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[Press Release]G20 Osaka Summit: GLOBAL PEOPLE’S ACTION in Yokosuka

Press Release

June 26, 2019

G20 Osaka Summit:
GLOBAL PEOPLE’S ACTION in Yokosuka
Citizens demand coal exit, cancellation of coal plant construction, faster climate action

6.26 Yokosuka Action Team

Today citizens and NGOs came together for a public protest in an open space adjacent to the site of the Yokosuka coal-fired power plant project in Kurihama, Yokosuka City, demanding that the Government of Japan take more concrete measures to address climate change and phase out coal immediately. This action also demanded that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe show true leadership as the chair of the G20 Osaka Summit Japan is hosting on June 28 and 29 by moving Japan away from coal, in order to achieve the Paris Agreement target to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (C˚).

About 100 people gathered from Yokosuka City and the region to join this protest. With the former Yokosuka oil-fired power plant being dismantled in the background, photos were taken with a cutout of Prime Minister Abe grinning ear to ear and holding a bucket of coal. Protesters displayed banners while NGO representatives read out messages demanding the cancelation of this project.

The Yokosuka coal-fired power plant project (1300 MW, with 2 units of 650 MW each) is the only remaining one of four that were planned to be constructed around the Tokyo Bay area. The other three – Ichihara, Chiba and Sodegaura – were cancelled due to strong opposition from local residents, while the Yokosuka project was allowed to complete the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, and moved ahead to foundation work on May 7. The deconstruction of the old power plant is already underway in preparation for new construction scheduled to start on August 1.

This project is owned by JERA, a company funded by TEPCO Fuel & Power and Chubu Electric Power. After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, this project was listed in a “Proposal for TEPCO Reform” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) has reportedly decided to finance this project. In all respects, the Yokosuka project is an iconic representation of the Japanese government’s pursuit of new coal-fired power plant construction.

Forty-five people, mostly Yokosuka citizens, filed an administrative lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court on May 27, 2019, calling on the government to withdraw the final notification of the EIA process for both units of the Yokosuka plant. Timed for today’s action, the plaintiff group launched a website about the lawsuit in English and Japanese: https://yokosukaclimatecase.jp/en/

Rikuro Suzuki, representative of the plaintiffs, commented, “I am concerned that the new coal-fired power plant will cause health hazards. I cannot accept how residents are being ignored, how the project is being pushed through, and how the EIA process was fast-tracked. Japan should switch from coal to sustainable energy to stop environmental destruction and protect our children’s future.“

Alongside the protest in Yokosuka today, under the NO COAL JAPAN campaign that calls for the decarbonization of Japan, anti-coal protests took place in several countries that import Japanese coal-power technologies and are involved in the coal industry (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and the U.S.). See the NO COAL JAPAN website for more information: Link

CONTACTS

For more information on the citizens’ action and press release, contact:
6.26 Yokosuka Action Team

Kiko Network Tokyo Office (Momoi and Suzuki)
Tel +81-3-3263-9210 Email tokyo@kikonet.org

Information on June 26 (2019) Yokosuka Action Supporters

No Coal Tokyo Bay  <https://nocoal-tokyobay.net/>

No Coal Tokyo Bay is a citizens’ liaison group working on issues surrounding coal-fired power plants planned to be constructed in the Tokyo Bay area. It consists of four citizens’ groups active in the planned construction areas (Chiba city, Ichihara city, Sodegaura city and Yokosuka city) along with Kiko Network, FoE Japan, Greenpeace Japan, Patagonia Japan branch, and other organizations. Three of the four projects have already been cancelled due to strong opposition, leaving only the Yokosuka project remaining.

Green Alliance Japan <https://greenrengo.jp/>

The aim of Green Alliance Japan is to connect people involved in various forms of environmental activities, to bring together and share people’s experiences and wisdom, and to create change in Japanese society to protect the deteriorating environment and build a sustainable and affluent society.

CAN-Japan <https://www.can-japan.org/>

CAN-Japan is the Japanese branch of Climate Action Network (CAN), an international network organization of over 120 countries and 1100 environmental NGOs that work on combating climate change. In addition to connecting with and taking part in international activities with CAN International, CAN-Japan works on domestic activities such as connecting Japanese NGOs, strengthening Japan’s climate change measures to promote sustainable energy and to advance international negotiations.

e-shift <http://e-shift.org/>

e-shift is a group of organizations and individuals that were brought together after the Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011. Its goal is to phase out nuclear energy, and instead, promote sustainable renewable energy policies. Activities focus on (1) minimizing accident damage from the nuclear accident and clarifying responsibilities, (2) creating policy recommendations for abandoning nuclear energy and creating sustainable energy policies and implementing them, and (3) disseminating helpful information to citizens and creating a social movement.

Fridays For Future Tokyo <https://www.facebook.com/fridaysforfuturejapan/>

Fridays For Future (FFF) is a movement mainly consisting of children and students that began in the summer of 2018, after 15 year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden started a school strike to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. FFF Tokyo empathized with Greta’s message, and is now working to get as many people in Japan to learn about climate change and take action.

NO COAL JAPAN <http://www.nocoaljapan.org/>

No Coal Japan is a coalition of dozens of civil society groups around the world, all working together to stop the construction of coal-fired power plants around the world. While many countries are switching to safe and reliable renewable energy, Japan continues to financially support the construction of new coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. No Coal Japan is working to stop the Japanese government, financial institutions and companies from supporting new coal-fired power plants across the globe.

Supporting Organizations

No Coal Tokyo Bay: Anti-coal Yokosuka, Kiko Network, FoE Japan, 350.org Japan, Greenpeace Japan, Environmental Citizen Group of Kodaira, Yokohama Action Research, RH2 Network, Oiso Eneshift, Japan Association of Environment and Society for the 21st Century (JAES21), A SEED JAPAN, People’s Power Network, Ecomesse, Greens Japan, No Coal Tokyo Bay: Anti-coal Soga, No Coal Tokyo Bay: Anti-coal Ichihara, No Coal Tokyo Bay: Anti-coal Sodegaura

Photos and videos of protests

You can download photos from this Google Drive address:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1rCcJHPrD-H6ns4ER905Cc-LfPjCnIhKr

Permission to use these photos and videos is granted only for non-commercial purposes.

If you use our No Coal Japan campaign photos or videos, please acknowledge the source as follows: Credit: No Coal Japan
Also, when you use photos from different countries, please acknowledge the credit source indicated on its folder name.
ex. Indonesia: All credit: Melvinas Priananda / Trend Asia

Thank you for your cooperation.