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Can Japan Achieve a Sustainable Future without Nuclear Energy?
- Tetsunari Iida (Executive Director, Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies)
In the aftermath of the 3.11 Fukushima nuclear crisis, the long-term viability of the nuclear industry in Japan has been called into question, with a dynamic anti-nuclear social movement challenging the Japanese government’s response to the crisis. While this movement initially enlisted tens of thousands of people, many of whom had not previously engaged in political activism, as time has passed, the anti-nuclear movement has failed to gain ground against the entrenched forces of conservative politics, even while anti-nuclear sentiment remains strong. A central moment in this process was the recent elections, which returned the Liberal Democratic party to power on a nationalist agenda that included plans to restart all of Japan’s reactors, and even build new ones.
In contrast to the back-to-the-future politics of the LDP, the anti-nuclear candidate Tetsunari Iida, who ran for governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, has called for a fundamental rethinking of Japan’s energy policy away from nuclear energy to renewable forms that are more environmentally friendly. Although Mr. Iida experienced a setback in the 2012 elections, losing to a conservative candidate who was backed by the LDP, his campaign raised a number of issues for consideration that had not been previously addressed, invigorating the anti-nuclear movement throughout Japan.
For this presentation, Mr. Iida will discuss the political dysfunction that contributed to the nuclear crisis, and offer an alternate vision that has raised widespread support among a public alienated from mainstream politics, offering hope for a safer and more ecologically sustainable future.
Executive Director, Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies
Dr. Tetsunari Iida is a leading authority on renewable energy, and a cultural innovator who has introduced ecologically friendly initiatives through his position as Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), a non-profit and independent research institute. As a committee member for the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade, and through his position as a member for the Ministry of Environment’s National Environmental Council, he has promoted a new generation of energy policies in Japan, and become one of Japan’s most influential anti-nuclear proponents.
Prior to gaining national notoriety as a candidate for Governor of Yamaguchi prefecture, in 2011 he launched the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, a policy initiative involving some 100 experts from around the world who are studying alternative energy sources. With a background as Nuclear energy engineer, and as a policy specialist for government energy policy initiatives, he has a unique perspective on the viability of nuclear energy in Japan, and has become a notable spokesman for alternative energy policy in Japan and abroad.
- Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources under METI (2011 ~ 2013),
- Advisory Committee for Prevention of Nuclear Accident organized by Cabinet Secretariat (2011 ~ 2012),
- Climate Change Task Force at Cabinet Office (2009 ~ 2012),
- Climate Change Committee for Ministry of Environment (2001 ~ ),
- Renewable Energy Committee for Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (~ 2005),
- Energy Policy Committee for Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (~ 2003),
- Environmental Committee for Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2001 ~ ),
- Special Advisory on Energy Policy for Osaka City and Prefecture Government (~ 2012)
- Board of World Bioenergy Association,
- Board of REN21,
- Partner of REEEP,
- Scientific board of World Bioenergy Conference, Board of International Solar City Congress,
- Scientific board of World Wind Energy Association,
- Green Cross International’s Energy Program Advisory Committee