June 8(Wednesday)

"The next era" (2): Transforming our energy policy

 

"I urge you to allow me to carry out those responsibilities until a certain degree of progress in handling this earthquake disaster and nuclear accident has been achieved.  ...When that degree of progress has been attained, I will hand over responsibilities to the younger generation and I hope to foster anew the understanding of the people... towards the next era."

 

This was the appeal I made at last Thursday's party meeting of DPJ legislators.  This blog entry is the latest in a series that spells out what I envision through the words "the next era" appearing in the statement during the meeting.

 

Yesterday, the Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy held its ninth meeting.  During this session, the second since the hiatus caused by the earthquake disaster, the Council engaged in lively discussions on energy policies for "the next era," with business leaders, academics, and others also participating.

 

While no one had an objection to my proposal to "add renewable natural energies and energy conservation" to our existing energy pillars, which have been centered on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, there were considerable differences in the nuances expressed by the discussion participants regarding the "weight" of natural energies and energy conservation within our future energies as a whole.

 

Council member Dr. Hiroshi Komiyama, former President of the University of Tokyo, emphasized that "natural energies and energy conservation will be the core of 21st century energies," and in fact his own house features solar energy and is a model for energy conservation.  I have had the pleasure of seeing his house in person, and it demonstrates firsthand that it is possible to live comfortably even while conserving energy and drastically reducing energy consumption.

 

I myself also consider it important to undertake a dramatic paradigm shift away from the thinking of the 20th century.  However, a major characteristic of energy conservation and natural energies is that "each such instance occurs on a small scale".  As a result, these policies themselves will not become reality without the participation of a great many people.

 

Transforming our energy policy.  In order to make this a reality as we work towards "the next era," the participation of the people will be indispensable.



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