As Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi spoke at the recent U.N. climate conference in Madrid, “Japan faced a barrage of criticism” over the continuous use and support for coal-fired power, writes Eric Johnston in his Dec. 13 article “Koizumi confronts coal criticism.” Koizumi seemed fairly concerned about the overall ecological state of the Earth, mentioning that he himself is expecting a child next year and his desire to secure a future for his and all children.

However, not once did a specific proposal or measure come from Koizumi’s mouth that could propel Japan to become a more sustainable country. What is more aggravating is the fact that he told the world, with total confidence: “Japan may not be perceived as fully committed. That is not true. Japan is fully committed, and we will deliver,”. As a student, I have learned that when rebutting, you must have a strong argument to support your counterargument. “We will deliver” does not support his claim of Japan being fully committed, nor justify the ongoing funding toward coal-fired power plants.

In addition, his statement about not receiving recognition from other nations for Japan’s “accomplishment” of reducing greenhouse gas emissions five years in a row was shocking. For me, a 20-year-old woman who just wants to live in a greener world, this comment shows the reality of Japanese politics. It is still about incentives and recognition from counterparts.

It is the government’s responsibility to uphold economic standards, but officials must realize that this certainly cannot be regarded on the same scale as our planet’s current environmental state.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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