Japan climate – Const Japan http://const-japan.com/ Thu, 12 May 2022 19:33:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://const-japan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-05T131502.299-150x150.png Japan climate – Const Japan http://const-japan.com/ 32 32 Orion Magazine – The Age of Invisible Stones https://const-japan.com/orion-magazine-the-age-of-invisible-stones/ Thu, 12 May 2022 18:11:02 +0000 https://const-japan.com/orion-magazine-the-age-of-invisible-stones/ We were old. We were skated. We have lost our youthful appearance. We dotted the coastline of Japan. We were at the height of a man, sometimes taller. They called us “tsunami stones”. Our faces were engraved with messages: to build on higher ground. remember the last calamity. Some of us near Kesennuma had been […]]]>

We were old. We were skated. We have lost our youthful appearance. We dotted the coastline of Japan. We were at the height of a man, sometimes taller. They called us “tsunami stones”. Our faces were engraved with messages: to build on higher ground. remember the last calamity. Some of us near Kesennuma had been around for six hundred years and our faces said: CHOOSE LIFE OVER YOUR POSSESSIONS.

For centuries, we have been beacons of safety. Even the smallest of us lay awake by the sea. We remembered the angry waves, the seismic past. We remembered the water breaking around our shoulders. We remembered the destructions of 869, 1896, 1933. We remembered the cold, thick, black sea. For many decades we have sung the same song of memory.

But then some people stopped remembering. Slowly they started not seeing us or seeing us in a different way. We have become ornamental and folkloric. For them, we were always grey. They didn’t notice how the lichen covered us with bands of color; how some of us wore bright orange and white and others wore mauve, brown or yellow. They didn’t see how the lichen thickened as we got closer to the sea, as if to protect us. They just looked at our weathered gray
faces, our slimming sides, our old ways — then looked away.

Then the real estate developers arrived. Almost overnight, the villagers started looking at us differently. We were on the way. Stuck in the mud. We were moderators of mood. They decided they had had enough of us. Builders were going lower and lower. Each time we looked they were closer to shore. They knocked some of us down to make way for rebar, concrete, curbs, posts. . . . For those who still worried about the power of the sea, the government offered guarantees: modern engineering and high-tech warning systems. They built wave walls and concreted everything. They pointed to calm water. To see? No problem.

If there had ever been an age when stones were seen, it was now over. Now was the era of seeing ourselves as a useless hedge. The age of Muzak that drifted down the aisles. The era of soaring housing prices. The Age of Boom and Let’s Enjoy Ourselves. The Age of Ruined Ancestral Wisdom.

But here it is, it sounds like stones to reprimand. We are not here to berate you.

At this point, when humans looked at us, if at all, it was with looks of bewilderment or pity. Look at these old ones! Maybe it would have been different if we didn’t look so worn out.

Maybe it would have been different if we wore fancy suits and ties. A few of us have regretted that we could no longer be like them. But we were old stones without arms or necks. We lived like beggars. We begged them to listen. To have.

Some of us thought construction would stop. We took the hope of Aneyoshi Village, sitting high and pretty in Iwate Prefecture. There had been tsunami stones there before one of the villagers was born. One stood just four feet high on a wooded hill. His message was simple: Please do not build your houses below this point.

The villagers there saw the memories deep within us. They saw all the centuries that had engraved us and all the moments that we had lived. They listened and guarded their homes
above our security points. We called them “stone seers”.

But each day the sea seemed a little more muffled, like cotton wool in the ears, drowned out by human noise. In other villages, we couldn’t remember our goal. The tsunami did not come, it did not come. When humans forgot us, we started to forget ourselves. Storms have come and gone. Were they right? Were we useless things?

It’s hard to talk about what happened next. In March 2011, an earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami. A wave of water poured into Japanese cities, breaking through the walls of the waves. The sea was scaling the hills with fierce energy, rushing to salute the stones. So many people died. So many people have disappeared.

Please understand, we are not saying that we told you. Even when we remember how Aneyoshi was spared, how a thick black wave stopped a few hundred meters below a stone marker, stopping in a deep arc before starting to roll back, we feel sadness. We are happy that the villagers heard us. We are happy that the young people helped the old people, holding their arms and shouting “Ikimasho!” But we will never forget the other lost villages.

Don’t be fooled by the hard surface of a stone. We can’t resist anything in the end. We are tough but we are also so soft. Everything marks us, the sun, the rain, the air, the wind, the rising sea, the pain of the world.

We are fewer in number now, but we will remain standing. Even when we get tired, even when the arrival of another “great” seems unlikely, even when we cannot know which way the sea will go next. We are now trying to remember the being of the stones, not just the feeling, but what it is like to be stopped in time. We are stones! We are minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, centuries, millennia. We felt the ice melt, saw the trees come and go, heard the animals come out of the ocean on four or two legs. We are where we are, removing the batteries from the world clock.

We have a tendency to despair. But even if it is sometimes so tiring and tiresome to consider the behavior and the policy of certain human beings towards the planet, towards
each other, we will remain standing. We will continue to stand up and try because the main thing is to try. We’re trying. It’s good to be here, to be old and alive, to be seen.

Orion The Summer 2022 issue is generously sponsored by NRDC.

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Blossoming Shame: Pandemic and War in Ukraine Harm Thailand’s Orchid Industry https://const-japan.com/blossoming-shame-pandemic-and-war-in-ukraine-harm-thailands-orchid-industry/ Tue, 10 May 2022 03:32:00 +0000 https://const-japan.com/blossoming-shame-pandemic-and-war-in-ukraine-harm-thailands-orchid-industry/ “TIME IS COUNTED” While Somchai ships its products directly overseas, the majority of orchid growers in Thailand rely on large Bangkok-based exporters. Air freight costs have tripled or quadrupled in recent months, depending on the destination, said Wuthichai Pipatmanomai, vice president of the Thai Orchid Exporter Association and co-owner of Sun International Flower, a major […]]]>

“TIME IS COUNTED”

While Somchai ships its products directly overseas, the majority of orchid growers in Thailand rely on large Bangkok-based exporters.

Air freight costs have tripled or quadrupled in recent months, depending on the destination, said Wuthichai Pipatmanomai, vice president of the Thai Orchid Exporter Association and co-owner of Sun International Flower, a major exporter.

Before the pandemic, the company delivered 3.6 million orchids per month to China, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.

Today, only 1.2 million flowers leave the warehouse and he had to lay off half his staff.

“We asked the authorities for financial support, but we did not receive anything,” Wuthichai said. “Hurry up.”

The 20% increase in its selling price led several importers – especially those in Europe – to abandon it to focus on more local flowers.

The only hope is that sales in Japan remain stable and those in the United States increase with the start of the wedding season, he said.

However, in the long term, changing weather patterns are also troubling for growers.

“We are increasingly experiencing the effects of climate change,” Wutachai said, pointing to a recent surprise cold spell in early April in which the temperature dropped sharply from 36 degrees Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) to 21 degrees Celsius in just 24 hours, affecting orchid production.

“We are concerned that these situations will occur more and more frequently.”

“FALLING FORTUNES”

Thailand’s coronavirus restrictions have also affected domestic sales – a lack of tourists has led to restaurant and hotel orders being reduced, and gathering bans have affected Thai Buddhist ceremonies.

And despite the kingdom’s international reopening, local demand remains lukewarm.

While Bangkok’s biggest flower market looks busy – wholesalers can be seen scurrying down the colorful aisles laden with large woven baskets containing flowers – vendors tell a different story.

Than Tha Win, who patiently waits for customers at his orchid stall, said his income has dropped by 70%.

“Everyone is still scared to come to the market because of COVID-19,” the 21-year-old said.

Meanwhile, Waew, a 45-year-old saleswoman, said she had around 600 unsold orchids left a day and was trying to stem her losses by tearing off the petals and selling them as a separate product.

“Stop working with orchids? Impossible, I don’t know how to do anything else,” she said.

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South Korea’s president-elect eyes ‘comprehensive alliance’ with US https://const-japan.com/south-koreas-president-elect-eyes-comprehensive-alliance-with-us/ Sat, 07 May 2022 15:25:36 +0000 https://const-japan.com/south-koreas-president-elect-eyes-comprehensive-alliance-with-us/ SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – As South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol begins his five-year term, he envisions South Korea’s expanded position on the world stage and strengthens Seoul’s role in its long but languid alliance with the United States. as he prepares for his first summit with President Joe Biden. The new president, who takes office […]]]>

As South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol begins his five-year term, he envisions South Korea’s expanded position on the world stage and strengthens Seoul’s role in its long but languid alliance with the United States. as he prepares for his first summit with President Joe Biden.

The new president, who takes office on May 10 after winning a hotly contested election on March 9, will meet Biden on May 21. Yoon, the leader of the world’s 10th largest economy, expects the Seoul summit to be a pivotal moment towards putting allies on a level playing field.

Yoon, 61, plans to revitalize the Seoul-Washington alliance of nearly seven decades after cooperation on global issues waned as current President Moon Jae-in spent much of his term began in 2017 to engage North Korea.

Yoon sat down with VOA’s Korea Service for an exclusive interview in late April to discuss how Seoul-Washington relations could be renewed and expanded so that allies can together tackle some of the toughest issues. in the world, ranging from technology to security.

Yoon said, “South Korea needs to do more than just express that we agree with US policies or support the US, but actually work on global issues with the US.” He went on to say that Seoul should “play a leading role in the areas that require our part.

South Korea’s former attorney general said when President Moon met with Biden in May 2021, they discussed how Seoul could play an active role in cooperating with the United States to maintain an Indo-Pacific. free and open, developing advanced technologies and dealing with climate change.

“When the two met last year, they only discussed the [COVID-19] vaccine, but I think the discussion needs to be broadened to include broadening the scope of cooperation of joint working groups on the Quad, advanced technologies and climate change,” said Yoon, who has never held a previously elected position.

The Biden administration has stressed that semiconductor production is key to staying competitive with China, and when he travels to Seoul for his summit with Yoon, he plans to visit Samsung Electronics’ factory in Pyeongtaek, one hour drive from Seoul. Samsung Electronics was one of the leading global chipmakers invited by the Biden administration to the White House in April 2021.

Climate change has been a top priority for the Biden administration, and South Korea, as the world’s ninth-largest carbon emitter, has been slow to take action to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature limit. set by the Paris Agreement to which Seoul is a party.

Yoon continued, “The concept of security in the ROK-US alliance must now go beyond military security to include security in the areas of the economy, advanced technologies and supply networks as well as the global issues related to climate change and healthcare so that the relationship could be expanded and upgraded to a full alliance level. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is the official name of South Korea.

Snapshots of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol during his interview with VOA’s Dong Hyuk Lee. (Korean VOA Service)

After the summit with Yoon, Biden is expected to meet the leaders of Australia, India and Japan in Tokyo for a summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the so-called Quad, designed to counter China’s aggression in Asia. from the South East.

The Biden administration sees South Korea as an ally who shares the same liberal democratic values ​​with the United States to play a greater role in maintaining a rules-based order in the region against the growing autocratic threat of China for security and political freedom.

Yoon has been South Korea’s 20th president since 1948, when the country was split at the 38th parallel and the Soviet Union created a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. China, which fought South Korea alongside North Korea, is now Seoul’s biggest trading partner and considered North Korea’s closest ally.

To deal with the growing threat from North Korea, Yoon said “a consistent signal and message” must be sent to Pyongyang which “should not be changed from time to time for convenience.”

North Korea has conducted 15 weapons tests since January, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 24 and what it called a new type of tactically-guided weapon on April 17 designed to boost its combat capabilities. so-called nuclear fight against South Korea.

Yoon wants to impress on Pyongyang that Seoul has the deterrence capabilities to defeat any potential aggression across the inter-Korean border.

Yoon said, “To deal with North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the focus has been on extended deterrence.” He continued, “We certainly need to engage in more intimate and in-depth communications with the United States on extended deterrence.”

Extended deterrence has been a primary pillar of security strategy between the United States and South Korea since hostilities in the Korean War ended in an armistice in 1953.

As part of extended deterrence, the United States promises to provide a guarantee of security to South Korea by using its military forces, including nuclear forces, to deter attacks on the territories of the ally of East Asia and fight for it when an attack is launched.

When Yoon’s four-member delegation, led by his future foreign minister Park Jin, visited Washington in April, they discussed the deployment of strategic assets such as nuclear submarines and bombers in South Korea.

Park, who is up for confirmation by the National Assembly, served four terms in South Korea’s National Assembly where he served as a member and head of the foreign affairs and unification committee.

“The deployment of strategic assets is an important part of enhancing extended deterrence, and the question naturally came up during the discussions,” Park said after meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington on May 5. april.

To ensure South Korea’s defense against the North, Yoon believes it is crucial that South Korea obtains intelligence-gathering capabilities, but said the South Korean military currently lacks the capabilities. enough to exploit the intelligence assets, which he says is necessary to have command authority in times of war. operation.

Yoon said, “The most important thing in commanding a wartime operation is intelligence, intelligence about an adversary.”

He continued: “We need to ensure a reasonable level of intelligence capabilities to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance operations that will allow [South Korea] to have command of a joint operation in time of war.

Since the end of the fighting in 1953, an American four-star general who commands American forces in Korea, as well as the United Nations Command and the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, has had wartime command control over the South Korean forces and approximately 28,500 American troops. troops stationed there.

Moon tried to speed up the process of transferring command authority for wartime operations from the United States to South Korea.

South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook said the allies had created the “necessary conditions” for the transfer of the Combined Forces OPCON during a joint press conference with the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, March 18.

But Yoon said, “We lack sufficient preparation to harness intelligence assets”, which he said were essential to commanding a wartime operation.

He added: “The issue of returning operational control in wartime [to South Korea] should depend on which factors are most effective in winning a war.

Regarding expanding diplomatic ties with North Korea, Yoon did not rule out a summit with North Korea.

“There’s no particular reason to avoid a summit,” Yoon said.

However, such a leaders-level meeting would be based on talks producing substantial results on North Korea’s denuclearization, he said.

“If a summit ends with ‘demonstration demonstrations’ without concrete or substantial results on denuclearization or providing economic support to North Korea, it will not help advance inter-Korean relations and denuclearize the North Korea,” Yoon said.

“If North Korea renounces nuclear weapons, accepts nuclear inspections, carries out irreversible denuclearization, then programs that will significantly improve North Korea’s economic situation will be considered and prepared. [to be offered to North Korea],” He continued.

To help the North Korean people, Yoon believes South Korea must work with the international community to find comprehensive responses to human rights abuses around the world.

“Rather than limiting [South Korea’s] response to human rights violations by North Korea, when there is a collective violation of human rights around the world, and when violations are committed by any government authority or political force, then the community international [including South Korea] must cooperate and respond so that the norms-based international order can be maintained,” Yoon said.

Yoon believes that South Korean activists who defend the human rights of North Koreans should be able to continue their activities without interference from Seoul, unless the groups’ efforts endanger South Koreans.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any government to forcibly regulate the activities of non-governmental human rights organizations toward North Korea, lest those activities offend North Korea,” he said. Yoon.

“The current South Korean government has legally prohibited the dissemination or sending of information to North Korea. I think that is a mistake unless the ban is absolutely necessary to protect the safety of South Koreans living near the North Korean border,” he added.

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Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to host EU leaders for summit amid war in Ukraine https://const-japan.com/japanese-prime-minister-kishida-to-host-eu-leaders-for-summit-amid-war-in-ukraine/ Fri, 06 May 2022 03:43:10 +0000 https://const-japan.com/japanese-prime-minister-kishida-to-host-eu-leaders-for-summit-amid-war-in-ukraine/ Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet next Thursday in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, Russia’s war against Ukraine and China’s assertiveness in the Indo region -peaceful to be discussed. The EU said on Thursday the summit will provide “an opportunity to showcase the ever-deepening […]]]>

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet next Thursday in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, Russia’s war against Ukraine and China’s assertiveness in the Indo region -peaceful to be discussed.

The EU said on Thursday the summit will provide “an opportunity to showcase the ever-deepening and dynamic alliance” between the regional bloc and Japan, which have similar values, including a commitment to upholding the international order based on on rules.

The combined photo shows European Council President Charles Michel (L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. (Getty/Kyodo)

This will be the first visit by the two EU leaders to Japan since taking office in December 2019.

They will discuss with Kishida further cooperation and alignment on sanctions against Russia and concrete ways to provide humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine, the EU said.

They are also expected to talk about China’s growing regional assertiveness and confirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Beijing sees the self-governing democratic island as a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Topics on the agenda will also include strengthening collaboration on climate change and digital partnership, as well as lifting travel restrictions that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kishida said in London on Thursday that Japan would further relax its border controls in June to bring them into line with other Group of Seven countries.

At the end of the summit, a joint declaration should be adopted. The last EU-Japan summit held in May last year was held via video conference due to the pandemic.


Related coverage:

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PM Modi News: India is tackling climate change ‘in a very direct way’: PM Modi https://const-japan.com/pm-modi-news-india-is-tackling-climate-change-in-a-very-direct-way-pm-modi/ Wed, 04 May 2022 06:28:46 +0000 https://const-japan.com/pm-modi-news-india-is-tackling-climate-change-in-a-very-direct-way-pm-modi/ Prime Minister Modi spoke about the importance of infrastructure in unlocking human potential. New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India remains committed to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, building the next generation infrastructure to fulfill their aspirations. In a video message during the inaugural session of the […]]]>

Prime Minister Modi spoke about the importance of infrastructure in unlocking human potential.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India remains committed to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, building the next generation infrastructure to fulfill their aspirations.

In a video message during the inaugural session of the fourth edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Prime Minister Modi said that the solemn promise of the Sustainable Development Goals is to leave no one behind.

The Prime Minister said that infrastructure is about people and providing them with high quality, reliable and sustainable services in an equitable manner. “People have to be at the heart of any infrastructure growth story. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in India,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that in order to make the future resilient, work should be carried out towards a “resilient infrastructure transition”. Resilient infrastructure can also be the centerpiece of our broader adaptation efforts. “If we make infrastructure resilient, we prevent disasters not just for ourselves but for many future generations,” he added.

The session was also delivered by Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida and President of Madagascar, Andry Nirina Rajoelina.

India is stepping up the provision of basic services in India in the fields of education, health, clean water, sanitation, electricity, transport and much more, Prime Minister said. minister. “We are also tackling climate change in a very direct way. That is why at COP-26 we committed to achieving ‘Net Zero’ by 2070, alongside our development efforts,” said he declared.

The Prime Minister spoke about the importance of infrastructure in unlocking human potential and said that damage to infrastructure leads to lasting damage for generations. In this context, the Prime Minister asked “with modern technology and knowledge at our disposal, can we create resilient infrastructure that is built to last?” Recognition of this challenge underpins the creation of the Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), he said.

He also noted that the coalition has grown and made valuable contributions. He mentioned the initiative on “Infrastructure for Resilient Island States” which was launched at COP-26 and CDRI’s work on resilient airports which studies 150 airports around the world.

The CDRI-led “Global Disaster Resilience Assessment of Infrastructure Systems” will help create global knowledge that would be extremely valuable, Prime Minister Modi said.

Initially, he also reminded people that the solemn promise of the Sustainable Development Goals is to leave no one behind.

“We remain committed to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable by building the next generation infrastructure to realize their aspirations,” he said.

The ICDRI is organized in collaboration with the United States government and is held from May 4 to 6 in New Delhi, in both offline and online modes.

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Global aluminum associations welcome new analysis from International… https://const-japan.com/global-aluminum-associations-welcome-new-analysis-from-international/ Mon, 02 May 2022 15:33:30 +0000 https://const-japan.com/global-aluminum-associations-welcome-new-analysis-from-international/ Aluminum associations from the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan welcome the new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WBG) and World Trade Organization (WTO). ), Subsidies, Trade and international cooperation. This joint report highlights that “with the increasing frequency and complexity of […]]]>

Aluminum associations from the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan welcome the new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WBG) and World Trade Organization (WTO). ), Subsidies, Trade and international cooperation.

This joint report highlights that “with the increasing frequency and complexity of distorting subsidies, even as the need for active policies to address climate, health, food and other emergencies grows, subsidies and the subsidy debate have caused significant discord in the trading system. The issue demands global attention and cooperation.

In welcoming the report, Charles Johnson, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association, Paul Voss, Managing Director of European Aluminium, Jean Simard, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association of Canada, and Yasushi Noto , Executive Director of the Japan Aluminum Association said:

“This latest analysis from the world’s leading international organizations draws attention, once again, to the prevalence of trade-distorting and environmentally-harming subsidies provided by and to state-owned enterprises across the world. of the aluminum value chain.”

“High levels of support displace production from unsubsidized companies unable to compete with deep pockets of the state and eliminate resilient supply chains in strategic sectors in the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan. Nearly 2 million direct and indirect jobs are threatened.

These same subsidies increase production in production systems with high GHG emissions, resulting in a much higher carbon footprint globally. By reducing opportunities for growth in unsubsidized production systems, subsidies also discourage private investment and innovation in sector decarbonization initiatives.

“Our member companies are committed to producing aluminum responsibly, but this is hampered by state capitalism on the scale we see today in the aluminum value chain. Urgent action is needed to put in place a level global playing field, open to fair competition and free from subsidies that favor a few companies at the expense of many. We actively support updated WTO rules and plurilateral initiatives to discipline harmful industrial subsidies and stand ready to work with international organizations and governments to achieve this.

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Ethnic Korean singer hopes hometown change will boost inclusivity https://const-japan.com/ethnic-korean-singer-hopes-hometown-change-will-boost-inclusivity/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 10:12:08 +0000 https://const-japan.com/ethnic-korean-singer-hopes-hometown-change-will-boost-inclusivity/ The Utoro Peace Memorial Museum holds an opening ceremony in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture on April 30, 2022, showcasing the history of descendants of wartime Korean workers living in the Utoro community in the city in western Japan. (Kyodo) UJI, Japan (Kyodo) — A Korean-born singer said Saturday […]]]>






The Utoro Peace Memorial Museum holds an opening ceremony in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture on April 30, 2022, showcasing the history of descendants of wartime Korean workers living in the Utoro community in the city in western Japan. (Kyodo)

UJI, Japan (Kyodo) — A Korean-born singer said Saturday that she hopes the transformation of her hometown from a site fighting decades of discrimination to one promoting peace and human rights man, would lead Japanese society to become more inclusive.

Chong Ami, who was a member of Japan’s top theater troupe Shiki Theater Company for more than 10 years, sang Arirang at a ceremony marking the opening of a museum chronicling the history of his hometown, Utoro.

The singing of the famous Korean folk song was meant to replace the “national anthem” usually performed at ceremonies, the third-generation Korean resident said. Utoro is a community formed during World War II by workers from the Korean Peninsula, then under Japanese rule, who were building an airfield.

“Arirang expresses the heart of the Korean people,” Chong said, dressed in traditional Korean attire, ahead of the ceremony at the Utoro Peace Memorial Museum in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan. .

Due to the lack of legal land ownership, the residents of Utoro had to live without running water until the Uji town authorities finally laid water pipes in 1988 after obtaining approval of the landowner at the time.

They were also facing eviction after a new landowner, a property developer, sued them in 1989 demanding they vacate the 2-hectare plot.

Although the residents lost the lawsuit, they were able to purchase a third of the land they lived on with funds raised by Korean residents, Japanese and South Korean citizens, and the South Korean government.

Since 2016, the sound of hammers has not ceased to echo in Utoro as the city authorities, after reaching an agreement with the inhabitants, demolished their houses to build social housing.

The museum is part of a plan to improve the living climate, aiming to make visitors think about human rights and peace by learning about the history of the Utoro community.

“Seeing Utoro now, I feel a certain loneliness. I almost wonder if this is really where I was born and raised,” said the 44-year-old singer, who has lived in the area until at about 20 years old.

While a member of the Shiki Theatre, Chong was part of the cast of The Lion King, playing the role of the baboon Rafiki.

But there were awkward moments back then, she said. Someone who saw Chong wearing a name tag on his chest looked surprised and said, “How come you speak Japanese so well?” This person knew little about Korean residents of Japan.

“I think Utoro is just the tip of the iceberg. There must be other neighborhoods where ethnic Koreans suffer from discrimination,” said Chong, who now works as a freelance singer. “I hope Utoro’s (transformation) will attract attention so that Japanese people will be more aware of the existence of Korean residents.”

The ceremony brought together local officials, including the mayor of Uji, and representatives of the pro-Seoul and pro-Pyongyang Korean residents’ groups.

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Missing tour boat found off Hokkaido https://const-japan.com/missing-tour-boat-found-off-hokkaido/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 04:38:58 +0000 https://const-japan.com/missing-tour-boat-found-off-hokkaido/ Sapporo/SHARI, HOKKAIDO – A tourist boat that went missing six days ago with 26 people on board was found off the coast of Hokkaido on Friday, the Japanese coast guard said. The name “Kazu I” was confirmed on the boat’s hull, he said. So far, the bodies of 14 people have been found since contact […]]]>

A tourist boat that went missing six days ago with 26 people on board was found off the coast of Hokkaido on Friday, the Japanese coast guard said.

The name “Kazu I” was confirmed on the boat’s hull, he said. So far, the bodies of 14 people have been found since contact with the 19-ton boat was lost on April 23 while touring Hokkaido’s Shiretoko peninsula.

Reports on Thursday emerged that the chairman of the tour boat operator repeatedly forced ship captains to leave despite high waves, sources with knowledge of the company’s business said.

While the exact cause of the fatal accident remains unclear, the bodies of three men wearing life jackets were found the same day in the waters off the east coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, roughly opposite the spot where the 19-tonne Kazu I made its first rescue call, according to the Coast Guard.

The sources said the operator, Shiretoko Yuransen, based in the town of Shari, was known to run frequent sightseeing tours despite the risk of bad weather.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Seiichi Katsurada, the operator’s chairman, admitted that his decision to allow the boat to depart on the condition that its captain turn around if the seas become rough was “mistaken”.

The sources said Katsurada grew angry when captains working for the company canceled tours or hesitated to sail, citing safety concerns, even before the fatal incident.

In Tokyo on Thursday, Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito responded to the president’s remarks at the press conference by saying, “It is impossible to have such a condition (to drive a boat).”

“I believe (Katsurada) lacked a sense of belonging and responsibility,” Saito said, criticizing the president’s inadequate response to the passengers’ families.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has set up a task force to investigate the company’s tourism operations, including whether there were any shortcomings.

The Coast Guard is investigating the incident with the possibility of building a case against the operator for professional negligence resulting in death and endangering traffic.

According to Shiretoko Yuransen’s rules, he must cancel tours when wind speeds are expected to exceed 28.8 kilometers per hour and waves are likely to reach a height of 1 meter, the sources said.

A weather warning for waves over 3 meters was issued in Shari 20 minutes before Kazu I sailed at 10 a.m. on the day of the accident.

A captain of another tourist boat operator in the area said the captain of the missing boat, Noriyuki Toyoda, often complained about the president’s coercive attitude.

“I have to go because I was told so,” the captain said, quoting Toyoda.

Search operations involving aircraft and ships are continuing for the 12 people still missing.

Kazu I disappeared on Saturday after leaving Shari port at 10 a.m. despite a strong wave warning to sail along the peninsula, designated a World Natural Heritage Site in 2005 and home to many rare species of animals and plants.

Before contact was lost, the boat, consisting of the 54-year-old captain and a deckhand, told the operator around 2 p.m. that the vessel was listing at 30 degrees, according to the coastguard.

The incident happened ahead of the Golden Week holiday in Japan through early May.

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Japanese train operator now fully powered by renewables https://const-japan.com/japanese-train-operator-now-fully-powered-by-renewables/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 15:42:42 +0000 https://const-japan.com/japanese-train-operator-now-fully-powered-by-renewables/ TOKYO (AP) – Shibuya in Tokyo is famous for its Scramble Crossing, where throngs of people weave through the intersection in a scene symbolizing the congestion and anonymity of urban Japan. This may have added another bragging right. Tokyu Railways trains passing through Shibuya and other stations switched to power generated solely by solar power […]]]>

TOKYO (AP) – Shibuya in Tokyo is famous for its Scramble Crossing, where throngs of people weave through the intersection in a scene symbolizing the congestion and anonymity of urban Japan. This may have added another bragging right.

Tokyu Railways trains passing through Shibuya and other stations switched to power generated solely by solar power and other renewable sources from April 1.

READ MORE: Even as calls for climate action grow, real greenhouse gas emissions exceed official reports

This means that carbon dioxide emissions from Tokyu’s sprawling network of seven train lines and a tram service are now zero, with green energy being used at all its stations, including vending machines. beverages, security camera screens and lighting.

Tokyu, which employs 3,855 people and connects Tokyo to neighboring Yokohama, is the first rail operator in Japan to achieve this goal. It says the reduction in carbon dioxide is equivalent to the average annual emissions of 56,000 Japanese households.

Nicholas Little, director of railway education at the Center for Railway Research and Education at Michigan State University, praised Tokyu for promoting renewable energy, but stressed the importance of increasing the net amount of this renewable energy.

“I would point out that the biggest impacts come from increasing electricity generation from renewable sources,” he said. “The long-term battle is to scale up renewable electricity generation and provide the transmission infrastructure to get it to where it is consumed.”

The technology used by Tokyu trains is among the greenest options for railways. The other two options are batteries and hydrogen.

And so is this just a publicity stunt, or is Tokyu heading in the right direction?

Ryo Takagi, a professor at Kogakuin University and a specialist in electric rail systems, believes that the answer is not simple because the evolution of rail technology is complex and depends on many uncertain societal factors.

In a nutshell, Tokyu’s efforts certainly don’t hurt and are probably better than doing nothing. They show that the company is rising to the challenge of promoting clean energy, he said.

“But I’m not going to go out of my way to praise it,” Takagi said.

Bigger gains would come from switching diesel trains in rural areas to hydrogen lines and switching gas-guzzling cars to electric, he said.

Tokyu has paid an undisclosed amount to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility behind the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, for certification of its use of renewable energy, even as Japan continues to use coal and other fossil fuels.

“We don’t see this as an achievement of our goal but just a start,” deputy manager Yoshimasa Kitano said at the Tokyu headquarters, a short walk from the Scramble Crossing.

Such steps are crucial for Japan, the world’s sixth largest carbon emitter, to reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

READ MORE: Without ‘radical action’, climate targets cannot be met, energy agency says

According to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, an independent non-profit research organization based in Tokyo, only about 20% of Japan’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

This is far behind New Zealand, for example, where 84% of the electricity used comes from renewable energy sources. New Zealand hopes to reach 100% by 2035.

Renewable sources that power Tokyu’s trains include hydroelectricity, geothermal energy, wind energy and solar energy, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that provides electricity and tracks its energy supply. .

Tokyu has more than 100 kilometers (64 miles) of railway tracks serving 2.2 million people a day, including “wages” and “salaries” and schoolchildren in uniform.

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, when a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake caused three reactors to collapse, Japan has shut down most of its nuclear power plants and stepped up the use of coal-fired power plants.

The country aims to have 36-38% of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030, while drastically reducing overall energy consumption.

Tokyu Railways sought to publicize its efforts with posters and YouTube clips.

Yet Ryuichi Yagi, who runs his own business which made ties but has switched to wallets, seemed surprised to learn he was traveling on a “green train”.

“I had no idea,” he said.

Yagi changed companies because of Japan’s “cool biz” movement. He encourages male office workers to ditch their suits for open-necked, short-sleeved shirts to conserve energy by keeping air conditioning to a minimum during the hot summer months.

In a way, he says, “I lead a very green life.”

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There’s grim news in this year’s Earth Day polls https://const-japan.com/theres-grim-news-in-this-years-earth-day-polls/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 09:40:46 +0000 https://const-japan.com/theres-grim-news-in-this-years-earth-day-polls/ Reprinted from GreenBuzz, a free weekly newsletter. Subscribe here. The polls are back – Earth Day-related polls measuring public opinion on environmental issues, that is. And while they never really left, they seem to be getting stronger this year. For more than a decade, I’ve tracked public opinion polls that gauge the attitudes of Americans […]]]>

Reprinted from GreenBuzz, a free weekly newsletter. Subscribe here.

The polls are back – Earth Day-related polls measuring public opinion on environmental issues, that is. And while they never really left, they seem to be getting stronger this year.

For more than a decade, I’ve tracked public opinion polls that gauge the attitudes of Americans and others on everything from public policy to personal habits. (See some recent examples from 2021, 2020, and 2019 — and, if you really want to get into the weeds, as far back as 2007.) Finding, reading, and synthesizing all of these findings is tedious work, sure, but I consider that as a public service.

This year’s poll – spoiler alert – is not particularly encouraging. Despite years of education and activism, not to mention ordinary advertising and public relations, we don’t seem much closer to this utopian vision of the masses coming together to support a greener, cleaner planet, let alone trying to solve the impending climate crisis.

So, let’s dig.

Top line: The economy, the war in Ukraine, the pandemic and other issues have pushed the climate crisis to the back burner for most Americans. A CBS News/YouGov poll found that the number of people saying climate change should be dealt with “now” has risen from 56% a year ago to 49% today. “This emergency drop, while not steep, is widespread,” he noted. “Fewer people of all ages, races and education groups, and of all partisan stripes, think climate change needs to be addressed immediately than they thought a year ago. Yet the most Americans believe this is a problem that needs to be solved now or at least within the next few years.”

Around the world, few can correctly identify the actions that would have the greatest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There was a similar sentiment in the Pew Research Center’s latest effort to understand which issues the public considers most important. “Dealing with climate change” ranked 14th out of 18 issues, behind “defence against terrorism” and “social security”, two topics which, although important, have not really made the news these days. last time. Overall, about four in 10 American adults said tackling climate change should be a top priority for President Joe Biden and Congress.

The outlook is hardly more encouraging outside the US borders. The Earth Day Ipsos poll of more than 23,000 adults in 31 countries concluded: “Among the things people are worried about, climate change is moderate among other concerns. Just under half said the climate was a concern, placing it eighth on a list of 15 topics, slightly ahead of “protecting children from internet pornography”. Concern was greatest in Colombia, Chile, Italy, Mexico and Argentina, although Ipsos did not offer its opinion on why Latin Americans seem more worried than others. Concern was lowest in Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and China.

The Netherlands?!? A third of this country is below sea level! Perhaps the lack of concern has to do with the fact that only 30% of Dutch citizens think their country “has a clear plan in place for how government, business and citizens themselves will work together. to combat climate change”. Globally, the number was 39%.

More communications, please.

Speaking of business, Americans are “looking for businesses to step up,” according to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll for the Conference Board. The research has been published in two reports, on consumers’ sustainability priorities and their view of progress across sectors.

Among the discoveries:

  • Consumers are interested in supporting corporate sustainability efforts. Yet the high price of durable products or services is a significant barrier. “Innovations aimed at better balancing product quality, price and convenience will contribute to greater consumer acceptance of sustainable alternatives.”
  • Consumer expectations for faster progress are likely to increase. Consumers say changes are needed across a range of industries to advance sustainability. “Associating with established or emerging initiatives and showing a willingness to collaborate with competitors for the common good can signal a company’s commitment to stakeholders.”
  • Communications must intensify. “Lack of awareness, understanding and trust in sustainability claims are all significant barriers to consumers purchasing sustainable products more frequently,” according to Harris Poll.

Consumers viewed utilities, technology and food companies as sustainability leaders, followed closely by homebuilders, automakers, restaurants, pharmaceutical manufacturers and appliance makers.

Another interesting finding: “Companies might be better off focusing on the sustainability enthusiasts rather than trying to convert the naysayers.” From a cost-benefit perspective, there may be less to be gained from trying to convince skeptical consumers of the benefits of sustainable products; they are less likely to accept a sustainability premium. “To reach these skeptical consumers, companies need to combine their communications about their sustainability initiatives with messaging about other benefits that have more universal appeal such as quality, healthier ingredients, or unique features, including design and customer experience.

But it’s not just skeptical consumers. Even those who seem to care aren’t particularly knowledgeable about what to do.

It’s a sobering conclusion from an Ipsos survey that found that most people around the world “are not very likely to make environmentally friendly changes that would have the greatest impact on the reduction of carbon emissions”. Less than half say they are likely to make changes such as eating less dairy, eating less meat or switching to a more energy efficient home heating system.

“Around the world, few can correctly identify the actions that would have the greatest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Ipsos noted. Among a list of possible actions, people are most likely to say that recycling is the best way to reduce emissions (49%). However, recycling ranked 60th on a list of the most impactful personal climate actions in this 2020 academic study.

Ipsos concluded: People “are always the least likely to change the behaviors that would have the most impact.”

Let’s stop for a moment and think about this sentence. After all these decades and countless billions of dollars spent on marketing and communications, the public still doesn’t know how to embrace climate solutions.

All this points to an urgent need for companies to intensify their training activities, whether with employees, customers or the world. There is a clear and present danger in public ignorance about environmental issues in general and about climate solutions in particular.

A final complaint: Can we please please stop asking people to choose between prioritizing environmental protection or economic growth? Gallup has been asking for it for decades, including again this year, helping to perpetuate the myth that it can only be one or the other. By now it should be well established that the two are not only compatible but inextricably linked: you cannot have a healthy economy in a failing environment.

In this view, a false choice is worse than no choice at all.

I invite you to follow me on twittersubscribe to my Monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzzfrom where this was reprinted, and listen GreenBiz 350my weekly podcast, co-hosted with Heather Clancy.

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