Dispatches from Summer Study: Watch Japan and Expect a Great Deal

What’s happening in Japan? Quite a lot according to the 2012 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Tuesday night plenary speaker, Andrew DeWit, Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Rikkyo University. Professor DeWit described nothing less than a battle taking place upon the ruins of the Fukushima power plants, between sustainability and crushing debt; same-old same-old, and the new green economy.

DeWit described the “Hashimoto Phenomenon”. Hashimoto is an Osaka-based politician “with more votes than Michael Bloomberg has money,” and is using his influence on the side of green energy, against the old guard that includes the former owners of Tokyo Electric Power (the utility has been national­ized) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP, in an effort to maintain the status quo, is proposing a Yen 200-trillion, ten year public works project that will direct the nations financial resources to build roads and bridges and to the connected con­struction companies.

What’s new is what DeWit described as “Twitter-populism”. Average people have become enraged at the lies and lack of ac­countability shown by TEPCO in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 (known as the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake) that nearly destroyed four nuclear power plants and spread radiation tens of miles into the interior of Japan. The major­ity of the population in Japan wants every nuclear plant shut down and supports the growth of renewable energy. They are supported by strong incentives such as feed in tariffs (FIT) that support renewables. And the Japanese economy, heavily in debt, makes the same-old, same-old absolutely unsustainable. It’s not just the loss of the Fukushima power plants that has caused the debt. It has more to do with corruption in government and poli­cies that have heavily favored the leaders of industry and not the economy as a whole.

Whether Japan will go green over the next two years will be determined this summer and fall. Energy is a core issue in Japan politics and policy making and it is bringing about social and political changes at lightning speed.

Stay tuned. Japan may be the first of many nations to make the hard choices to move to a sustainable green economy or sink under the weight of inertia and vested interests.

Views: 106


You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Colin Genge posted an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the Energy Out West Conference at The Grand Hotel

May 9, 2016 at 8am to May 13, 2016 at 5pm
Every other year Energy OutWest organizes and delivers a regional weatherization (wx) conference.…See More
6 minutes ago
Adrienne DeAngelo posted an event

GreenPoint Rated CORE Training at Best Western Plus Marina Shores Hotel

October 15, 2015 to October 17, 2015
Increase your certifications or get to know the GreenPoint Rated system so that you can work more…See More
32 minutes ago
Colin Genge replied to John Carton's discussion Smoke Puffer stick
"Retrotec Smoke Puffer is available for pickup from Energy Federation. They will not ship them due…"
37 minutes ago
Colin Genge updated an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show at Austin Hilton

April 4, 2016 at 8am to April 7, 2016 at 5pm
The 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference and Trade Show is coming to Austin, TX April…See More
40 minutes ago
Colin Genge updated an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the NEBB Annual Conference at Hyatt Regency Albuquerque

April 14, 2016 at 8am to April 16, 2016 at 5pm
Save the dates for the 2016 NEBB Annual Conference.See More
41 minutes ago
Colin Genge updated an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the CxEnergy 2016 Conference at Hilton Anatole

April 11, 2016 at 8am to April 13, 2016 at 5pm
Top Reasons to Participate in CxEnergy 2016 Premier Conference & Exposition for Building…See More
41 minutes ago
Colin Genge updated an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the ABAA-Air Barrier Association of America Conference & Trade Show at Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel

March 22, 2016 at 8am to March 24, 2016 at 5pm
The Air Barrier Association of America is hosting its fifth annual conference and trade show in…See More
42 minutes ago
Colin Genge updated an event

Retrotec is exhibiting at the Midwest Residential Energy Conference at Hyatt Regency Lexington

April 4, 2016 at 8am to April 6, 2016 at 5pm
The Midwest Residential Energy Conference promotes energy efficient home performance through the…See More
42 minutes ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service