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How Japan’s Low Carbon Society and Nuclear Power Generation Came Hand in Hand via Japan Focus

While tackling global warming issues has gained popular approval in the names of Eco and LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), in recent years the voices of citizens against nuclear power have been suppressed in Japan’s environmental protection movement. It is worth reflecting on the possibility that Japan’s eco became warped in light of the fact that TEPCO became its big sponsor.

The Fuji Sankei Group sponsors a prize, the Grand Prize for the Global Environment Award, given annually to a company or a group actively engaged in protecting against global warming and supporting environmental protection. The twentieth recipient to be of the prize announced on February 25 this year was, ironically, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), that is now the party concerned with the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the Sankei article announcing the prize, TEPCO built, at a Kawasaki power plant, a system that recycled the vapor produced in power generation as an energy source. Apparently, judges on the screening committee including Mukuta Satoshi, managing director of Keidanren, highly evaluated this as, in Mukuta’s words, “a good example of energy conservation that goes beyond a company’s borders.”
At this late point, this can only be called a black joke, and in April, TEPCO declined to accept the prize. In fact, the company had won a reputation as a leading Japanese company that invested in nvironmental protection.

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