Looking Squarely at the Future

August 29(Monday)

Looking squarely at the far-ahead future...


At today's party presidential election for the DPJ, Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Minister of Finance, was decided upon as the next DPJ president.  Tomorrow at the Diet he will be designated Prime Minister.  Mr. Noda has placed emphasis on shoring up public finances and other such matters thus far, and in light of his calm demeanor I have great expectations for him in uniting the party as well.


I myself was able to move forward smoothly with the procedures for stepping aside, with the passage by August 26 of all three bills that I had set as targets enabling me to resign: the second supplementary budget, the Act to Promote Renewable Energies, and the Act on Special Provisions concerning Issuance of Government Bonds.  I intend to be engaged in the promotion of renewable energies as my life work even after I step down from office.


Actually, with regard to renewable energies, ultimately I would like to create a "Green Things" political party.  This is because I believe firmly that what will save the earth and what will save humanity is "green things"―plants.  Why?  It is manifestly apparent when you look at history from the earliest beginnings of the earth.


Do you know what comprises the atmospheres of Mars and Venus?  It is in fact about 95% carbon dioxide.  Moreover, it is said that when the earth came into existence about 4.5 billion years ago, the earth's atmosphere was also more than 95% carbon dioxide.  Yet that has declined to less than 0.04% in the present day.  Why?  Entirely through the power of plants.


First of all, plant life (algae) arose in the ocean, where it is difficult to be impacted by the sun's ultraviolet light, which acts potently to kill living organisms.  Through the carbon assimilation of the algae's chlorophyll, carbon dioxide is broken down into oxygen and carbon, and oxygen was diffused into the atmosphere.  The O3 ozone layer arose from that O2 oxygen, blocking out ultraviolet light.  Plants developed on land and huge forests formed, with carbon taking solid form in the form of coal and so on.  In this way the current atmosphere developed, with ample amounts of oxygen as a component.  It was against the backdrop of this kind of environment that we animals first became able to exist.


Until we came to burn coal during the Industrial Revolution, the energies used by humans also came from plants, for the most part.  One scholar has made the provisional calculation that "if we were to use only one-eighth of the portion of annual growth of the earth's plant life and, rather than leave it to decay, were able to convert it all to energy instead, it would cover the entire amount of energy currently used annually by the entirety of the world's population."  As this would only be utilizing the process of emitting carbon dioxide, the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would not increase through this process.  In this way, it is plants―that is to say, biomass energy―that have a potential even greater than that of wind or solar energy.


In order also to incorporate this into the reconstruction efforts after the earthquake disaster, first, 100 million yen has been allocated within the second supplementary budget to cover the exploratory investigation costs for ten biomass power-generating stations that would utilize the wood in the rubble from the disaster areas, and then in the future use the leftover wood resulting from forestry operations.  I would like full-fledged operations to be addressed within the third supplementary budget.


--- Here in my last entry I wrote about a topic I enjoy, and with this, "Prime Minister Kan's Blog" will itself come to an end.  There were occasions at which I wished to say more about my own personal thoughts, and I believe that I spoke as frankly as possible within the extent possible in light of my position as Prime Minister.  I would like to thank all my readers for following this blog this far.

August 16, 2011
Dialogues with experts: "Now or never" countermeasures against radiation contamination
August 15, 2011
Ready to carry out my responsibilities
August 12, 2011
Five months since the earthquake disaster - towards a society in which no one is isolated
August 9, 2011
Replacing both people and structures to ensure no backsliding
July 31, 2011
"The next era" (7): The participation of 'the people' will decide our future course
July 26, 2011
The second supplementary budget and the Basic Policy for Reconstruction
July 22, 2011
The key question: Who exactly will check the safety?
July 21, 2011
Achieving "Step 1" in stabilizing the nuclear accident and the path ahead
July 18, 2011
July 17, 2011
Conversing with the people working at the nuclear accident site
July 14, 2011
"The next era" (6): Towards a society that does not rely on nuclear power
July 12, 2011
The essence of the problem behind the introduction of stress tests
July 6, 2011
The second supplementary budget, and my expectation for Mr. Hirano, new Minister for Reconstruction in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake
July 1, 2011
Increasing Research Funds for Hepatitis B
June 30, 2011
The comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems
June 29, 2011
Hepatitis B situation not yet settled
June 29, 2011
My reflections over the past week
June 21, 2011
"The next era" (5): Looking at the current reality as we also look to the future
June 16, 2011
"The next era" (4): The Bill to Promote Renewable Energies
June 13, 2011
"The next era" (3): A surge toward natural energies
June 8, 2011
"The next era" (2): Transforming our energy policy
June 6, 2011
"The next era" (1): My experiences with wind power
May 29, 2011
"A new, humane wind" and an okiagari-koboshi doll
May 19, 2011
Meeting with Dr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
May 2, 2011
Moving forward through all political parties acting in unity
April 28, 2011
With determination to move forward and a spirit of mourning
April 15, 2011
Launch of the Reconstruction Design Council
April 13, 2011
As the tense situation continues, moving from excessive self-restraint to a design of reconstruction
March 10, 2011
My expectations towards new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and new Special Advisor Takayoshi Igarashi
March 8, 2011
Continual progress by the government: The first "review of government regulations"
March 3, 2011
Finding a place you belong and a role to play as you begin your new life in society this spring
March 2, 2011
Decreasing the number of suicides through the strength of society and the strength of the government
March 1, 2011
The budget bill passes the House of Representatives--now, let's reach an agreement between the ruling and opposition parties at all costs
February 12, 2011
My respect towards the affairs in Egypt and my expectations
February 10, 2011
Looking beyond the question time in Diet
January 30, 2011
"Opening up Japan," "creating new bonds (kizuna)," and "a society with the least unhappiness" resonating with people in Davos
January 25, 2011
The beginning of a new Diet session and where we now stand
January 23, 2011
Embarking towards a world without nuclear weapons
January 14, 2011
What lies ahead as a new structure is launched
January 10, 2011
To all those reaching the age of majority
January 5, 2011
The year to switch from defensive mode to a successful offensive has begun
January 1, 2011
Lessons from living to 100: Another New Year's reflection
December 27, 2010
Parts of the fiscal 2011 budget I am determined to pursue, such as the budget for science and engineering
December 21, 2010
Ichiro Ozawa and the Political Ethics Hearing Committee issue
December 18, 2010
My second visit to Okinawa since assuming office
December 14, 2010
Determination to lower the corporate tax rate and the duty to return human remains
December 13, 2010
A tour of rice farming in Yamagata; the Tokyo International Anime Fair