning wheel.

This Japanese-cotton project was started to revitalize agriculture in
the Fukushima region after the earthquake, and aims to keep the
production processes local, from the cultivation and processing of raw
materials to the sales of products, in order to create a small but
stable industry. I am involved in the project, as both a volunteer in
the fields and as a product designer.

A garabo spinning machine, acquired at the end of 2013 and currently
undergoing maintenance, will be used to make thread from raw cotton
processed by ginning and carding machines that are already in operation.
Though electrically powered, the garabo spinning machine appears a bit
retro with its wooden frame, and in fact it was made in the early Showa
era (around 1925 to 1940). This vintage Japanese-made machine is good at
spinning short-fiber cotton, a characteristic of Japanese cotton, and it
can spin even very short cotton fibers that current western-style
spinning machines cannot accommodate. Some cotton to be harvested this
year will be spun into thread by this garabo spinning machine, and then
woven and made into products.

Recently, we had a limited-time-only sale in the Mitsukoshi Department
Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. During the sales event, many people visited
our shop to check out our cotton T-shirts and other products, and our
cotton products sold very well. The shop boasted a sign enthusiastically
stating “FUKUSHIMA COTTON,” without the words “disaster-relief.” In
reality, the situation in Fukushima is still far from returning to
normal after the nuclear accident, and will take much more time and hard
work. I feel, however, that this organic cotton project has moved beyond
just garnering disaster-relief attention, meaning that the true value of
the products is being evaluated as is.

Yoko Ito, yohdesign representative

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
31 Mar. – 6 Apr. 2015
=====================================================

New Dining Style: Salvage Party Refashions Leftovers into Delicious Dishes
JFS Newsletter No.151 (March 2015)

Salvage Parties or “Salpa” have been attracting attention in Japan.
At a Salpa, a professional chef cooks high-quality dishes using
leftoveringredients brought from the homes of party participants.
The word “salvage” originally meant “to rescue an imperiled ship.”
These parties bring many benefits through the “rescue” of food left in
refrigerators,which otherwise would have soon spoiled.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035213.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 31 Mar. – 6 Apr. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: Grow Crops, Grow Forests!

There is a type of agriculture that “grows forests from fields!” This is
called “agroforestry”, a method which mixes a bunch of different size
crops. Agroforestry is spreading more and more in Brazil.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000271.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

 

.——————————————————

.

 

JFS WEEKLY >>> 24 – 30 Mar. 2015

=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **

NEC Develops Software for Storage Batteries, Helping to Improve
Next-generation Power Systems
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035209.html
=========================================================================

NEC Corp., a leading Japanese electronics company, announced on November
13, 2014, that it had developed virtual integration control software
that is able to automatically control more than a million storage
batteries via cloud computing, and to implement a demand-response
program. The software intensively controls the charging and discharging
of multiple batteries, distributed throughout individual homes and
buildings, and in electric cars. It provides for adjustments in supply
and demand in real time, which is on par with existing power systems,
enhancing the adjustment capabilities of power plants.

The software can approximately double battery life as it controls
charging and discharging of batteries according to their degradation
characteristics. It also corresponds to Open ADR 2.0b, the most recent
standard for automated demand response, making it possible to control
batteries for large electricity users, as well as for small electricity
users, who have been managed by a number of aggregators.

In Japan, the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme has encouraged the
introduction of renewable energy since its establishment. However, as
wind and solar power generation is affected by the weather, forecasting
and adjusting supply and demand play a key role for power plants when
renewable energy is being integrated into the power systems. As the
software developed by NEC can support power plants’ supply-demand
adjustments with demand-response technologies, it represents a promising
technology to promote the introduction of renewable energy.

=========================================================================
** Resilience **

Kobe City Releases Documentary Photos of Great Hanshin Earthquake
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035211.html
=========================================================================

Kobe City, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan, released on
December 9, 2014, documentary photographs of the Great Hanshin
Earthquake, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the city on January
17, 1995, killing more than 4,000 people. The release of the photos,
made available to the public through a website titled “Memory of
1.17–the Great Hanshin Earthquake,” marks 20 years since the disaster.
The city hopes that the website and photographs showing the process of
disaster recovery will pass on various experiences and lessons to future
generations.

About 1,000 photos have been published on the website. The photos are
tagged to enable searching by category, such as ward, houses, roads and
streets, public facilities, shelters, and temporary houses. Some of the
photos were taken using stationary measurement at 13 spots in the city
to visualize the recovery process from the disaster, which should help
contribute to a deeper understanding of recovery efforts. As the photos
in the website are permitted for secondary use, they are expected to be
used in a wide range of activities.

Japan, widely known as a quake-prone country, experiences earthquakes
frequently. Sad memories linger long after they occur, especially after
the deadliest earthquakes. These memories should not be held on to; they
need to be shared. The important thing is to learn from the past and
pass those lessons down so future generations can develop new ways to
prevent and prepare for disasters.

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 24 – 30 Mar. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: Honor Mothers and Fathers!

In many countries, the second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day, and the
third Sunday of June is Father’s Day. These are very popular and
important memorial days also in South America. Families and relatives
get together and celebrate actively.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000264.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

 

———————————————————————————

 

MOE Publishes Cases of Water Footprint Calculations to Visualize Water Use
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035204.html
========================================================================
The water we see in daily life is only a small part of the water cycle.
A water footprint is an indicator for the visualization of invisible
water. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE) published a
collection of cases of water footprint with the aim of more effective
water use.

The world population is currently over 7 billion people and is expected
to exceed 9 billion by 2050. With the growth of the world population,
international concern has risen over whether it will be possible to
satisfy the growing demand for water needed for irrigation for farming
products, domestic water for people concentrated in urban areas, and
industrial water in developing countries.

Even if problems related to water usage do not occur around you, they
are never only the concern of other people. For example, the disastrous
flood in Thailand in 2011, which was largely considered to be a local
disaster, had a great impact on countries around the world via supply
chains.

The water footprint concept is attracting attention for its possible use
in developing an awareness of global water problems, to promote the
conservation of water resources, and to improve supply chains for
businesses. The water footprint is a method for quantitatively
calculating the amount of water consumed or polluted directly or
indirectly through the entire lifecycle of products, from cultivation or
production of raw materials to manufacturing, processing, shipping,
distribution, consumption, disposal and recycling.

In Japan, there are only a small number of cases for calculating e ater
footprint; thus, the number of cases that can be used as a reference is
limited. Against this backdrop, the MOE set up a study group on water
footprint calculation in January 2013.

The study group published a collection of water footprint calculations
on August 8, 2014. With the cooperation of businesses, the workshop
compiled these cases by sorting and verifying calculation methods of
both inside and outside Japan, and by calculating and analyzing the
water footprints of specific products.

The collection, for example, describes the details of the calculation
and the results of the water footprint for a garment (jacket). By
sorting the product’s lifecycle from the production of raw materials to
the disposal of the final product, the consumption of water at each
phase of the lifecycle can be assessed. Cases for other various
products, such as an office uniform, a refrigerator, shampoo, and cooked
food, are also used as examples.

With the aim of keeping or restoring a healthy water cycle, the Basic
Act on the Water Cycle was enacted in Japan on July 1, 2014. We hope
that water footprints, which help assess water use in a quantitative and
simple manner, will be used more widely and will eventually contribute
to a healthier water cycle.

========================================================================** Policy / Systems / Technology **

FutureCity Initiative Holds International Forum Overseas for First Time
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035202.html
========================================================================
Japan’s Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat held its FutureCity
Initiative International Forum in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on February 8,
2015. The forum aims at increasing understanding and expanding support
of the initiative, sharing leading case studies from Japan and the
world, and building and strengthening an international network. The
forum has been held four times in Japan, with the last one being in
Higashimatsushima in December 2014. Now in its fourth year, the forum
has always been held in Japan until this fifth forum in Malaysia.

To integrate the idea of Future Cities into the Iskandar Malaysia
Project, an ongoing national development plan in the state of Johor, the
forum was held to share successful model cases of building partnerships
between different cities and launching businesses. In the forum, efforts
to create sustainable cities in Malaysia were introduced, followed by
presentations of case studies in six cities in Japan, both by
municipalities and businesses. In the latter half of the forum, a lively
discussion ensued between representatives from Malaysia and Japan who
are working to create sustainable cities. Business matching between both
countries played a big role in the forum, too. The forum gathered about
300 participants from over 10 countries including Malaysia and Japan.

At the end of the forum, Shuzo Murakami, the Chair of the FutureCity
Promotion Council, remarked, “It is beneficial for many cities to strive
to become Future Cities, and essential for those cities to proceed while
emphasizing their own distinctive characteristics. While working to
become Future Cities, internationally sharing individual findings and
insights gained from experience will deepen and strengthen further
development of this initiative.”

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
17 – 23 Mar. 2015
=====================================================

Everyday Shopping Can Promote Local Economies, Says JFS Survey
JFS Newsletter No.150 (February 2015)

There was a shocking prediction that made headlines all over Japan in
May 2014, that a total of 896 municipalities across Japan might
disappear by 2040 due to population decline and their inability to
maintain administrative functions. The prediction, part of the “Masuda
Report” compiled by former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister
Hiroya Masuda, is one of many that typically show Japanese local
municipalities to be in difficult circumstances. The government is
addressing this national challenge, not only at the local level but also
at the national level, by establishing the Headquarters for Overcoming
Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy under the Cabinet
Office.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035190.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 17 – 23 Mar. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What Animals and Plants Do You Make with Origami?

What would happen if all plants and animals disappear and only humans
are left on the earth? If this happens, how on earth can people obtain
their food? Let’s consider the importance of plants and animals by
creating their forms with colorful square paper, called origami.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000259.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

 

—————————————————————————————————–

<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 17 – 23 Mar. 2015

** Biodiversity / Food / Water **

MOE Publishes Cases of Water Footprint Calculations to Visualize Water Use
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035204.html

The water we see in daily life is only a small part of the water cycle.
A water footprint is an indicator for the visualization of invisible
water. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE) published a
collection of cases of water footprint with the aim of more effective
water use.

The world population is currently over 7 billion people and is expected
to exceed 9 billion by 2050. With the growth of the world population,
international concern has risen over whether it will be possible to
satisfy the growing demand for water needed for irrigation for farming
products, domestic water for people concentrated in urban areas, and
industrial water in developing countries.

Even if problems related to water usage do not occur around you, they
are never only the concern of other people. For example, the disastrous
flood in Thailand in 2011, which was largely considered to be a local
disaster, had a great impact on countries around the world via supply
chains.

The water footprint concept is attracting attention for its possible use
in developing an awareness of global water problems, to promote the
conservation of water resources, and to improve supply chains for
businesses. The water footprint is a method for quantitatively
calculating the amount of water consumed or polluted directly or
indirectly through the entire lifecycle of products, from cultivation or
production of raw materials to manufacturing, processing, shipping,
distribution, consumption, disposal and recycling.

In Japan, there are only a small number of cases for calculating e ater
footprint; thus, the number of cases that can be used as a reference is
limited. Against this backdrop, the MOE set up a study group on water
footprint calculation in January 2013.

The study group published a collection of water footprint calculations
on August 8, 2014. With the cooperation of businesses, the workshop
compiled these cases by sorting and verifying calculation methods of
both inside and outside Japan, and by calculating and analyzing the
water footprints of specific products.

The collection, for example, describes the details of the calculation
and the results of the water footprint for a garment (jacket). By
sorting the product’s lifecycle from the production of raw materials to
the disposal of the final product, the consumption of water at each
phase of the lifecycle can be assessed. Cases for other various
products, such as an office uniform, a refrigerator, shampoo, and cooked
food, are also used as examples.

With the aim of keeping or restoring a healthy water cycle, the Basic
Act on the Water Cycle was enacted in Japan on July 1, 2014. We hope
that water footprints, which help assess water use in a quantitative and
simple manner, will be used more widely and will eventually contribute
to a healthier water cycle.

** Policy / Systems / Technology **

FutureCity Initiative Holds International Forum Overseas for First Time
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035202.html

Japan’s Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat held its FutureCity
Initiative International Forum in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on February 8,
2015. The forum aims at increasing understanding and expanding support
of the initiative, sharing leading case studies from Japan and the
world, and building and strengthening an international network. The
forum has been held four times in Japan, with the last one being in
Higashimatsushima in December 2014. Now in its fourth year, the forum
has always been held in Japan until this fifth forum in Malaysia.

To integrate the idea of Future Cities into the Iskandar Malaysia
Project, an ongoing national development plan in the state of Johor, the
forum was held to share successful model cases of building partnerships
between different cities and launching businesses. In the forum, efforts
to create sustainable cities in Malaysia were introduced, followed by
presentations of case studies in six cities in Japan, both by
municipalities and businesses. In the latter half of the forum, a lively
discussion ensued between representatives from Malaysia and Japan who
are working to create sustainable cities. Business matching between both
countries played a big role in the forum, too. The forum gathered about
300 participants from over 10 countries including Malaysia and Japan.

At the end of the forum, Shuzo Murakami, the Chair of the FutureCity
Promotion Council, remarked, “It is beneficial for many cities to strive
to become Future Cities, and essential for those cities to proceed while
emphasizing their own distinctive characteristics. While working to
become Future Cities, internationally sharing individual findings and
insights gained from experience will deepen and strengthen further
development of this initiative.”

Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
17 – 23 Mar. 2015

Everyday Shopping Can Promote Local Economies, Says JFS Survey
JFS Newsletter No.150 (February 2015)

There was a shocking prediction that made headlines all over Japan in
May 2014, that a total of 896 municipalities across Japan might
disappear by 2040 due to population decline and their inability to
maintain administrative functions. The prediction, part of the “Masuda
Report” compiled by former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister
Hiroya Masuda, is one of many that typically show Japanese local
municipalities to be in difficult circumstances. The government is
addressing this national challenge, not only at the local level but also
at the national level, by establishing the Headquarters for Overcoming
Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy under the Cabinet
Office.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035190.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 17 – 23 Mar. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What Animals and Plants Do You Make with Origami?

What would happen if all plants and animals disappear and only humans
are left on the earth? If this happens, how on earth can people obtain
their food? Let’s consider the importance of plants and animals by
creating their forms with colorful square paper, called origami.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000259.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

—————————————————————————————————–

 

Civil Society **

Non-profit Group Providing Emotional Support to 2011 Great East Japan
Earthquake Survivors
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035196.html
========================================================

Tohoku Fukko Nikki (Tohoku Reconstruction Diary) is a weekly article
published in an eastern Japan newspaper called the Tokyo Shimbun that
delivers news and stories on reconstruction efforts in the areas
devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, submitted by JKSK
Yui-Yui Project, a non-profit organization that provides support to
victims of the earthquake. Below is an article published on May 9, 2014,
featuring some of the emotional support efforts being provided to
earthquake survivors.

According to data released on May 7, 2014, by Fukushima Prefecture,
where 130,000 people are still displaced, physical and mental illnesses
related to the earthquake, which killed 1,699 people in this prefecture,
outnumbers the 1,603 whose deaths were directly tied to disaster-caused
injuries. Many victims evacuated to Iwaki City, located at the southern
edge of Fukushima Prefecture, where there are still over 20,000 evacuees
living in more than 3,500 temporary houses. Due to the prolonged
evacuation, family and community bonds have weakened, leaving many
victims living in isolation.

As a part of its mental health program, JKSK held seminars in the cities
of Kesennuma and Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, featuring “tsubo ton
ton therapy” (pressure-point massage therapy), tailored for the
earthquake victims from a therapy method called the Emotional Freedom
Techniques that integrate the Eastern philosophy of chi and Western
psychotherapy, which is used to help veterans overcome PTSD
(post-traumatic stress disorder) and victims of the earthquake in Haiti
and the civil war in Rwanda.

Many people in Fukushima still struggle with depression caused by the
Great East Japan Earthquake. Responding to their requests, the Tsubo Ton
Ton Therapy Workshop, which was developed specifically for earthquake
victims was held in Iwaki on April 21 and 22, 2014. The workshop was led
by Ayuka Mizoguchi and six other therapists from the Heart Circle, a
volunteer organization that provides mental health counseling for
natural disaster victims and their supporters, where they had
approximately 70 participants over two days.

In trying hard to strive on their own, many participants appeared to be
putting strong pressure on themselves, on top of the mental stress from
the earthquake and living their difficult lives daily after the
disaster. They struggled with feelings of solitude and loss while still
living in temporary housing and dealing with complicated relationships
with families and colleagues. Their stress is also deeply rooted in
their unstable financial situation.

As the workshop proceeded, the participants started showing more relaxed
faces. The post-event questionnaires received positive feedback, such
as, “I learned that stress could be released by pulling my feeling out
rather than suppressing it in myself, which I had been doing,” “Feeling
more at ease,” and “Feeling a different type of relief which I have
never experienced before.” The participants’ stress seemed to be eased
even just by talking about their anxiety with others and expressing
their emotion in tears at the workshop.

Fumi AikawaYui-Yui Project, JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society

=========================================================================
** Policy / Systems / Technology **

FutureCity International Forum Held in Higashimatsushima
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035192.html
=========================================================================

Japan’s Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat held the Fourth
“FutureCity” Initiative International Forum in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi
Prefecture, on December 6, 2014. This international forum aims at
increasing understanding and expanding support of the initiative,
sharing leading case studies from Japan and the world, and building and
strengthening an international network.

The keynote speakers were the Danish Ambassador to Japan, A. Carsten
Damsgaard, and Holger Schou Rasmussen, the Mayor of Lolland
municipality, Denmark, a country with which Higashimatsushima has a
close relationship. After the keynote speeches, seven guest speakers
from overseas and Japan exchanged opinions and shared case studies and
challenges from their countries, focusing on the forum’s main theme of
improving resilience and the “FutureCity” Initiative. About 250 people
from Japan and abroad participated in the forum, which garnered
significant attention.

The Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat have taken the lead on the
“FutureCity” Initiative since fiscal 2011, and eleven cities have been
designated as Future Cities thus far. In fiscal 2014, the initiative
released estimated economic impacts on surrounding areas from the
cities’ initiatives. On February 8, 2015, the Future City Initiative
(FCI) International Forum was held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The
initiative continues to cover efforts of the cities, focusing on
outstanding individuals in the field, and will post these stories on its
website under the heading Ways to Make Cities Sustainable.

See also: Ambassador Damsgaard’s speech at the forum
http://japan.um.dk/en/about-us-en/news-en/newsdisplaypage/?newsid=72cb0722-dabe-4fd2-816c-5c856beef0d6

=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
3 – 9 Mar. 2015
=====================================================

- This month’s cartoon:
“Let’s avoid overconfidence in technical solutions. (2015/3/5)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035193.html

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
3 – 9 Mar. 2015
=====================================================

Development of Cosmetics — Toward Abolishment of Animal Testing
JFS Newsletter No.150 (February 2015)

Did you know that animal testing is conducted as part of cosmetics
development? Some, but not all, major Japanese cosmetics companies have
discontinued animal testing subsequent to movements to ban animal
testing in European Union (EU) member countries and elsewhere. Three
animal rights groups addressing the animal testing issue in Japan have
joined together to launch the Cruelty Free Beauty Campaign Committee,
initiating efforts to stop cosmetic animal testing, such as by
organizing symposiums and lobbying companies. In this issue, we report
on the committee’s approach and how Japanese companies are addressing
this issue.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035188.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 3 – 9 Mar. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What is Tribunal of Waters?

In Valencia, located in the eastern part of Spain, the Tribunal of the
Waters is conducted every week. What kind of tribunal is that?
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000244.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

—————————————————————————————————

** Civil Society **

Non-profit Group Providing Emotional Support to 2011 Great East Japan
Earthquake Survivors
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035196.html
====================================================

Tohoku Fukko Nikki (Tohoku Reconstruction Diary) is a weekly article
published in an eastern Japan newspaper called the Tokyo Shimbun that
delivers news and stories on reconstruction efforts in the areas
devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, submitted by JKSK
Yui-Yui Project, a non-profit organization that provides support to
victims of the earthquake. Below is an article published on May 9, 2014,
featuring some of the emotional support efforts being provided to
earthquake survivors.

According to data released on May 7, 2014, by Fukushima Prefecture,
where 130,000 people are still displaced, physical and mental illnesses
related to the earthquake, which killed 1,699 people in this prefecture,
outnumbers the 1,603 whose deaths were directly tied to disaster-caused
injuries. Many victims evacuated to Iwaki City, located at the southern
edge of Fukushima Prefecture, where there are still over 20,000 evacuees
living in more than 3,500 temporary houses. Due to the prolonged
evacuation, family and community bonds have weakened, leaving many
victims living in isolation.

As a part of its mental health program, JKSK held seminars in the cities
of Kesennuma and Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, featuring “tsubo ton
ton therapy” (pressure-point massage therapy), tailored for the
earthquake victims from a therapy method called the Emotional Freedom
Techniques that integrate the Eastern philosophy of chi and Western
psychotherapy, which is used to help veterans overcome PTSD
(post-traumatic stress disorder) and victims of the earthquake in Haiti
and the civil war in Rwanda.

Many people in Fukushima still struggle with depression caused by the
Great East Japan Earthquake. Responding to their requests, the Tsubo Ton
Ton Therapy Workshop, which was developed specifically for earthquake
victims was held in Iwaki on April 21 and 22, 2014. The workshop was led
by Ayuka Mizoguchi and six other therapists from the Heart Circle, a
volunteer organization that provides mental health counseling for
natural disaster victims and their supporters, where they had
approximately 70 participants over two days.

In trying hard to strive on their own, many participants appeared to be
putting strong pressure on themselves, on top of the mental stress from
the earthquake and living their difficult lives daily after the
disaster. They struggled with feelings of solitude and loss while still
living in temporary housing and dealing with complicated relationships
with families and colleagues. Their stress is also deeply rooted in
their unstable financial situation.

As the workshop proceeded, the participants started showing more relaxed
faces. The post-event questionnaires received positive feedback, such
as, “I learned that stress could be released by pulling my feeling out
rather than suppressing it in myself, which I had been doing,” “Feeling
more at ease,” and “Feeling a different type of relief which I have
never experienced before.” The participants’ stress seemed to be eased
even just by talking about their anxiety with others and expressing
their emotion in tears at the workshop.

Fumi AikawaYui-Yui Project, JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society

=====================================================
** Policy / Systems / Technology **

FutureCity International Forum Held in Higashimatsushima
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035192.html
=====================================================

Japan’s Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat held the Fourth
“FutureCity” Initiative International Forum in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi
Prefecture, on December 6, 2014. This international forum aims at
increasing understanding and expanding support of the initiative,
sharing leading case studies from Japan and the world, and building and
strengthening an international network.

The keynote speakers were the Danish Ambassador to Japan, A. Carsten
Damsgaard, and Holger Schou Rasmussen, the Mayor of Lolland
municipality, Denmark, a country with which Higashimatsushima has a
close relationship. After the keynote speeches, seven guest speakers
from overseas and Japan exchanged opinions and shared case studies and
challenges from their countries, focusing on the forum’s main theme of
improving resilience and the “FutureCity” Initiative. About 250 people
from Japan and abroad participated in the forum, which garnered
significant attention.

The Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat have taken the lead on the
“FutureCity” Initiative since fiscal 2011, and eleven cities have been
designated as Future Cities thus far. In fiscal 2014, the initiative
released estimated economic impacts on surrounding areas from the
cities’ initiatives. On February 8, 2015, the Future City Initiative
(FCI) International Forum was held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The
initiative continues to cover efforts of the cities, focusing on
outstanding individuals in the field, and will post these stories on its
website under the heading Ways to Make Cities Sustainable.

See also: Ambassador Damsgaard’s speech at the forum
http://japan.um.dk/en/about-us-en/news-en/newsdisplaypage/?newsid=72cb0722-dabe-4fd2-816c-5c856beef0d6

=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
3 – 9 Mar. 2015
=====================================================

- This month’s cartoon:
“Let’s avoid overconfidence in technical solutions. (2015/3/5)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035193.html

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
3 – 9 Mar. 2015
=====================================================

Development of Cosmetics — Toward Abolishment of Animal Testing
JFS Newsletter No.150 (February 2015)

Did you know that animal testing is conducted as part of cosmetics
development? Some, but not all, major Japanese cosmetics companies have
discontinued animal testing subsequent to movements to ban animal
testing in European Union (EU) member countries and elsewhere. Three
animal rights groups addressing the animal testing issue in Japan have
joined together to launch the Cruelty Free Beauty Campaign Committee,
initiating efforts to stop cosmetic animal testing, such as by
organizing symposiums and lobbying companies. In this issue, we report
on the committee’s approach and how Japanese companies are addressing
this issue.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035188.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 3 – 9 Mar. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What is Tribunal of Waters?

In Valencia, located in the eastern part of Spain, the Tribunal of the
Waters is conducted every week. What kind of tribunal is that?
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000244.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

———————————————————————————————————————————-
<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 10 – 16 Feb. 2015

=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **

Japanese Railway Company Releases 2014 CSR Report 2014 Introducing
Focused Efforts to Save and Generate Energy
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035174.html
=========================================================================

East Japan Railway Company (JR East Group) released its 2014 CSR Report
on September 18, 2014, covering the company’s business from the
perspectives of environment, safety and society. The following are the
projects on a special topic about energy and environmental strategy, one
of the major issues in the report under “JR Group Management Vision V:
Ever Onward,” a new management plan JR East formulated through
experience derived from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

1) Accumulator system (ACCUM), a battery-powered train system
JR East started commercial operation of the EV-E301 series cars with a
high-capacity accumulator for the main circuit, called ACCUM, on the
Karasuyama Line in March 2014. This led to a reduction of environmental
impacts in non-electrified zones.

2) Large-scale solar power generation facility (Mega solar power plant)
A mega solar power plant was installed with a capacity of 1,050
kilowatts on the grounds of the Keiyo Rolling Stock Center and started
operating on February 28, 2014. Reduction of CO2 emissions by around 500
tons per year is expected. The company also installed a four-megawatt
solar power generation facility between Tomobe and Uchihara on the Joban
Line and plans to start operating it within fiscal 2014.

3) Installation of more renewable energy
Focusing on the northern Tohoku area, the company started investigating
wind conditions between Michikawa and Shimohama on the Uetsu Main Line
in Akita Prefecture in March 2014 to study the viability of wind power
generation. In Aomori Prefecture, the company is conducting a
feasibility study on thermal power generation in the northwestern
Hakkoda region in collaboration with a university and government
agencies.

The company is concentrating its resources on the three areas of saving
energy, power generation (renewable energy) and smart grid technologies,
in order to advance railways in terms of environmental safety as well as
other areas.

=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
10 – 16 Feb. 2015
=====================================================

- This month’s cartoon:
“Towards a more moderate life” on the Eco Cartoons Page (2015/2/12)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035171.html

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
10 – 16 Feb. 2015
=====================================================

Current Status of SRI and Related Issues as It Expands in Japan
JFS Newsletter No.149 (January 2015)

The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2012 issued by the Global
Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) states that the global market for
socially responsible investment (SRI) is approximately 13.6 trillion
dollars. By contrast, Japan’s SRI market is quite small at about 10
billion dollars, less than 0.1 percent of the global market. One reason
for this difference is the lack of active participation by institutional
investors in the market.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035167.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 10 – 16 Feb. 2015 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: ‘Order for One. Feed Two. And Help the World Eat Better’

It is nice if we can share happiness with other people while having a
pleasant meal. A project was launched to make it come true.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2015/rpt_id000222.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

JFS WEEKLY >>> 24 Feb. – 2 Mar. 2015=================================================== ========
** Steady-State Economy **Fact or Fiction: Does Economic Growth Alleviate Joblessness and Poverty?
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035181.html
============================================================
———————————————————————————————————————————-
If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #150
————————————————————————February 27, 2015
Copyright (c) 2015, Japan for SustainabilityJapan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org——————————————————————–In the February 2015 issue of the JFS Newsletter:- Global Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction for Civil Society:
Recognizing the Role of Citizens

- Development of Cosmetics — Toward Abolishment of Animal Testing –

- Everyday Shopping Can Promote Local Economies, Says JFS Survey

———————————————————————————————————————————–
Japan For Sustainabi​lity
If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start their own free subscriptions at http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html
    Japan for Sustainability Newsletter  #149
——————————————————————————————-
<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 13 – 19 Jan. 2015====
** Policy / Systems / Technology **Kawasaki City Provides Employment Support to Welfare Recipients
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035147.html
============================================================
<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 6 – 12 Jan. 2015** Steady-State Economy **Transforming Lifeless Shopping Streets into Animated Spaces
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035142.html
If you find the Japan for Sustainability Newsletter useful or
interesting, please forward it to friends and suggest that they start
their own free subscriptions at
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html
                                        ——————————————————————————–
** Biodiversity / Food / Water **Perception, Awareness, Efforts over Biodiversity Shrinking
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035097.html
=========================================================================A survey of Japanese people on biodiversity revealed a decrease in
people’s perception and awareness of and efforts addressing
biodiversity, causing anxiety among relevant parties. The following are
the survey results concerning biodiversity from a public opinion poll on
environmental issues, which was released in September 2014 by the
Cabinet office.The survey was carried out between July 24 and August 3, 2014, and
targeted 3000 people aged 20 years or older nationwide. The aim of the
survey was to research public awareness about environmental issues and
make use of the findings for later initiatives. Individual interviews
produced 1,834 valid responses, yielding a 61.1 percent (%) collection
rate.The survey results on biodiversity are as follows: concerning the
recognition of the word “biodiversity,” 16.7% of respondents replied
that they knew what biodiversity was. This represents a 2.7 point
decrease from the last percentage of 19.4 in June 2012. Respondents
totaling 29.7% replied that they didn’t know what it was but had heard
of the word, which is a 6.6 percentage point decrease from the previous
survey. Meanwhile, 52.4% replied that they had never heard of the word,
up 11.0 points from 2012.Only 2.4% of respondents said they knew the contents of the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets, down 1.5% from the previous survey, while 9.1%
said they had heard of the targets but did not know the contents in
detail, representing a drop of 5.3 points since last time. Those who had
never heard of the Aichi Targets accounted for 87.4%, up 9.7% since
2012.When asked about specific measures they would undertake to conserve
biodiversity, 60.7% mentioned global warming counter measures such as
energy conservation and setting heaters and air conditioners to
appropriate temperatures (down by 11.2 points), 50.8% said purchasing
seasonal and local products (down by 6.9%), 45.7% said being responsible
owners of pets or other living things (down by 8.6 points), 36.9% said
choosing environmentally friendly products over other products (down by
10.5%), and 35.3% said observing living things that are nearby, and
going out to enjoy nature (down by 2.1 points).Written by Junko Edahiro=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **Ajinomoto Partners with Saga City on Joint Biomass Research
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035099.html
=========================================================================Ajinomoto Co., one of Japan’s leading food and amino acid manufacturers,
announced on June 3, 2014, that it will start a joint research project
with Saga City on the application of byproduct biomass generated during
the amino-acid fermentation process of its manufacturing operations in
Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.The plan is to study how byproduct biomass can improve fertilizers made
from biosolids, or sludge, from the water treatment process at the Saga
City Sewage Treatment Center, and scientifically evaluate its
effectiveness in terms of crop quality (i.e., boost in amid acid
content). They also hope to develop new applications for the biomass,
including power generation. Furthermore, Saga City will assess the
effectiveness of these new technologies on reducing waste and
environmental impact.The firm and city have already joined forces to produce fertilizers
using byproduct biomass, and the fertilizers produced at the city’s
sewage treatment center have been sold mainly to local farmers in Saga
at low prices, setting a good model for local biomass recycling through
public-private partnership.

Saga City’s work on biomass is the cornerstone of an effort to make the
city more environmentally friendly and disaster-resilient. Ajinomoto’s
Kyushu operations, meanwhile, plan to continue cooperating with the Saga
City Biomass Industry City Plan and contribute to the development of a
biomass recycling industry.

=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
18 – 24 Nov. 2014
=====================================================

What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview with
Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama
JFS Newsletter No.146 (October 2014)

The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, with JFS as
its outreach partner, is undertaking a project, “What Is Economic
Growth? — Interviews with 100 People,” in collaboration with Patagonia
Japan. The project aims to encourage people to think about economic
growth by asking specialists from many different fields to share their
ideas about economic growth. Here we introduce the responses of the
philosopher Takashi Uchiyama.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035089.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 18 – 24 Nov. 2014 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: Parent Birds Change Alarm Calls to Protect Their Young

Both humans and animals have contrived methods to protect themselves.
Here’s a recently discovered method in birds.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000157.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #148
————————————————————————

December 29, 2014
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

——————————————————————–

In the December 2014 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Toward a Sustainable Japan: Challenges and Changes in Society and Population

- Achievements of Japan’s Feed-In Tariff Scheme and Challenges for Power
System Reform

- The Dilemma of Economic Growth – Necessity vs. Feasibility
Results of Survey on Economic Growth Released

——————————————————————–

Toward a Sustainable Japan: Challenges and Changes in Society and
Population

Junko Edahiro, chief executive of Japan for Sustainability, delivered a
keynote speech on September 10, 2014, at an international symposium in
Austria entitled “Cope with the Stress of Future Changes – Preparing
States, Regions, Cities, Organization, Families and People for the
Ongoing Transition.” It was organized by the Club of Vienna, an
international network of experts in economics, plus social, natural and
environmental sciences. This JFS Newsletter article is adapted from part
of her speech, relating to about local economy in Japan, plus values and
lifestyles toward a more sustainable world.

See also: Toward a Sustainable Japan: Fukushima Accidents Show Japan’s
Challenges
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035110.html

—————————————

On the climate change front, we have been seeing an increase in extreme
rainfall events in Japan. Because of this, the average annual frequency
of mudslides due to heavy rain and flooding has increased, and the
Japanese government has projected a 4.4 times increase in the
likelihood of river flooding at the end of this century. And we have
already seen an increased death toll from heat stroke. In 2010, over
1,700 people died from heat stroke in just one year. We can expect an
increase in these numbers if we cannot check climate change. We are also
seeing negative effects of a warmer climate on agriculture, particularly
on rice and fruit growing.

This is all at the same time as we have to cope with the stresses of
population decline and the aging of society. One hundred years ago,
Japan’s population was about 40 million people. It took 100 years to
rise to 120 million, and within 100 years, we are likely to be back to
40 million.

And along with aging, demographics are changing. We are heading toward a
time when 40 percent of the population will be over 65. Today one in
four are over 65 years old. By 2035, it will be one in three. By 2060,
two in five will be over 65.

Today we have 2.57 workers supporting each senior citizen. But in 2060,
the ratio will be just 1.19 workers per senior. This will put a huge
burden on the younger generation. Compare the aging ratios of different
countries. Italy, Sweden, Spain, Germany, France, the UK, the United
States, and many developing nations are heading toward populations with
25 or 30 percent being over 65. But Japan is far ahead of the world.

And now people are talking about how to keep the pension system alive,
because it is projected that if we cannot grow our economy, pension
payments for the elderly will have to be reduced by 20 or 40 percent.
This all gives the government and economists an excuse to try and grow
our economy. But because of population decline, more than 60 percent of
Japanese land will be unpopulated by 2050. So national land security is
another issue.

Half of the municipalities in Japan are now seen as “municipalities at
the risk of vanishing.” How is that defined? Municipalities whose
population of women aged 20 to 39 are expected to decrease to less than
half of current level in 30 years. We are usually talking about birth
rates when we talk about population. The number of women of childbearing
years has declined, resulting in a decline in the number of births.

Recently a report was released showing that close to 900 municipalities,
almost a half of Japan’s total, are at risk of vanishing. One village is
projected to have only eight women in this age group by 2040. This has
resulted in a big fuss in Japan. Mayors and citizens in towns regarded
as municipalities at the risk of vanishing are busy of organizing
committees or creating special research teams to deal with the issue.

And of course, if you have population decline, you will have workforce
decline. Now the government is trying to raise the age used to define
the workforce. Japan currently considers the workforce to be aged
between 20 and 65, but the government is trying to raise the bar, so you
will have to work until the age of 74.

If you take this newly defined working population in Japan, we now have
about 90 million workers, by 2060, 52 million, then by 2100, 26 million.
This is a huge drop in the workforce. How can we maintain our economy?
How can we fulfill the “promise” of economic growth?

All considered, I think the biggest pressure in Japan comes from the
obsession for growth on the part of economists, industry, and the
government, in spite of the expected population decrease. Companies are
busy cutting labor costs in order to maintain profits and contribute to
economic growth. So now we have many unemployed people, or low-wage
contract workers.

In the past, Japan was well known for its lifetime work system. Job
security resulted in a high level of loyalty to one’s company. But this
is no more the case. Currently one in three workers in Japan is a
contract worker. They don’t have job security, company pensions, health
coverage, and benefits like that.

Meanwhile our wage index is declining sharply, while we also have a
rising unemployment ratio and poverty ratio. Another problem is child
poverty. The government is not addressing this issue properly yet. One
in six Japanese children today is regarded as a child in poverty. This
will create a huge problem, not only today but in the future as well.

We have a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. And we have a
huge number of suicides. I think we are among the top-ranking countries
in the world in terms the number of suicides. Statistics show a huge
increase in 1998 to 1999, when economic conditions were particularly bad
and created serious unemployment. Before that, we had a kind of social
safety net, not by the government but by companies. But companies have
to compete against the global market, so they were trying to reduce that
kind of social network or social safety net. People got fired, without
any support from the government or the company. One of the
characteristics of this huge increase in suicides in Japan is the
prominence of men in their forties and fifties. The suicide ratio in
that age bracket has grown dramatically.

An opinion poll of the percentage of people who said “I’m satisfied with
myself” showed that compared to other countries surveyed, Japan had
fewer people satisfied with themselves. With the percentage of the
people who said “I have bright hope for the future” as well, Japan’s
numbers were lower.

People in Japan are suffering from mental stress because of things like
the Fukushima disasters, the lost 20 years with no economic growth, and
the huge pressures on companies and people to grow our economy.

Here is my personal list of things I think the national government needs
to have in order to deal with all the challenges and changes facing us:

* Long-term vision
The government is busy trying to deal with current economic problem. It
is very short-term-oriented. Nobody in government circles talks about
Japan in 2050 or Japan in the long-term future. They need to start doing
that.

* Adaptive policy making/management and resilience in thinking
If government set a rule or set a policy, they have to obey to the end.
We don’t have an adaptive policy making, or adaptive policy management
at government level. Under the situation that “shocks will come but we
don’t know yet, what kind of shocks and when, where to come?” as Dennis
Meadows said, we need to take the situation more flexibly and take
adaptive measures.

* Willingness for public consultation
In light with the current national government’s stance toward nuclear
and energy policies, it is apparant that they don’t have the willingness
for public consultation at government level. This attitude is a weak
point for Japan, I believe.

* Get over the obsession for growth
We must make a shift toward the steady-state economy, an economy that
can be dynamic while its size stays the same size. According to data on
ecological footprints, human activity in Japan today is consuming more
than one planet Earth. We need to reduce our demand on resources, energy
and natural capital first, and then make a shift toward the steady-state
economy.

To make such a shift, we have to measure carrying capacity, then create
systems to limit resource use to stay within the carrying capacity.
Another transition we need is toward more locally-based economies
instead of a centralized economy with too much of an emphasis on the
Tokyo metropolitan area. In Japan, locally-produced, locally-harvested
food is very popular. And locally-produced, locally-consumed energy is
becoming increasingly popular. Last year, one of the bestselling books
in Japan, with several hundred thousand copies sold, was about
initiatives to build local economies. Its popularity shows that many
Japanese people are starting to realize the significance of local
economies. JFS also has a “Local Well-Being Project” in which we
introduce to Japan useful ideas and insights from across the world –
such as the “local multiplier effect” concept.

JFS “Local Well-Being” Project
http://www.japanfs.org/en/projects/local_wellbeing/index.html

Japanese history already has a model case with a steady-state economy.
During the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1867, we had almost no exchange of
goods and services with other countries, yet we were self-sufficient,
and also had a very peaceful time, with almost no domestic conflicts.
We had a stable population at some 30 million people. Economists have
estimated the annual growth rate during that period to have been about
0.4%. There were various problems at that time, but still, you could say
that in that era, Japan had a sustainable, steady-state, happy society.

Many westerners visited Japan at the end of the Edo Period. They left
behind many writings, describing the Japanese people as being very
polite, cheerful, and looking very happy. If you come to Japan nowadays,
you might not see as many happy, cheerful people. You might think they
look like they are in some difficulty. But maybe we can make the
transition to be a cheerful and happy people again, with a certain
lifestyle that stays within the limits of growth. Can we create and show
an alternative path to survival and well-being? These are very important
things we have to think about.

Written by Junko Edahiro

——————————————————————–

Achievements of Japan’s Feed-In Tariff Scheme and Challenges for Power
System Reform

As JFS reported in an article released on November 3, 2014, Japan’s
power companies have put on hold their responses to renewable energy
applications.

JFS article: Japan’s Power Utilities to Suspend Responding to Clean
Energy Applications
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035080.html

In response to this situation, the Japanese non-profit group Institute
for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) released a paper on October 2,
2014, describing opinions and proposals regarding some power companies’
decisions to suspend responding to renewable energy applications based
on an analysis of how to move the situation in a favorable direction.
This issue of the JFS newsletter will introduce a briefing provided by
ISEP’s Hironao Matsubara on the outcome of the Feed-In Tariff (FIT)
scheme introduced in Japan in July 2012, its contribution to wider use
of renewable energy and future challenges.

—————————————

Two years have passed since the start of Japan’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT)
scheme in July 2012, which aims at a full scale unfurling of renewable
energy. Statistics are starting to show some outstanding achievements of
this FIT scheme during these first 2 years. Photovoltaic power
generation in particular has been spreading rapidly across Japan. By the
end of fiscal 2013, the cumulative total of photovoltaic installations
reached about 14 million kilowatts, almost double the fiscal 2012 level.
As a result, renewables (excluding large-scale hydropower) account for
about 4.7% of the total power generated in Japan. If large-scale
hydropower plants with an output over 10,000 kilowatts are included,
renewables’ share account for about 11%.

Meanwhile, the introduction and output of other renewable energy sources
such as wind, geothermal, small-hydro and biomass remain on a plateau.
More lead-time will be needed to overcome barriers to increases in these
energy sources. The breakdown of energy from renewable sources is 1.3%
from solar, 0.5% from wind, 0.2% for geothermal, 1.6% for small-hydro,
and 1.1% for biomass.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry began releasing data on the
FIT scheme, such as the amount of installed capacity and the number of
facilities per municipality, on its website in fiscal 2014. Data on
total generation output nationwide is available in the Comprehensive
Energy Statistics released by the Agency for Natural Resources and
Energy and in other sources.

From July 2012 to the end of August 2014, newly installed generation
capacity from renewables certified by the FIT scheme exceeded 72 million
kilowatts. About 96 percent of this capacity is from solar power, and 52
percent of that figure comes from large-scale solar facilities with
output capacity of over 1 megawatt. The capacities of other renewables
come to about 1.3 million kilowatts each for wind power and biomass,
about 300,000 kilowatts for medium and small hydropower, with only
14,000 kilowatts for geothermal.

To promote the development of these categories of renewable sources even
further, it will be necessary to steadily overcome challenges such as
streamlining the environmental assessment process, reforming land use
zoning, building consensus in society, and constructing the
infrastructure needed for a stable electricity supply. About 17% of
newly approved facilities have started operation with a capacity of
about 12 million kilowatts. Adding facilities that had already started
operation just before the start of the FIT scheme (under previous
renewable energy promotion laws), total capacity exceeds 21 million
kilowatts. About 80% of renewable-generated energy is from solar power,
12% from wind and 6% from biomass.

See Figure 1: Cumulative status of systems certified and systems in
operation under the feed-in tariff scheme as of the end of
August 2014
Graph created by ISEP based on data from the Agency for Natural Resources
and Energy, Japan
http://www.japanfs.org/en/files/nl_150124_01_en.jpg

Verifying the situation of certified facilities according to power
service area reveals that Kyushu Electric Power Co. has certified a
total capacity of about 20 million kilowatts including pre-FIT scheme
facilities (see Figure 2). This is equal to the generation capacity of
all power facilities held by Kyushu Electric as of the end of FY2012,
which is estimated to be sufficient for nearly 120% of maximum power
demand in FY2013.

See Figure 2: Capacity of FIT certified facilities in each power
generation area and totals for eastern and west/central
Japan as of the end of August 2014 (including pre-existing
capacities now included under the FIT scheme)
Source: Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Prepared by ISEP
http://www.japanfs.org/en/files/nl_150124_02_en.jpg

Kyushu Electric is the only power company where total certified capacity
exceeds the maximum power demand, and Tohoku Electric Power Co. has
certified capacity equal to 93% of the maximum demand, accounting for
about 73% of the capacity of all facilities in the Tohoku area. On the
other hand, the Kanto, Chubu and Kansai areas with high electricity
demand have certified only a limited amount of capacity, accounting for
between 20% and 40% of maximum demand. Looking at the capacity in the
comprehensive areas of East Japan (including Tokyo) and West/Central
Japan (including Osaka and Nagoya) where electricity generation systems
have been accommodated to each other in order to enable the use of an
interconnected power system, the ratio of certified renewable energy
facilities covers around 50% of maximum demand.

Although the FIT system obliges power companies to establish connections
to the grid as an important prerequisite, some service areas are
beginning to experience difficulties with connecting to power grid
systems owned and managed by major power companies. Areas with a high
concentration of solar power system connections in particular are facing
difficulties; they have problems not only with thermal capacity of
regional power grids, but also with the need for expensive grid
enhancement required under current connection rules, when capacity
shortages of extra-high voltage lines need to be upgraded. At present,
the first company initiating a system connection in this case is obliged
to bear the total construction fee for the upgrade.

In Europe where power grids are regarded as public infrastructure, power
grid connection and operation costs are generally covered by
transmission system operators (TSO) and distribution system operators
(DSO), minimizing the burden on power producers. Fees are collected from
wheeling (electric power transmission) charges under full-cost pricing
system that distributes costs thinly and broadly over a long period of
time. In Europe, renewable energy sources are given first priority for
grid connections.

By contrast, in Japan, the fact that power producers have to bear the
connection cost is causing the abovementioned problems. Despite the
obligation to connect (with some exceptions), some power companies are
virtually refusing to establish connections.

In Europe, the separation of utilities into electricity generation and
transmission operators was legislated under an EU directive, resulting
in extensive market facilitation and electricity deregulation. It is
imperative for Japan to promote the separation of utilities into
generation and transmission operators as soon as possible by
implementing systemic reforms already planned and by establishing a
structure that will enable power transmitters and distributors to
systematically facilitate regional power grids without further loss of
time.

On September 24, 2014, Kyushu Electric announced that it will suspend
its responses to new applications for grid connections from renewable
energy producers. Then, Tohoku Electric, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and
Shikoku Electric Power Co. all made similar announcements on September
30. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a new
Working Group on Grid Connection of Renewable Energy under the New and
Renewable Energy Subcommittee, and announced its proposal for reviewing
rules regarding grid connection based on estimates of potential
connection capacity from solar power generation to the power grids owned
by each power company.

The reason power utilities have suspended their responses to
applications is reportedly the excessive amount of capacity that would
be connected to the power grids –especially from solar power generation
facilities — certified under the FIT scheme. The total amount for all
applications was a great deal larger than the acceptable capacity of all
power utility companies, as estimated under the operating conditions of
existing power grids. At the working group meeting to review grid
connection problems and rules, calculations of acceptable capacity from
solar power generation facilities to the power grids owned by each power
company were discussed in an open session for the first time.

However, the calculating method used to estimate of power companies’
capacity for power grid connection from renewable energy sources is not
likely to contribute to the full scale unfurling of renewable energy use.
This method presupposes the existing connection and operation guidelines,
and factors such as adjustment of supply-demand balance and transmission
of power outside the service area through grid interconnections are not
usually taken into account in Japan. However, examples from European
countries show that it is possible to further increase the amount of
renewable energy by reviewing such connection and operation guidelines.

Therefore, reformation of power grid operation and the conventional
electricity system is an urgent task for Japan. Since many stakeholders
are involved in this issue, including power companies, renewable energy
producers and local interested parties, a fair and transparent process
of deliberation is essential to promote full-scale implementation of
renewable energy development.

Principally, taking rules that guarantee priority access to the grid for
renewable energy as a starting point, it will be necessary to review
guidelines for existing base-load power sources — such as coal-fired
power generation and currently suspended nuclear power generation –
while disclosing the necessary information. Nuclear power generation
should not be regarded as a base-load power source under the same
standards as those that were applied previous to the Fukushima nuclear
accident in 2011.

Furthermore, it is important to comprehensively reform the electric
power system and review energy policy. To this end, short-term measures
to deal with the problems that have been identified will not suffice; a
medium- to long-term vision for energy policy as well as clear and
ambitious goals for introducing renewable energy and energy conservation
must also be set.

Although the Procurement Price Calculation Committee already functions
as an official third-party body for deliberations regarding the FIT
scheme, the New and Renewable Energy Subcommittee of the Advisory
Committee for Natural Resources and Energy also started to review the
scheme, and its proposed revisions were released on December 18, 2014.
This review of the FIT scheme includes practical measures for progress
in its reform in FY2015. At the same time, close coordination between
these committees will be required in reconsidering procurement costs in
line with the main goal of maximum adoption of renewable energy.

Meanwhile, the Working Group on System Design under the Electricity
System Reform Subcommittee has been studying detailed designs for
reforming Japan’s electricity systems. The process toward designing a
full-scale electricity market and separating power generation and
transmission should be open to the public. In addition, systems and
policies that encourage a broad introduction of renewable energy that is
also sustainable in the medium- to long-term perspective are needed.

Written by Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies

See also:
Current Status of Renewable Energy in Japan
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035124.html

——————————————————————–

The Dilemma of Economic Growth – Necessity vs. Feasibility
Results of Survey on Economic Growth Released

Quite a few municipalities in Japan have developed and are using their
own happiness or affluence indexes. Meanwhile, the 2014 grand prize for
paperbacks went to a book entitled “Satoyama Capitalism.” This book
describes biomass power generation using local wood resources to meet
local power demand, and highlights the non-monetary happiness and
feeling of security brought about by being part of an independent
economic subsystem re-constructed parallel to the mainstream, bottom-
line capitalist money system. Several hundred thousand copies of
the book have been sold, although the book states that an economy and
society based on Satoyama capitalism may reduce GDP and the economic
growth rate. This shows that many people are interested in more than
just economic growth.

At the same time, political and economic news reports continue to cover
economic growth strategies almost every day, confirming that it is a
given fact that economic growth is indispensable to the government,
business and industrial sectors. The government sets economic targets
such as X percent of year-on-year growth every year, holding fast to its
assumption that the economy must continue to grow.

Under these circumstances, what does the public think about economic
growth? What image do they have of GDP growth as an indicator of
economic scale? Is there any misfit between their thoughts or images and
the facts?

Here we introduce the results of a survey on attitudes towards the
economy conducted in October 2014 by the Institute for Studies in
Happiness, Economy and Society, a JFS partner organization. The survey,
conducted on October 25 and 26, 2014 by the Japanese online research
company Macromill Inc., was completed by 500 citizens in their twenties
through seventies registered with the company as monitors. The
percentages of the sample population selected for the survey — in terms
of age, sex, and residence in metropolitan areas, mid-to-small size
local cities, and rural areas — were made proportionate to demographics
identified by Japan’s national census.

Here we introduce the results for three questions from this survey:
“What do people think about economic growth?”, “What do people think
about the necessity and feasibility of continued GDP growth?” and “What
do people think of the so-called ‘myths’ of economic growth?”

What do people think about economic growth?

To the question, “Do you think economic growth is desirable or
undesirable?” more than 80% answered “desirable,” or “rather desirable”
while fewer than 10% answered “undesirable,” or “rather undesirable,”
and about 8% answered “not sure.”

What do people think about the necessity and feasibility of continued
GDP growth?

The survey asked people whether they think continued GDP growth is
necessary or not, in four different contexts; that is, “for Japanese
society,” “for the community you live in,” “for Japanese businesses,”
and “for your own life.” To all of these questions, about 80% of
respondents replied that it was “necessary” or “somewhat necessary.”

Specifically, the largest number of people (85.2%) said that continued
GDP growth was necessary or somewhat necessary “for Japanese businesses.”
Those who said “for their own life” were the fewest (70.0%). It is
interesting to note that the number of people who said “for Japanese
businesses” was larger than those who said “for their own life.” If
there is a difference in people’s perception of the need for economic
growth between themselves as individuals and for businesses, what does
it mean?

Next, the survey asked about the feasibility of continued GDP growth. In
response to the question “Do you think that it will be possible for GDP
to keep growing?” about 40% said “possible” or “somewhat possible.” The
percentage of those who replied “impossible” or “somewhat impossible”
was also about 40%. About 17% said “not sure.”

Thus, about 80% of people replied that continued GDP growth was
“necessary” or “somewhat necessary.” However, only about 40% thought
that it was “possible” or “somewhat possible.” These results are quite
interesting as they show that there are people who think that continued
GDP growth is necessary but impossible.

To be more specific about these conflicting sentiments, of the total of
500 respondents, 158 people replied that continued GDP growth is
“necessary” or “somewhat necessary” but also replied that it is
“impossible” or “somewhat impossible.” In other words, nearly a third of
respondents thought that continued GDP growth is necessary but not
possible.

The survey asked people to give reasons for their answers in an
open-ended question. “Declining population,” “limits to the Earth,” and
“impacts of globalization” were the most common reasons given by
respondents who thought that continued GDP growth is necessary but
“impossible” or “somewhat impossible.”

On the other hand, many of those who replied that continued GDP growth
is “possible” or “somewhat possible” expressed their expectation for
future policies, technologies and efforts by people.

What do people think of the so-called “myths of economic growth? ”

People consider the “myths of economic growth” to be the assumptions
that GDP or economic growth will solve various problems such as
unemployment, insufficient wages, economic disparities, misfortune, and
environmental problems. The survey also asked what people think about
each of these problems.

Results showed that over 60% answered “Yes” or “Generally yes” to the
questions “Do you think that unemployment will decrease as GDP grows?”
and “Do you think that many people’s wages will increase as GDP grows? ”
Thus, the majority thinks that “the jobless problem and wages will get
better along with growth in GDP.”

In contrast, only about 20% answered “yes” or “generally yes” to the
questions “Do you think that economic disparities will decrease as GDP
grows?” and “Do you think that environmental problems will improve as
GDP grows?” That is, fewer people think that economic disparities and
environmental problems will improve along with growth in GDP.

Concerning the question “will more people become happy as GDP grows,”
42% answered “yes” or “generally yes,” while 42.2% answered “no” or
“generally no.” Whether economic growth is associated with happiness or
not is an interesting issue that divided people’s opinion in half.

Statistics show that, in Japan over that last 30 to 40 years, GDP has
grown while the overall unemployment rate, wage coefficient, Gini
coefficient (a common measure of income disparity) and life satisfaction
have all become worse. All of the “myths of economic growth” turned out
to be just that – myths. While only a few people believe in the myth of
economic growth concerning economic disparity, why do over half of
people still believe the myths of economic growth concerning
unemployment and wages? People feel differently about happiness, but
what are the reasons for these differences?

We would like to pursue these issues and keep on looking at surveys
about economic growth like this one.

Written by Junko Edahiro

*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*
Season’s Greetings from JFS
*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for
the interest, encouraging feedback, and continuous support we have received
from our readers and supporters during the past year.

In the coming year 2015, we intend to keep moving forward and
contributing to efforts to make our world more sustainable.
To this end we welcome your collaboration and feedback at any time.

Please note that our office will be closed from December 30 to January 5
and any requests received during that period will be handled after that
date.

We wish you a happy and more sustainable new year in 2015!

Japan for Sustainability

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- “Current Status of Renewable Energy in Japan” page updated.
(2014/12/25)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035124.html

- This month’s cartoon:
“A drag on the economy” on the Eco Cartoons Page (2014/12/8)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035116.html

- JFS Newsletter No.147 (November 2014)

Toward a Sustainable Japan: Fukushima Accidents Show
Japan’s Challenges(2014/12/19)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035110.html
What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview
with Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama (Part 2)(2014/12/9)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035111.html
Arase Dam: Japan’s First Dam Removal Project Underway(2014/11/28)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035105.html

- Updated contents in
“Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future”

Miracle Report:
Microorganisms: Food for Future? (2014/12/29)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000176.html
Cuba’s Measures to Prepare for Hurricanes (2014/12/21)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000174.html
Thinking About the Environment through Food (2014/12/13)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000170.html
Dance 4 Peace! (2014/12/2)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000165.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

To unsubscribe, please click the following link and fill in the form
E-mail Newsletter Unsubscribe:
http://www.japanfs.org/acmailer/unsubscribe.html

Back issues of the newsletter are also available.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/index.html

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qXZr9t
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  ”Japan for Sustainability, http://www.japanfs.org/index.html.”

—————————————————————————————————————————-
*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*--* Season’s Greetings from JFS *–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*–*
We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the interest, encouraging feedback, and continuous support we have received from our readers and supporters during the past year.
In the coming year 2015, we intend to keep moving forward and contributing to efforts to make our world more sustainable. To this end we welcome your collaboration and feedback at any time.
Please note that our office will be closed from December 30 to January 5 and any requests received during that period will be handled after that date.
We wish you a happy and more sustainable new year in 2015!
Japan for Sustainability
========================================================================= ** Energy / Climate Change **
90% of Public Comments on Strategic Energy Plan Call For ‘Nuclear-Free Japan’ http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035120.html =========================================================================
On April 11, 2014, the Cabinet of Japan approved a national Strategic Energy Plan in which nuclear energy is determined to be an “important base-load electricity source.” Prior to this Cabinet decision, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) called for public comments on the proposal. The public had one month from December 6, 2013, to submit their opinions on the plan. The results showed that the majority of opinions called for a nuclear-free Japan either by advocating for the decommissioning of reactors or by opposing the restart of nuclear power plants.
The Asahi Shimbun later published an article on November 12, 2014, stating that 94% of public comments received on the new Strategic Energy Plan called for a “nuclear-free society,” whereas only 1% were in favor of “maintaining or further promoting nuclear energy.”
Let’s rewind for a moment to the summer of 2012, when the then-ruling Democratic Party of Japan led by Yoshihiko Noda gathered public comments and held public hearings in several locations to encourage a national discussion on the desired level of nuclear reliance in the 2030s. Of the approximately 89,000 public comments received, 87% supported the Zero Scenario (zero nuclear power by 2030). The Noda Cabinet also referred to the results of public hearings and opinion polls conducted by the media, concluding that the majority of the public was calling for a nuclear-independent society. A policy was established to halt the operation of nuclear power plants by sometime in the 2030s in an effort to more closely align political policy with public opinion.
But after Shinzo Abe took office and formed a coalition government between the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito Party, METI issued a draft Strategic Energy Plan in which nuclear power was described as an “important base-load electricity source.” According to METI’s announcement in February 2014, around 19,000 public comments were received. But while the Ministry disclosed some of the major comments, it did not provide the percentages of yeas and nays–the crux of the public debate on nuclear power plants. Mr. Toshimitsu Mogi, Minister of METI at the time, explained in the Diet that the comments were analyzed “not on the basis of numbers (of for or against) but on contents.”
This led one Asahi Shimbun journalist to take on what the government had neglected: to find out the yes-no ratio himself. He requested that METI disclose every single comment it received and obtained, at his own expense of over 200,000 yen (about U.S.$1,850), a copy of all 20,929 pages of comments, which, if piled up, would have been over one meter in height.
It took him about two months, while doing his regular work, to read them all, marking a circle on “yes” comments and an x on “no”s. The total number of comments turned out to be 18,711, counting comments that were multiple pages long as one. All told, he counted 17,665 noes–94.4% of all comments–asking for abolishment or opposing the restart of nuclear plants. Meanwhile, 213 comments, or 1.1%, supported keeping or promoting nuclear plants, and 833 expressed other opinions, making up 4.5%. As predicted, the overwhelming majority of public comments were against nuclear power plants!
A survey conducted by the Asahi Shimbun in late October showed that 29% supported the Abe administration’s planned restart of nuclear plants, a smaller percentage than the 55% who said no. The newspaper has taken the same survey nine times since June 2013, coming up with the same trend again and again.
“I went through all of the comments essentially by myself. METI could have done it in a week. It just proves that the government did not want the ratio to come out,” commented the journalist. “The Strategic Energy Plan which, again, calls for nuclear power as a key energy source, and the actions the government is taking to restart nuclear plants are out of touch with public opinion. At least I am glad that I brought these numbers–94% “no” and 1% “yes”–to light.”
Public comments, of course, do not represent 100% of public opinion. But the difference between 94% and 1% is far from negligible. The current administration, which has all the intention of promoting nuclear power plants without ever revealing the yes-no numbers of public comments will no doubt fail our trust and our future.
There are many, many people in the world who are paying close attention to (or worrying about) the current state of Fukushima and Japan’s energy policy. Even though our government is promoting nuclear plants, I want the world to know that a meager 1% of public comments are in favor of the government’s plans, and that 94% demand no nuclear power.
Junko Edahiro
========================================================================= ** Corporate / CSR **
Kao Only Japanese Company Selected as Industry Group Leader in 2014 DJSI World Review http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035123.html =========================================================================
Kao Corporation, a major Japanese company providing household products such as cosmetics and detergents for general consumers, announced on September 19, 2014, that it was included in the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World, and was the only Japanese company selected as an Industry Group Leader. Kao earned the highest marks in the Household & Personal Products Industry Group to which it belongs.
Under DJSI, one of the major global indices for socially responsible investment, about 2,500 listed companies in 59 industries are assessed every year. The fiscal 2014 assessment included 319 companies including 21 Japanese companies. Under the scheme, an Industry Group Leader is selected for each of 24 industry groups covering the 59 industries.
Kao gained high marks for its innovative strategies to produce high value-added new products and its supply chain management, efforts to reduce environmental impacts through life cycle assessment as well as improved environmental efficiency in production facilities, and management reform to improve its corporate governance.
===================================================== What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability       22 – 28 Dec. 2014 =====================================================
- We updated on “Current Status of Renewable Energy in Japan” page:  (2014/12/25)  http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035124.html
===================================================== Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability       16 – 28 Dec. 2014 =====================================================
Toward a Sustainable Japan: Fukushima Accidents Show Japan’s Challenges JFS Newsletter No.147 (November 2014)
Junko Edahiro, chief executive of Japan for Sustainability delivered a keynote speech on September 10, 2014, at an international symposium “Cope with the Stress of Future Changes – Preparing States, Region, Cities, Organization, Families and People for the Ongoing Transition” organized by the Club of Vienna, an international network of experts in economics, social, natural and environmental sciences. This JFS Newsletter article introduces the excerpts of her speech, Japan’s challenges revealed from Fukushima nuclear accidents. http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035110.html
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:- What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future       ( 16 – 28 Dec. 2014 ) -:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
Miracle Report: Cuba’s Measures to Prepare for Hurricanes
No matter how much progress our civilization has made, we cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring. Nevertheless, new efforts will make it possible to minimize damage when natural disasters occur. In this article, we will focus on the efforts of Cuba, the largest country in the Caribbean, located in Central America. http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000174.html
Miracle Report: Microorganisms: Food for Future?
There is a company that develops new types of food using an aqueous alga as an ingredient. The company is euglena Co. in Japan, named after the scientific name of the alga, Euglena. http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000176.html
# # #
Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful information to our readers all around the globe.
Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html
***** Support Us ***** If you find our information and activities unique and valuable, we appreciate your support! http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html
***** Online community for young people around the world ***** Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future http://miracle-kids.net/en/
***** Contact ***** We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Japan for Sustainability (JFS) Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.
—————————————————————————————————————————–
 <<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 9 – 15 Dec. 2014===========================================================
** Civil Society **Residents Work Together to Restore Coastal Pine Groves Damaged by
Disasters
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035119.html
=========================================================================Tohoku Fukko Nikki (Tohoku Reconstruction Diary) is a weekly article in
an eastern Japan newspaper called the Tokyo Shimbun. The weekly article
delivers news and stories on reconstruction efforts in the areas
devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The series of
articles is submitted by JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society, a
certified non-profit organization, about an initiative dubbed the
“Yui-Yui Project,” which supports victims of the earthquake.This month, JFS introduces an article published on April 18, 2014,
featuring residents’ efforts to restore a pine grove that used to
protect their town.If you ever travelled along this area of Japan, did you notice the pine
groves planted along the coast for the protection from high tides? In
the Sendai Plain of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, pine trees were planted
for rice paddy development along the coast, in the era of Masamune Date
(1567 – 1636), the first feudal lord of Sendai. These pine groves served
as “bochorin” (tide-water control forests), minimizing damage from storm
surges, tsunamis and winds, and allowing for rice farming.The massive tsunami caused by the 2011 earthquake, however, swept away
1,400 hectares of the groves. The remaining portion of the groves had
been left unmanaged for nearly three years, and as a result, invasive
species such as the locust tree and desert false indigo bush have grown
aggressively. Knowing the importance of coastal groves in disaster
mitigation, local residents and experts had been expressing the need for
clearing the underbrush to restore the groves’ functions, but their
voices had not been heard for a long time.One of the reasons was that four coastal villages that used to be in
charge of managing the grove in the town of Watari, south to Sendai,
were severely damaged by the tsunami, leading to the dissolution of two
villages and a severe drop in household numbers in two other villages.
They dropped from 120 down to 20 households. Furthermore, in the midst
of a huge amount of urgent reconstruction work, less urgent tasks such
as the maintenance of the coastal grove were assigned a low priority.
Financial constraints in the national and local governments also made it
difficult. These challenges made residents think about solutions. After
the disaster “reconstruction work” was done, how could they support each
other in managing and maintaining the pine groves and other functions of
their communities?In response, every weekend for about eight weeks starting January 12,
2014, the Watari Green Belt Project (Watari GBP) cleared undergrowth of
invasive species in the groves. This was a citizen-run project to
restore and maintain the groves, with the participation of a total of
213 residents from Watari Town together with volunteers from all over
Japan. In the past, the groves were maintained exclusively by the
efforts of local communities, but now the project aims to involve the
whole town plus volunteers from across the country in rejuvenating and
managing the groves, and restoring the beautiful coastlines with the
green belts. The Watari GBP has also teamed up with local elementary
schools in providing integrated educational programs on seeding or plant
nurseries to nurture the next generations of the activities.The earthquake disaster may not be remembered forever, but people will
continue to live there. What can we do to preserve beautiful landscapes
and support communities? We will continue exploring solutions.Kousuke Matsushima, head at the Watari Green Belt Project’s office=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
9 – 15 Dec. 2014
=====================================================What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview with
Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama (Part 2)
JFS Newsletter No.147 (November 2014)The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, with JFS as
its outreach partner, is undertaking a project, “What Is Economic
Growth? — Interviews with 100 People,” in collaboration with Patagonia
Japan. The project aims to encourage people to think about economic
growth by asking specialists from many different fields to share their
ideas about economic growth.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035111.html-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 9 – 15 Dec. 2014 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-Miracle Report: Thinking About the Environment through FoodIn an event called Cook It Raw, chefs from around the world examine how
human’s impact on the global environment is shaped by what and how we
eat.
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000170.html# # #Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

<<< JFS WEEKLY >>>  2 -  8 Dec. 2014=========================================================================
** Well-Being **Study Project Begins Seeking Happy Local Communities
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035113.html
=========================================================================What factors are essential for local regions and their residents to be
happy? This is the theme of a new study project named “Local-Happiness
Lab,” which recently started in Japan. We would like to report on part
of this study by reprinting an article from the website of the Institute
for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, of which Japan for
Sustainability is an outreach partner.”Chiiki Mirai Daigaku–Social Design School to cultivate human resources
for solving local issues,” established by six companies and
organizations, including issue+design and Hakuhodo Inc., started the
Local-Happiness Lab project in April 2014. The project aims to find a
mechanism to boost regional happiness and happiness of residents, with
the theme of essential elements for making regions and their residents
feel happy?The study notes four factors as being essential for making people feel
happy; self-realization and growth, relationships and thanks,
forward-thinking and positivity, and independence and keeping one’s own
pace. Adding one more factor, safety and reassurance, to these four
factors, these five indexes were used to measure the level of
achievement of local happiness. The project considers people to be happy
when they have opportunities for growth and self-realization, for
maintaining important relationships, for ensuring independence, and for
acting positively, together with the certainty of basic necessities like
food and safety from attack.A survey was conducted on these five indexes, targeting 15,000 people
across the nation, as part of this study project. For this evaluation,
the survey comprised two groups of questions in order to investigate
actual conditions from two aspects: “wind” questions focusing on the
feelings of individual residents regarding each of the five indexes, and
“earth” questions focusing on social receptivity and social climate to
support these indexes.The results are as follows. In the responses to the wind questions that
measure how happy an individual resident feels, Okinawa Prefecture was
ranked top, and several prefectures in Kyushu were ranked high, while
big city regions were also ranked high, including Tokyo (2nd), Hyogo
(6th) and Kyoto (9th). In responses to the earth questions that measure
social aspects the local region, Okinawa again finished top by a large
margin over second place, and three prefectures in Kyushu also ranked in
the top five. Interestingly, Kochi Prefecture which ranked 44th on the
wind questions, ranked fourth here, while Tokyo, second in the wind
questions, ranked 19th. In the overall ranking, Okinawa finished top
with a much higher score than other regions, thus showing Okinawa’s
richness in factors related to the growth of local happiness. Kagoshima
Prefecture was ranked second, Kumamoto Prefecture was third, and
Miyazaki Prefecture was fourth. Six prefectures in the Kyushu-Okinawa
regions appeared in the top ten. However, Tokyo finished fifth overall,
while Hyogo, Ishikawa and Iwate prefectures also finished in the top
ten, which shows that local regions with good “wind” and “earth” scores
are scattered across the nation.From Happiness Studies News, Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy
and Society
http://ishes.org/en/happy_news/=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **Suntory Sets Future Vision and Aims for Creating Sustainable Global
Environment
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035115.html
=========================================================================Suntory Holdings announced on January 30, 2014, that it has formulated
the Suntory Environmental Vision toward 2050 and has set 2020 targets in
light of its globalizing corporate activities. Based on the two pillars
of “Preserving and Regenerating the Natural Environment” and “Reducing
Environmental Impact,” Suntory promotes environmental management
globally to realize its corporate philosophy — In Harmony with People
and Nature.The Environmental Vision toward 2050 has set two challenges for that
year, with the aim of handing over a sustainable global environment to
the next generation. One is active involvement in preservation and
regeneration activities of the natural environment in major countries
where it conducts business, and the other is to halve its businesses’
environmental impacts.For Preserving and Regenerating the Natural Environment, the target for
2020 is to protect wild birds in Japan and overseas and expand its
Natural Water Sanctuaries that supply groundwater to its production
facilities to 12,000 hectares, which is double the area Suntory requires
to secure its groundwater use. It has also set targets for reduction of
water use at the Group’s plants and carbon dioxide emissions throughout
the entire Suntory Group value chain by 24 percent and 35 percent,
respectively, under the pillar of Reducing Environmental Impact.Since 2011, Suntory has won first prize in the Environmental Brand
Survey in Japan for three consecutive years. The survey is conducted by
Nikkei Business Publications, asking 560 major companies in Japan about
their environmental efforts.=====================================================
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
2 -  8 Dec. 2014
=====================================================- This month’s cartoon:
“A drag on the economy” on the Eco Cartoons Page (2014/12/8)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035116.html-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
(  2 -  8 Dec. 2014 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-Miracle Report: Dance 4 Peace!What is your image of “studying?” Quietly listening to the teacher?
Reading a book at your desk? Wouldn’t it be fun to have a class where
you learn while dancing?
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000165.html# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Approaches Featuring Smart Agriculture Using Solar Power, Small
Hydroelectric Plants Using Dam Wall to Vitalize Japanese Farm Villages
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035101.html
=========================================================================In Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, renewable energy businesses have started
to spread, particularly in agricultural villages and mountainous areas.
Below we share a report about the efforts in the prefecture to introduce
renewable energy businesses.Editor’s Note: This article is reproduced in edited form with permission
from Smart Japan. Smart Japan is an online media services provider
specializing in energy conservation, storage, and generation.Hakui City with a population of 23,000 in Ishikawa Prefecture is an
agricultural town with rice paddies occupying close to 40 percent of the
whole area of the city. The city, however, has a problem that active
rice farms have decreased in number, while abandoned rice paddies have
increased. To tackle the situation, an initiative to introduce a
business model incorporating solar power generation is underway, and
this is expected to provide high levels of revenue.There is a block of agricultural land in Hakui as large as 500,000
square meters, 90 percent of which is abandoned farmland. Using land
rented from its owners, the project aims to revitalize the area by
operating a solar power generation business using farm lands, along with
striving for success in agricultural operations.The solar power business can be profitable by selling surplus
electricity. In other words, this project can be called a solar sharing
project. Concerned parties have high expectations for the success of
the project, as the project will be a good model to revitalize abandoned
farmlands all across Japan, if successful.Another approach in Ishikawa Prefecture is the Smart Agriculture System
project now under development. The system targets greenhouse cultivation
and will make it possible to keep temperature and lighting in greenhouses
at the most appropriate levels using solar power generated and collected
by applying a solar tracking system, which allows for highly efficient
power generation.Moreover, the Smart Agriculture System applies a thermoelectric
generation system in combination with a solar power system. The coolant
used in the solar tracking system is heated to generate vapor and the
vapor generates power. The combined use of the two generation systems
makes it possible to transform natural energies into electric energy
with high efficiency.The project will proceed with demonstrative operation of the systems
applied to existing greenhouses to verify its effects. It is expected to
reduce electricity expenses and increase harvests during an extended
season.Building Small Hydroelectric Plants to Make Use of Highest
National Rainfall LevelsIshikawa Prefecture has large mountainous areas in its southern regions
and there exist many hydroelectric power plants. With the largest amount
of annual precipitation in Japan, the prefecture is an appropriate area
for hydroelectric power generation. Under the leadership of local
governments, approaches to build small-scale hydroelectric generation
plants using water streams such as agricultural waterways have started
and are spreading.One of the targeted facilities to be used for building a small
hydroelectric plant is an erosion-control dam wall constructed in every
region in the prefecture. The facility is intended to prevent damage
from landslides. A project to build a small hydroelectric plant will
start very soon at the Hirasagawa erosion-control dam wall, the largest
wall of its kind in Ishikawa Prefecture.The project plans to lay a water channel starting from the upstream side
of the wall and reaching to the generator, which is installed at an
underground site just below the wall, and to introduce water through the
channel. The water head will be about 20 meters and the amount of water
per second will peak at 1.5 cubic meters. Using this amount of water,
198 kilowatts of electricity is expected by adopting an S shape waterwheel,
which allows efficient power generation with small amounts of water.The project is scheduled to start operating the generator in February
2015. If the plant is able to operate 290 days a year, its annual
electricity capacity will be about one million kWh. The profit from
selling the electricity will be about 33 million yen (about
U.S.$305,555), and the initial investment of 300 million yen (about
U.S.$2.8 million) will be recovered in 15 years.There has been little renewable energy introduced into Ishikawa
prefecture to date. However, from now on, solar power generation is
expected to spread in agricultural villages, and effective small-scale
approaches will increase. It is hopeful that a new model of agriculture
utilizing renewable energy will be born in Ishikawa Prefecture.Source: Smart Japan (in Japanese)
http://www.itmedia.co.jp/smartjapan/=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **LIXIL Establishes Women Empowerment Plan Called WeDo Action
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035103.html
=========================================================================LIXIL Group, a Japanese leading company in the living and housing
solutions industry, announced on August 4, 2014, that it had established
a women empowerment plan, named WeDo Action, which promotes social
diversity. “WeDo” is an acronym for “Women Empowerment in the
Diversified Organization.”Focusing on the three pillars of the “Declaration on Action,” announced
and supported by Japan’s Cabinet Office, LIXIL Group has incorporated
various concrete action plans into WeDo Action. The three pillars and
their plans are as follows: (1) taking actions and sending messages
ourselves involves delivering a broad message about the importance of
the role of women in society both in and outside the company,
encouraging the promotion of women to management positions, and
increasing the proportion of recent female graduates to more than 30% of
new hires; (2) disrupting the status quo means encouraging the promotion
of women and strengthening policies which support the balance between
work and family; and (3) developing networking focuses on supporting the
voluntary activities of women so that women can enjoy their work, and
calling for men to support this endeavor.The Group is promoting a corporate culture that respects diversity,
equal opportunity, and meritocracy, and puts these ideas into practice.
In January 2013, the Group issued its Diversity Declaration, and has
been adopting proactive human resource policies and improving the work
environment in order to advance the promotion of diversely talented
people. In March 2014, the Group was jointly selected as a “Nadeshiko
Brand” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo
Stock Exchange for their outstanding achievement in encouraging the
empowerment of women among listed companies.=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
25 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2014
=====================================================Arase Dam: Japan’s First Dam Removal Project Underway
JFS Newsletter No.147 (November 2014)

According to 2014 statistics released by the Japan Dam Foundation, as of
March 31, 2013, there were 2,732 dams in Japan, including those under
construction. Dams have been built mainly for flood control, household
water resource reservation, industrial and agricultural water use,
hydroelectric power generation and river environment management through
stabilization of river flows.

While dams benefit us in daily life, adverse impacts of dam construction
are becoming more of a source of controversy worldwide as a result of
problems such as destruction of natural environments and local communities.
Even after completion, dams have no small impact on the entire basin,
surrounding ecosystems and people living in the watershed, because water
retained by the dam deteriorates in quality and its temperature rises.
This issue of the JFS Newsletter features the Arase Dam in Kumamoto
Prefecture, the very first dam to be dismantled in Japan at the urging
of local residents who have been suffering from the dam’s impacts.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035105.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 25 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2014 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What is Buy Nothing Day?

People around the world spend one whole day a year without spending! Why
on Earth would they do such a thing?
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000160.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html

***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.WSSD

————————————————————————————————————————————
<<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 25 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2014=========================================================================
** Energy / Climate Change **Approaches Featuring Smart Agriculture Using Solar Power, Small
Hydroelectric Plants Using Dam Wall to Vitalize Japanese Farm Villages
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035101.html
=========================================================================In Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, renewable energy businesses have started
to spread, particularly in agricultural villages and mountainous areas.
Below we share a report about the efforts in the prefecture to introduce
renewable energy businesses.Editor’s Note: This article is reproduced in edited form with permission
from Smart Japan. Smart Japan is an online media services provider
specializing in energy conservation, storage, and generation.Hakui City with a population of 23,000 in Ishikawa Prefecture is an
agricultural town with rice paddies occupying close to 40 percent of the
whole area of the city. The city, however, has a problem that active
rice farms have decreased in number, while abandoned rice paddies have
increased. To tackle the situation, an initiative to introduce a
business model incorporating solar power generation is underway, and
this is expected to provide high levels of revenue.There is a block of agricultural land in Hakui as large as 500,000
square meters, 90 percent of which is abandoned farmland. Using land
rented from its owners, the project aims to revitalize the area by
operating a solar power generation business using farm lands, along with
striving for success in agricultural operations.The solar power business can be profitable by selling surplus
electricity. In other words, this project can be called a solar sharing
project. Concerned parties have high expectations for the success of
the project, as the project will be a good model to revitalize abandoned
farmlands all across Japan, if successful.Another approach in Ishikawa Prefecture is the Smart Agriculture System
project now under development. The system targets greenhouse cultivation
and will make it possible to keep temperature and lighting in greenhouses
at the most appropriate levels using solar power generated and collected
by applying a solar tracking system, which allows for highly efficient
power generation.Moreover, the Smart Agriculture System applies a thermoelectric
generation system in combination with a solar power system. The coolant
used in the solar tracking system is heated to generate vapor and the
vapor generates power. The combined use of the two generation systems
makes it possible to transform natural energies into electric energy
with high efficiency.The project will proceed with demonstrative operation of the systems
applied to existing greenhouses to verify its effects. It is expected to
reduce electricity expenses and increase harvests during an extended
season.Building Small Hydroelectric Plants to Make Use of Highest
National Rainfall LevelsIshikawa Prefecture has large mountainous areas in its southern regions
and there exist many hydroelectric power plants. With the largest amount
of annual precipitation in Japan, the prefecture is an appropriate area
for hydroelectric power generation. Under the leadership of local
governments, approaches to build small-scale hydroelectric generation
plants using water streams such as agricultural waterways have started
and are spreading.One of the targeted facilities to be used for building a small
hydroelectric plant is an erosion-control dam wall constructed in every
region in the prefecture. The facility is intended to prevent damage
from landslides. A project to build a small hydroelectric plant will
start very soon at the Hirasagawa erosion-control dam wall, the largest
wall of its kind in Ishikawa Prefecture.The project plans to lay a water channel starting from the upstream side
of the wall and reaching to the generator, which is installed at an
underground site just below the wall, and to introduce water through the
channel. The water head will be about 20 meters and the amount of water
per second will peak at 1.5 cubic meters. Using this amount of water,
198 kilowatts of electricity is expected by adopting an S shape waterwheel,
which allows efficient power generation with small amounts of water.The project is scheduled to start operating the generator in February
2015. If the plant is able to operate 290 days a year, its annual
electricity capacity will be about one million kWh. The profit from
selling the electricity will be about 33 million yen (about
U.S.$305,555), and the initial investment of 300 million yen (about
U.S.$2.8 million) will be recovered in 15 years.There has been little renewable energy introduced into Ishikawa
prefecture to date. However, from now on, solar power generation is
expected to spread in agricultural villages, and effective small-scale
approaches will increase. It is hopeful that a new model of agriculture
utilizing renewable energy will be born in Ishikawa Prefecture.Source: Smart Japan (in Japanese)
http://www.itmedia.co.jp/smartjapan/=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **LIXIL Establishes Women Empowerment Plan Called WeDo Action
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035103.html
=========================================================================LIXIL Group, a Japanese leading company in the living and housing
solutions industry, announced on August 4, 2014, that it had established
a women empowerment plan, named WeDo Action, which promotes social
diversity. “WeDo” is an acronym for “Women Empowerment in the
Diversified Organization.”Focusing on the three pillars of the “Declaration on Action,” announced
and supported by Japan’s Cabinet Office, LIXIL Group has incorporated
various concrete action plans into WeDo Action. The three pillars and
their plans are as follows: (1) taking actions and sending messages
ourselves involves delivering a broad message about the importance of
the role of women in society both in and outside the company,
encouraging the promotion of women to management positions, and
increasing the proportion of recent female graduates to more than 30% of
new hires; (2) disrupting the status quo means encouraging the promotion
of women and strengthening policies which support the balance between
work and family; and (3) developing networking focuses on supporting the
voluntary activities of women so that women can enjoy their work, and
calling for men to support this endeavor.The Group is promoting a corporate culture that respects diversity,
equal opportunity, and meritocracy, and puts these ideas into practice.
In January 2013, the Group issued its Diversity Declaration, and has
been adopting proactive human resource policies and improving the work
environment in order to advance the promotion of diversely talented
people. In March 2014, the Group was jointly selected as a “Nadeshiko
Brand” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo
Stock Exchange for their outstanding achievement in encouraging the
empowerment of women among listed companies.=====================================================
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
25 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2014
=====================================================Arase Dam: Japan’s First Dam Removal Project Underway
JFS Newsletter No.147 (November 2014)

According to 2014 statistics released by the Japan Dam Foundation, as of
March 31, 2013, there were 2,732 dams in Japan, including those under
construction. Dams have been built mainly for flood control, household
water resource reservation, industrial and agricultural water use,
hydroelectric power generation and river environment management through
stabilization of river flows.

While dams benefit us in daily life, adverse impacts of dam construction
are becoming more of a source of controversy worldwide as a result of
problems such as destruction of natural environments and local communities.
Even after completion, dams have no small impact on the entire basin,
surrounding ecosystems and people living in the watershed, because water
retained by the dam deteriorates in quality and its temperature rises.
This issue of the JFS Newsletter features the Arase Dam in Kumamoto
Prefecture, the very first dam to be dismantled in Japan at the urging
of local residents who have been suffering from the dam’s impacts.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035105.html

-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
– A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 25 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2014 )
-:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-:*:–:*:-

Miracle Report: What is Buy Nothing Day?

People around the world spend one whole day a year without spending! Why
on Earth would they do such a thing?
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000160.html

# # #

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.

Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html
.

***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/

***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.en

Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

————————————————————————
Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #147
————————————————————————
November 28, 2014
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability

Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.

See what’s new on our web site: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
E-mail: info@japanfs.org

——————————————————————–

In the November 2014 issue of the JFS Newsletter:

- Arase Dam: Japan’s First Dam Removal Project Underway

- What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview with
Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama (Part 2)

- Toward a Sustainable Japan: Fukushima Accidents Show Japan’s
Challenges

——————————————————————–

Arase Dam: Japan’s First Dam Removal Project Underway

According to 2014 statistics released by the Japan Dam Foundation, as of
March 31, 2013, there were 2,732 dams in Japan, including those under
construction. Dams have been built mainly for flood control, household
water resource reservation, industrial and agricultural water use,
hydroelectric power generation and river environment management through
stabilization of river flows.

While dams benefit us in daily life, adverse impacts of dam construction
are becoming more of a source of controversy worldwide as a result of
problems such as destruction of natural environments and local communities.
Even after completion, dams have no small impact on the entire basin,
surrounding ecosystems and people living in the watershed, because water
retained by the dam deteriorates in quality and its temperature rises.
This issue of the JFS Newsletter features the Arase Dam in Kumamoto
Prefecture, the very first dam to be dismantled in Japan at the urging
of local residents who have been suffering from the dam’s impacts.

Overview of the Arase Dam

In the late 1940s, Kumamoto Prefecture suffered from power shortages
because about 40 percent of the electricity generated within the
prefecture was being sent to the Kitakyushu Industrial Zone in Fukuoka
Prefecture. In response, Kumamoto Prefecture formulated the Kuma River
Comprehensive Development Plan in 1951 to construct seven dams and 10
power plants along the Kuma River running through the southern part of
the prefecture. This plan aimed to ensure a stable power supply by using
the abundant water resources of the Kuma River, and as part of this plan
the Arase Dam and Fujimoto Power Plant were built.

The Arase Dam, located at about 20 kilometers upstream from the river
mouth, was built exclusively for hydroelectric power generation. From
the intake on the right bank of the dam, water flows through a 600-meter
tunnel to the turbines at a maximum rate of 134 cubic meters per second
to generate electricity, using an effective head of 15.96 meters
(vertical distance the water descends). The power plant began operation
in December 1954 with a maximum output of 18,200 kilowatts. At the time
of completion, the electricity generated accounted for about 16 percent
of power demand within the prefecture.

Circumstances Leading to the Dam Removal

Before the water rights allocated to the prefecture expired in March
2003, Kumamoto Prefecture discussed their renewal, because the water
rights were necessary for continued hydropower generation. Later, the
prefecture decided to decommission and remove the Arase Dam because the
local council had submitted an opinion brief that requested dam removal
in response to local residents’ complaints about adverse effects of the
dam. Also, in view of the momentum of deregulation in the electricity
sector, there was no guarantee of sustained future business with the dam.
The water rights were extended until March 2010 in view of the time
needed for dam removal.

How Did Residents’ Voices Reach the Council?

Ever since the Arase Dam was built, the local residents in former
Sakamoto Village (now the Sakamoto district of Yatsushiro City) have
been aware of certain effects of the dam, such as vibrations and fewer
sweetfish (or ayu in Japanese) in the river. Flood damage was especially
severe. Even before the dam was completed, the area was affected by
flooding. The dam’s construction, however, caused large volumes of
sludge to accumulate after floodwaters receded. Many residents moved out
of the village, unable to cope with the repeated damage, and the
population of the village, once nearly 20,000, plunged to less than one
quarter of that.

Not only was the river basin impacted, but the dam also had negative
effects on the ecosystem of an estuary in the Yatsushiro Sea, including
reduced size of seaweed beds and tidal flats, which led to lower fish
catches, sustaining fewer fishermen. As the deadline for renewal of
water rights approached, the longing of the residents to be free from
worries caused by the dam surfaced as a campaign for its decommissioning
and removal.

On June 9, 2002, a river fishermen’s union in former Sakamoto Village
called for establishment of an association to reconsider the validity of
the Arase Dam. This was the start of a full-scale campaign for
decommissioning and removal. Many groups got involved in the campaign,
increasing its influence, and an opinion brief arguing against retaining
the dam was approved by the village council on September 20 of that year.

Responding to the campaign, Kumamoto Prefecture set up the Arase Dam
Countermeasures Review Committee and a working group of experts in dam
deconstruction, to study measures for minimizing impacts on the
environment of the river basin during its removal. Reflecting their
reviews, the prefectural government drew up an action plan for removal
of the Arase Dam in March 2006, and discussed a scheme for removal based
on that plan.

Kumamoto governor Ikuo Kabashima, however, announced in June 2008 that
the prefecture would suspend the action plan for further review. The
decision by Kabashima was influenced by newly revealed barriers such as
estimated removal costs far exceeding expectations. Despite a basic
understanding that perpetuating hydroelectricity generation by the Arase
Dam was not the best choice and the dam should be removed once suitable
conditions had been met, in November of that year the prefectural
government decided to retain the Arase Dam in consideration of the
prefecture’s financial crisis.

Though this was a shocking disappointment to the residents longing for
the dam’s removal, they persevered, continuing their campaign for
decommissioning and removal despite the prefectural decision to suspend
the plan. Just then, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
(MLIT) announced it had decided against continued renewal of the
relevant water rights, previously extended until March 2010, and that
Kumamoto Prefecture would need to apply again for water rights if it
wished to continue generating hydroelectricity at the Arase Dam.

Kumamoto Prefecture finally decided to decommission and remove the Arase
Dam in February 2010, stating, “Keeping the dam is no longer an
appropriate option, as it would prolong confusion within the prefecture.”
The residents who had suffered from the negative impacts of the dam were
finally rewarded for their long-continued efforts toward its removal.

Meanwhile, Kumamoto proclaimed it would make the Arase Dam an example
for the nation of addressing actual removal of concrete dams. This would
entail a number of challenges such as ensuring safety, establishing the
necessary decommissioning and removal technologies, and minimizing
environmental impacts. In April 2010, it created an R&D committee for
technologies to remove Arase Dam and started formulating a removal plan
for the deconstruction work.

Environmentally Conscious Dam Removal Work

The full-scale dismantling of the concrete Arase Dam is the first
operation of its kind in Japan. The removal plan was crafted in
consideration of economy and efficiency while avoiding adverse effects
on river management, including flood control and environment issues. It
also aimed to promote the medium-to-long-term recovery of the river’s
environment with the help of nature’s regenerating power.

The scope of the dismantling work was chosen with a view to dealing with
sediment accumulation and embankment erosion upstream and downstream of
the dam. Possible options and methods were carefully selected in
consideration of environmental impacts based on predictions of sediment
outflow due to dam removal, including the height and composition of the
riverbed and water levels in the reservoir and downstream river during
and after the removal work.

A removal method was deemed optimal because of its effectiveness in
restoring the river quickly to its original condition and its efficiency
in application. Removal work is being conducted between mid-November and
the end of February each year in consideration of the river’s environment,
which serves as habitat for sweetfish, one of the distinctive fish of
the Kuma River.

Dam removal work was scheduled for six years starting from April 2012 to
March 2018. In addition, environmental monitoring is scheduled for 10
consecutive years, including two years each before and after the
operation. The atmosphere, noise, vibrations, water quality, sediment,
flora, fauna, basic environment and scenery are being monitored in a
reach of the river extending about 10 kilometers upstream and downstream
of the dam, from the Setoishi Dam to the Yohaizeki Weir, that has been
designated a model area for biodiversity conservation and restoration.
Findings from other institutions will be utilized for the area
downstream of Yohaizeki.

A specialist follow-up committee on the Arase Dam removal has been set
up to carry out safe, environmentally conscious operations by evaluating
and verifying the monitoring survey data. The committee holds meeting
twice a year to accept reviews of their evaluations and the removal work
from experts in various fields.

After the decision was made to remove the dam, its gates were opened on
a regular basis. When the gates were fully opened in April 2010 after
the water rights expired, the river gradually returned to its original
condition and its water quality improved. By August that year, the river
had improved to the point where local residents said it had regained 80
percent of its original condition.

This is the first time in Japan a dam has been dismantled against a
backdrop of residents’ protests. Effective utilization of the methods,
procedures and monitoring data from this case is anticipated in future
decisions involving other dams and rivers.

Written by Nobuhiro Tanabe

——————————————————————–

What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview with
Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama (Part 2)

The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, with JFS as
its outreach partner, is undertaking a project, “What Is Economic Growth?
– Interviews with 100 People,” in collaboration with Patagonia Japan.
The project aims to encourage people to think about economic growth by
asking specialists from many different fields to share their ideas about
economic growth.

In the first half of the interview with a Japanese philosopher Takashi
Uchiyama in the previous issue of the JFS Newsletter, he introduced Ueno
Village in Gunma Prefecture as an example of a locally-based economy
that requires no growth. This case can contribute to the discussion
about how beliefs in economic growth should be drastically changed. Here
we introduce the latter half of the interview dealing with topics such
as problems of our society after a shift from being community-based to
individualism, and the relationship between economic growth and a
sustainable, happy society.

What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence? – Interview with
Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama (Part 1)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035089.html

—————————————

Edahiro: Unless the value of the goods the village needs to buy from the
outside continues to increase, the value of the goods they produce to
sell to the outside need not increase. It will suffice to produce and
sell the equivalent of what they need to buy. Is this what you mean?

Uchiyama: That’s right. Let’s suppose that I start hotel business in
Ueno. If I expand my business and many large groups of tourists visit
the village, the burden on the village will become rather heavy.
Individuals tend to expand their businesses if left to themselves.
But people in this region are well aware that they are making a living
within a local economy. When, for example, I think about increasing the
number of rooms in my hotel to 100 or 500, I will also have to think
about whether the plan will be good for the regional society or not.

Edahiro: Does this mean that the economy is integrated into the society,
as you said earlier? If so, you are saying that the presence of a local
community serves as a brake that doesn’t work in large cities such as
Tokyo, aren’t you?

Uchiyama: Exactly. People can re-create this kind of local economy in
their own area when the situation allows. With respect to another trend
in Japanese society, family-business-based economies are also expected
to grow.

Edahiro: What are the costs of economic growth, if any?

Uchiyama: There is no doubt that one such cost is the burden placed on
the natural environment. Another is that an economic growth-oriented
society will become more individualistic. This is because society cannot
aim for economic growth when a community-type society remains in place.

Economic growth-oriented societies need to have a structure that can
provide enough labor and consumers to continue increasing GDP, and this
accelerates individualization of the society. Therefore any country with
a large economy will move toward an individual-based society. Now we are
facing increased social burdens and problems due to the individualization
of society.

For example, in Tokyo, about 10 percent of elderly residents die without
funeral ceremonies or anyone to pray for their souls. The percentage for
all Japan is about 5 percent. Thus we have created a society of isolation
and helplessness.

As symbolized above, various problems have arisen throughout Japan.
These are nothing but the results of the postwar era, including the
hyper-growth period. That was how we created an individual-based society.

Edahiro: How can we correctly understand the relationship between
economic growth and a sustainable, happy society and apply that
understanding?

Everything depends on how far the local-scale economy can be extended.
If something can be done locally, do it locally. If someone can make a
living employing a new form of family business, they should just do it.

For instance, not a few young couples start up their own cake shops or
other retail businesses. In this kind of situation, they do not need
10,000 customers. They would need perhaps about 100 customers a day, or
sometimes 30 to 40 customers, in order to make the wheels go around.

To secure 30 to 40 customers a day, they may need to have 10 to 20 times
more prospective customers, but never as many as 50,000 or 100,000. All
they have to do is to care about people who come and buy their products.

I think this kind of approach in its various forms constitutes social
reform triggered by local scale economies, in which the prevailing
capitalist economy is gradually confined into a limited role.

Of course, such small businesses can hire employees but there are
“limits of scale.” As a rule of thumb, I should say the upper limit is
about 300 people. With fewer than 300 employees, they can share a single
goal and discuss things with one another.

When the number of employees exceeds 300, however, a company will have
to establish independent departments to manage them. Once established,
administrative departments, namely human resources and general affairs
departments, start playing a central role in the company. In this kind
of company, employees never feel motivated to work hard together.

Edahiro: Where we have formerly been focusing on “economies of scale,” we
will need to pay more attention to “limits of scale,” is that right?

Uchiyama: Yes. In the present society, “dis-economies of scale” have
become increasingly obvious. If, for example, Ueno village should
attempt to generate electricity with wood pellets, more than 100 percent
of its power needs could be met by three medium-sized generators. There
are abundant wood resources available in the mountain village.

This can be done because Ueno is a small village with a population of
about 1,400. Its smallness actually works to its advantage. The village
could produce the necessary amount of wood pellets without devastating
its forests. By contrast, cities like Tokyo may actually suffer
disadvantages because of their huge size.

After all, the act of considering things from a large-scale perspective
in itself will engender disadvantages. For example, people may have
difficulty answering the question “What should Japanese families be like?”
However, when asked “What should your family do?” people can deal with
the question by considering their own circumstances and seeking
compromises among family members.

Interview and Edit by Junko Edahiro

——————————————————————–

Toward a Sustainable Japan: Fukushima Accidents Show Japan’s Challenges

Junko Edahiro, chief executive of Japan for Sustainability delivered a
keynote speech on September 10, 2014, at an international symposium
“Cope with the Stress of Future Changes – Preparing States, Region,
Cities, Organization, Families and People for the Ongoing Transition”
organized by the Club of Vienna, an international network of experts in
economics, social, natural and environmental sciences. This JFS
Newsletter article introduces the excerpts of her speech, Japan’s
challenges revealed from Fukushima nuclear accidents.

—————————————

For many years, I have been working in various roles as an interface
among sectors in Japan, and as an interface between Japan and the rest
of the world. I have been working as a communicator, so to speak. What
you will hear today is from the perspective of someone who has been
working for some 15 years to make a difference in the field of
sustainability.

I have been working on, for example, governmental committees to combat
climate change, biodiversity loss, energy, and other problems. I have
been writing articles and books, giving talks to many audiences, and
running a corporate consultancy.

But what I have found is that many issues in our world are symptoms of
something deeper. That root cause we must face and address is the
ever-growing appetite for economic growth. Unless we do something about
this appetite, it will be difficult for us to solve other issues.

That was my thinking several years ago when I launched the Institute for
Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, and still is today. On this
finite planet, it is difficult to have infinite economic growth.
Everywhere, not only in Japan but in the rest of the world too, we
witness many attempts and initiatives to create alternative paths for
happiness and wellbeing. Back in Japan, our institute is engaged in
various activities: research, publishing, creating dialogue, and
networking with others in the world.

I’d like to talk the challenges we are facing in Japan. They relate to
the Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents. We have not yet solved
these problems, and they are enormous. Now I will talk about the current
situation in Fukushima.

To air:
To date : 20,000 trillion becquerels (Bq)
including cesium 134 and 137
Continuously 10 million Bq per hour
To ocean:
To date:  immediately after the accident: 7,100 trillion Bq
including cesium 134 and 137
Continuously 20 billon Bq per day due to contamination of underground
water

This is the status of the leakage of radioactive materials, according to
a statement by the president of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO),
the company that owns the nuclear power plant. To date, we have been
emitting a huge amount of nuclear material into the air and ocean, and
this has not yet stopped. If you have visited Japan you will know that
it is blessed with a rich natural environment. Everywhere we find
abundant sources of groundwater. The Fukushima site is no exception. And
this means that every day, about 400 tons of groundwater are flowing
into the reactor site and becoming contaminated.

This is a huge problem for us. Now the government is trying to install a
cooling shield underground. Reactors 1 to 4 are close to the seashore,
while from the mountains, we have the inflow of 400 tons a day of
groundwater getting contaminated. The government’s current plan is to
install 1,550 pipes 30 meters deep, in the surrounding area. The length
of the wall is 1.5 kilometers. The plan is to circulate a coolant at 30
degrees below zero to freeze the groundwater and surrounding soil.

What do you think about that? This is the plan. This is what the
government is trying to do. The operation to install this “freezing wall”
is set to start in March 2015 and is expected to continue until 2020.
The construction costs are huge and will be paid by the government,
meaning that taxpayers are paying for this.

To maintain freezing conditions for such a long time, the electricity
costs will be huge. Many people are concerned about power failures. What
will happen if the electricity stops?

The government has already tried many things to stop the contamination
of groundwater, especially to prevent it from flowing into the ocean. An
underground water bypass, purification system for contaminated water,
and many other initiatives have been tried, but without success. Nobody
knows if this cooling shield will succeed.

I had hoped that not only people in Japan but also experts from around
the world could help us. But the problem is that the Japanese government
and TEPCO are not willing to receive input. Since the Fukushima accident,
I have been contacted by many experts from around the world, with offers
of help — expertise and technologies to help us in Japan. I have
conveyed their messages to the government, but the government’s typical
reply is “Thank you, but no. We will take care of these things by
ourselves.” This attitude is a problem.

In a year since the earthquake and nuclear accident, over 54,000 people
moved out from Fukushima, over 70 percent increase compared to the
previous year. Many people have left their homes and the region and
never came back. As you would expect, many tragedies are happening in
Fukushima. Communities are being torn apart, and families are being torn
apart. Divorce levels are high, because husbands and wives may have
different opinions about where to live. Suicide levels are high. And now
Fukushima is facing economic damage because of the prefecture’s
tarnished image. People in other parts of Japan are not willing to buy
products — especially agricultural products — from Fukushima. Not
surprisingly, they are afraid of radioactive materials potentially being
in the products. This is a sad situation, still continuing in this
region.

Then there is the problem of debris, not only from the Fukushima
accident (highly contaminated, requiring experts to handle), but also
from the earthquakes and tsunamis that also left a huge amount of debris.
No communities elsewhere in Japan are willing to take this debris from
Fukushima Prefecture. This problem has not yet been solved.

Now, because of the shutdown of Fukushima nuclear power plants and
others throughout Japan, some people are concerned about energy
shortages. And yes, we can expect more price increases.

Before the Fukushima accident, about a third of Japan’s electricity came
from nuclear power. But today, all nuclear power plants are still shut
down, as they we stopped for inspections and maintenance, and none have
been restarted yet. So we now rely heavily on fossil fuels to generate
electricity. This dependency creates a big problem for global warming
and climate change, of course.

We heavily rely on imported fossil fuels, and our electricity costs
have been increasing. Our national annual electricity bill has increased
by 20 to 30 percent since March 11, 2011, the date of the earthquake and
nuclear plant accident. People are concerned about energy security,
because we are so dependent on outside energy sources.

We have some large hydropower generation plants, but still a small amount
of renewables. Since 2012, when Japan introduced a feed-in-tariff system
(utilities on the power grid must purchase electricity from small producers,
at preset tariff rates), there has been a dramatic increase in
electricity production from renewables, especially photovoltaics. But
we started from nearly zero, so the portion of renewables among all the
energy in Japan is still very limited.

To me, the real challenge includes the fading of public concern and
interest. Three years feels like a long time to maintain a high level of
public attention on anything. Of course, people living in Fukushima are
still interested in doing whatever they can do. But generally speaking,
since peaking after the accidents, the levels of concern and interest
about these issues are declining among the Japanese people nationwide.
Also, check the mass media coverage of Fukushima-related issues, and you
will see that it has been decreasing sharply.

Japan’s current administration under Prime Minister Abe has put its
priority on economic growth in order to the address Fukushima disaster
and other issues. So people feel, “Now we don’t have the luxury of other
options. To deal with Fukushima or energy issues, we should just focus
on economic growth.” This is now a sentiment shared by many Japanese.

I believe that we should think about these situations from the structural
level, but we haven’t done so yet. The previous administration tried to
change things but failed and was thrown out in the last general election.
Now the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the traditional power-holder, is
again the ruling administration in Japan.

The Abe administration kicked out the anti-nukes members, including
myself, from governmental committees. Before the Abe administration, I
was a member of an energy committee, an advisory body for the government
charged with providing input on energy policies until 2030 for Japan.
We had 25 members, of whom myself and seven others were not in favor of
nuclear power. It was a small contingent, but this was still a huge
departure from the past because citizens and experts against nuclear
power have never been assigned as members of a governmental advisory
body.

The new administration, however, restructured the committee, eliminating
anyone against nuclear power. Now what we have is a situation where
government officials and committees are back to doing their jobs as if
the March 2011 disasters had never occurred. They have resumed what they
had been doing for 30 or 40 years, focusing on nuclear power.

In Japan we have what some people refer to as a “nuclear village”: a
group of government officials, industries, and academia notorious for
being strongly pro-nuclear. There has been little change in this group,
and the regulatory committee to oversee nuclear policies and operations
is currently headed by a well-known nuclear proponent. This morning [on
September 10, 2014] I received news from Japan that the regulatory
committee has approved Japan’s first re-start of a nuclear power plant
(in Sendai), and it will likely take place this winter, I am afraid.

Another problem is that we have very limited real journalism in Japan’s
mass media. If you just watch television and read national newspapers,
you will get only a partial picture, not the whole picture. At the same
time, Japan’s alternative media are weak, so it is difficult for anyone
to get an alternative message across to the public.

If we hold a meeting like this one, we will attract likeminded people
and can have a good discussion. But how can we go beyond that audience?
It is a huge challenge.

—————————————

Above is the first half of the speech. We will introduce the latter half
of the speech in the next JFS newsletter, about local economy in Japan,
plus values and lifestyles toward a more sustainable world. Stay tuned!

Written by Junko Edahiro

———————————————-

[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]

- This month’s cartoon:
“Don’t you think that one world last longer?”
on the Eco Cartoons Page (2014/11/8)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/manga/manga_id035090.html

- JFS Newsletter No.146 (October 2014)

What Kind of Economy Produces True Affluence?
- Interview with Philosopher Takashi Uchiyama(2014/11/18)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035089.html
Japan Celebrates One Year Completely Nuclear-free:
Second Phase of Energy [R]evolution Begins(2014/11/10)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035087.html
Initiatives for Explaining the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear
Disaster in a Simple Manner(2014/10/31)
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035076.html

- Updated contents in
“Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future”

Miracle Report:
What is Buy Nothing Day? (2014/11/25)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000160.html
Parent Birds Change Alarm Calls to Protect Their Young
(2014/11/18)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000157.html
Reforestation through a Bank System (2014/11/07)
http://miracle-kids.net/en/report/2014/rpt_id000154.html

———————————————————————–
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
contents or use of the information provided.

This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
We do not rent, loan or sell this e-mailing list to any other party.
If you wish to subscribe, please visit
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html

To unsubscribe, please click the following link and fill in the form
E-mail Newsletter Unsubscribe:
http://www.japanfs.org/acmailer/unsubscribe.html

Back issues of the newsletter are also available.
http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/index.html

We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.org
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/qXZr9t
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  ”Japan for Sustainability, http://www.japanfs.org/index.html.”

———————————————————————————————————————————-
UN:  “Time to Rethink: Learning for a Changing World”  SCWS 2014 — SCWS 2017 “Sustainab​ility” November 15-17, Tokyo,  Japan
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Science Centre World Summit was held in March of this year focused on the theme “Time to rethink: learning for a changing world”, a reflective theme the UN SD  Education Caucus continues to showcase through our intergovernmental work on policy and with stakeholders from civil society on practice.
Serving as a member of the global organizing committee and as an invited plenary speaker allowed broad access to many stakeholders.  One major insight to share with members of the Ed. Caucus and networks, many of the heads of these centres are very good at interfacing at the community level across the broad spectrum of learning, engaging diverse stakeholders.  Participants  who attended this and the plenary session on Monday assert the message of the session stressing the key role of science centres in communicating and promoting science, realizing more efforts are needed in the future.  This support the mandate of the UN to strengthen science-based decision making by policy makers.
Save the Date
The SCWS is already working with the UN for the next world summit to be held in 2017, Nov. 15-17 in Tokyo, Japan  It is well worth the effort.  The Asian science centre network have formed a committee and will help deliver a memorable Summit.  Hope to see you there.
All the best,
Pam Puntenney and Bremley Lyngdoh
UN SD Education Caucus  Co-Chairs
Co-Coordinators Climate Change
  ———————————————————————————————————————————–
Civil Society **Disaster Prevention from Women’s Perspectives
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035093.html
=========================================================================The JKSK Yui-Yui project, an initiative to support the victims of the
2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, has been publishing a series of
articles on reconstruction efforts called the “Tohoku Reconstruction
Diary” in the Tokyo Shimbun Newspaper. The Yui-Yui Project was launched
by JKSK Empowering Women Empowering Society, a certified non-profit
organization. Below is the article published on September 27, 2013, on
disaster prevention and recovery efforts, written from the perspective
of women, byYurie Shirakawa, Deputy Director General, Community Affairs
Bureau, Sendai City.Two years and six months have passed since the Great East Japan
Earthquake. The salt-damaged farmlands where crops were thought to be
difficult to grow for some time are turning a golden color. On the other
hand, the number of temporary residents in Sendai City has exceeded
9,700. There are 290,000 people forced to live as refugees throughout
Japan, and a lot more work toward recovery is still needed.Many women face difficulties from the devastation of the earthquake.
However, they were also the ones who made a head start in restoring
their lives to normal. Facing the harsh realities, the women felt there
were things they could do and that needed to be done now, not only for
themselves, but for others. Many women quickly took action.The fact that women were not present in the decision-making process has
made the issues they experienced in evacuation centers less visible.
From a woman’s perspective, there were not enough toilets, changes of
clothing, reserves or relief goods. And there were other concerns that
they could not talk about.Women should, on their own, solve problems that stand in their way.
After the great earthquake, Sendai hosted numerous events to provide a
voice for women; a national symposium to support domestic violence
victims, the Japan Women’s Conference, and the national convention of
Joseikai, consisting of female members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce
and Industry. An increasing number of women aspire to become community
leaders for disaster prevention or to start their own businesses. Their
actions are making great contributions to the reconstruction of
disaster-hit communities.Sendai City is now carrying out training and networking for women
leaders, and supporting women in starting businesses, in cooperation
with the Sendai Gender Equal Opportunity Foundation. In 2013, the city
established a fund for human resource development, with the support of
the Kingdom of Norway.In 2015, Sendai will host the World Conference on Disaster Risk
Reduction. We will transmit the message to the world from the women’s
point of view with regard to the prevention of and reconstruction from
disasters.Yurie Shirakawa, Deputy Director General, Community Affairs Bureau,
Sendai City=========================================================================
** Corporate / CSR **Fuji Xerox Launches Project to Provide Learning Materials to
Disadvantaged Children in Asia-Pacific
http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035095.html
=========================================================================Fuji Xerox Co., a major office equipment manufacturer based in Japan,
launched in June 2014 a project to use its production printers for the
printing of learning materials, with the goal of helping to resolve
educational disparity among children in emerging countries in the
Asia-Pacific region where it conducts business. The project first
delivered workbooks to approximately 400 children in a disadvantaged
area near Manila in the Philippines.Materials produced in the project are tailored to meet local needs, with
Fuji Xerox serving as coordinator, soliciting sponsors to provide the
contents of the materials free of charge, as well as financial sponsors
to cover the printing and other costs. After the materials are printed
with Fuji Xerox production printers, local non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) distribute them to children and support their
studies. Aiming to increase the number of recipients through
collaboration with more sponsor companies, Fuji Xerox plans to launch
the project in other countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, to
distribute workbooks to 100,000 children across Asia-Pacific region in
the next decade.The first workbook delivery was made to children in several Gawad
Kalinga villages in Bulacan Province; the villages are operated by the
local NGO Gawad Kalinga, which has been working to provide housing for
people in disadvantaged areas. The NGO, which worked with Fuji Xerox on
a project back in 2007, currently supports some 60,000 families in the
Philippines. Fuji Xerox and Gawad Kalinga are jointly monitoring the
progress of children’s studies after distributing the learning
materials.To learn more, see the Fuji Xerox Sustainability Report 2014:
Highlights 3 Helping to Educate Children in Disadvantaged Communities
http://www.fujixerox.com/eng/company/sr/2014/highlight/03.html# # #Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
Newsletters, visit www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html***** Support Us *****
If you find our information and activities unique and valuable,
we appreciate your support!
http://www.japanfs.org/en/join/donation.html***** Unsubscribe E-Mail Newsletter *****
Use this form http://www.japanfs.org/en/newsletter/subscribe.html to
remove your email address from our mailing list.***** Online community for young people around the world *****
Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
http://miracle-kids.net/en/***** Contact *****
We welcome your comments. Please send them to: info@japanfs.orgJapan for Sustainability (JFS)
Website: http://www.japanfs.org/en/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/japanfs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/japanfs.enCopyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.
————————————————————————————————————————————-
UN Mercury – Minamata Disease — A Courageous Professor of Chemistry and her 8
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In the mid-90s I found myself in a converted Communist youth camp sharing a room with a delightful Professor of Chemistry from Japan.  Akiyama’s story is quite amazing and a share a bit of it with you all.  The ENB coverage of where we are today having progressed to a global treaty, is in celebration of this person’s courage.  At that time the government had denied there was a problem, she and 8 of her research scientist colleagues work together to provide the scientific evidence of Minamata disease, https://www1.umn.edu/ships/ethics/minamata.htm  they presented their evidence and it was denied. Akiyama had been working with NGOs and organized 100 of them to do the advocacy work.   As their President she was able to raise awareness and bring about action  to address not only the serious health issue for this small fishing community but also impact at the global level.  We hope you will remember Akiyama and her colleagues as you follow the current work of the UN on mercury.  Ten + years on… lets honor her memory and the work of her colleagues.  Yes, it may be slow but your work is important.
All the best,
Pam Puntenney
UN SD Education Caucus Co-Chair
Co-Coordinator Climate Change

—–

Comments are closed.