Japanese youth call for action on climate change

Youth groups have gathered around Japan to call for action on climate change.

The event, organized by a group of young people, took place to coincide with the United Nations COP26 climate change conference taking place in Britain.

The rally took place on Saturday in 10 prefectures nationwide, including Hokkaido and Shizuoka. Nearly 100 high school and college students gathered at the Tokyo site near Shinjuku station.

Takasu Kaichi, a university student from Shiga Prefecture, said people cannot focus on others, society or the global environment unless they are emotionally and financially able to do so. He said there must be a social and economic system that gives people leeway to think about the future.

Nakamura Suzuka, a university student from Kagoshima Prefecture who participated online, asked when Japan would stop using coal. She said now was the time to do it. She said the country needs to quickly convert to the use of renewable energy sources.

A 31-year-old woman at the event said it touched her to see people younger than her take a stand. She said that with Japanese technology, the country should be able to break its dependence on coal power and called for the design of specific measures.

Kurobe Mutsumi, a university student and member of the youth group that organized the event, said countries attending the COP conference appear to showcase how well their countries are doing. She said they should listen more to the voices of young people around the world.

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