Japan announced Friday that it will renege on its carbon emissions pledge, likely ending any hope global warming can be kept to 2.0 degrees C.
Two and a half years ago, Ayako Oga, now 30, found herself helpless as an earthquake and the tsunami it triggered hit Japan and crippled four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She and her husband were forced to abandon their village Ookuma Machi, barely five kilometres away.
Life for Yoshihiro Watanabe and his wife Mutsuko, mushroom and rice farmers from Fukushima, has changed drastically since the disastrous meltdowns in the Dai Ichi nuclear plant that was hit by a massive tsunami after a 9.0 strong earthquake struck on Mar. 11, 2011.
Efforts to protect the critically endangered Iriomote wildcat, a spotted, shy, feral creature native to the tiny Iriomote Island that forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan, are becoming a highly respected model of conservation here, where the government’s uneven track record in protecting imperiled species has frustrated wildlife activists for decades.
Almost five years have passed since the global financial crisis, and the world economy is still reeling from its consequences. The main reason for this is the continued stagnation in developed countries, which is adversely affecting economic dynamism in other regions.
Yukako Harada, an energetic 29-year-old, is part of a small but determined band of women farmers working hard to revitalise Japan’s moribund agricultural sector, which is feeling the crunch of an ageing population and a flood of cheap imports.
The United Nations has come under criticism from medical experts and members of civil society for what these critics consider inaccurate statements about the effects of lingering radioactivity on local populations.
After a two-year break, Iceland has resumed its hunting of fin whales. But environmental campaigners outside of Iceland are doing their best to stop it.
Developed countries report that they delivered more than 33 billion dollars in Fast Start Finance (known as FSF), beyond the pledges they made at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009. Recent analysis suggests that the funding delivered may have exceeded 38 billion dollars. But that is not the whole story.
More than five years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the world economy has shown few signs of stabilising and moving towards strong and sustained growth.
The global economy is awash with successive waves of liquidity generated over the past few years by the four most advanced economies, viz., the United States, the European Union, (EU), Japan and the United Kingdom, known as the G4. This liquidity has taken the form of “quantitative easing” (QE).
Acutely aware of China’s strong presence in resource-rich Africa, Japan, the world’s third largest economy, is beefing up its relations with the continent. Participants at a high-level donor conference hosted by Japan this week stressed the need for closer engagement, not through the traditional grants and assistance loans that have hitherto defined the relationship, but rather through trade and investment led by the Japanese private sector.
As Japan slips from its former top spot as the world’s biggest donor, experts here are worried about long-term changes in the country’s development assistance programme, which has played a crucial role in global poverty reduction efforts.
The island of Okinawa has long been known as the base camp for a majority of the United States’ 50,000 troops in Japan. But now, against the backdrop of escalating nuclear threats from North Korea, local leaders are pushing hard to promote this island – the largest of 60 that comprise Japan’s southern prefecture – and its surrounding islets as a lucrative site for commercial enterprises.
Pushed and pulled in opposite directions, the future of Japan’s energy plans in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago is emerging as a fight between national economic advancement and what anti-nuke activists call “the lives of the people”.