Watching the U.N. summit on accelerating action on climate change earlier this week from Japan — the only country nuked by atomic bombs to end World War II and that nuked itself in 2011 when the Fukushima nuclear power plant imploded — was surreal.
Watching world leader after world leader speak on what their country is doing to reduce carbon emissions, I could not believe that Japan’s prime minister had not been invited to speak due to Japan’s lack of commitment to ramp up efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
In fact Japan, a country espousing eco-friendly values, is falling behind the rest of the world in phasing out coal! In post-Fukushima Japan, the government considers coal one of its main energy sources due to its advantage of being cheap, stable and safe from geopolitical risk, because Japan imports almost all its oil from the Middle East. The continued use of coal is partly because Japan diversified its energy sources due to the oil shocks of the 1970s.
The government says Japan needs coal to make up for the shortfall after shutting down most of its nuclear power plants in response to the Fukushima crisis in 2011. After Fukushima, coal power, which had accounted for about a quarter of Japan’s power supply, rose to more than 30 percent in 2013 to compensate for the nuclear plant shutdowns — and has risen since!
Coal, if it is used under rudimentary technology is the dirtiest of the fossil fuel-fired generation methods. Japan claims it is “clean coal” energy that it is utilizing. The fact is, even when coal plants use the best available technology, they are still worse in terms of carbon emissions compared with gas-fired power.
Japan is the fifth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide worldwide with emissions of 1.2 billion tons a year. China, America, India and Russia emit more!
Watching what Japan is doing — or not — to itself, especially a couple of weeks ago when it was slammed by Typhoon Faxai that destroyed homes, brought down power lines and left more than 80,000 homes without power and water, is — and should be — a major global concern.
The reason the world has to wake up to Japan’s harakiri suicide culture, suicide by disembowelment, is because it is among the highest in the word — and now threatens the rest of us!
Earlier this month on September 9, Japan announced it will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of storage room. Storage space for the contaminated water will run out in 2022 at which time more than a million tons of contaminated water will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean.
“The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it” said Japan’s Environment Minister Yoshiaki Haruda.