We all are quite familiar with the Cool Japan campaign to promote global interest in Japan’s music, fashion, anime, manga and traditional culture (tea ceremony, kimono). But the coolest part of post-3/11 Japan is an opportunity through recovery to create a future-oriented sustainable society that establishes a balance between humanity and nature. Humankind’s respect for nature–its glory and its fury–is a longstanding tradition in this earthquake-prone archipelago. Why not make Japan a model of growth through sustainability for the Asian region as well as the world? Today’s Japan Times‘ editorial makes exactly that point in its call for the Noda government to “push environment-friendly policies in earnest.”
The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe has made it clear that Japan has no alternative but to push energy savings and green energy to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy and to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
The new plan calls for the realization of a sustainable society through efforts to build a low-carbon and recycling society, and to promote harmony between people and nature on the foundation of ensuring safety. Harmonization between people and nature is included from the viewpoint of protecting biodiversity. When looked at closely, though, the plan contains various problems… The plan calls for strengthening measures to recycle and utilize useful resources such as rare metals in electronic appliances. But attention should be paid to the basic issue — drastically changing our current mass-production, mass-waste society.
Brand Japan, Cool Japan, whatever we want to call it, must include a model for sustainability and respect for the natural environment. We are more than consumers. We are stewards of this planet. What suggestions do you have for promoting a “cool, green Japan”?