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  3. The Symposium of “A Philosophy of Post-Fukushima”, 2nd Unit

The Symposium of “A Philosophy of Post-Fukushima”, 2nd Unit

The Symposium of “A Philosophy of Post-Fukushima”, 2nd Unit 


 The Symposium on “A Philosophy of Post-Fukushima” titled “Energy after the Fukushima Disaster and the True Meaning of Richness” was held on November 22, 2014, at the Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Building 6, Room 6302). Takada Hisayo (International NGO Greenpeace Japan), and Murakami Shimpei (Nanairo no Sora) both delivered lectures at this event.2

 In a lecture titled “One Year of Zero Nuclear Energy Throughout Japan: Creating the Energy of the Future Together” Takada described her fieldwork on the Sendai Nuclear Power Station (Kagoshima Prefecture). She spoke in detail about the present operational status of nuclear power stations in Japan. As part of her analysis, Takada explained that, despite nuclear power stations being offline nationwide for over a year, as of September 2014 a stable supply of energy nonetheless exists, thus demonstrating that nuclear energy is not necessary. One must note that Japan has been increasingly relying upon thermal power generation to compensate for this energy imbalance. However, were the Japanese public to practice energy saving and use renewable energy, sufficient energy for replacing nuclear power would exist. Indeed, were Japanese citizens to increase their efforts at saving energy, the energy revolution in Japan would in fact accelerate.

3 In a lecture titled “Looking to the Future, What is the Meaning of Truly Desirable Wealth?” Murakami presented a way of living in harmony with nature. He spoke about his thirty-year experience of promoting natural farming both in Japan and overseas, as well as in developing rural communities. These experiences taught him to create farmland that fully utilizes the “cyclicality,” “diversity,” and “multilayeredness” of nautral forests, and to never plunder nature or exploite people. Although Murakami previously led a life according to these beliefs in Iitate Village, in Fukushima Prefecture, he was forced to evacuate after the nuclear disaster. While describing the situation during the disaster, he explained that energy generated in a way that destroys and pollutes nature will never provide true richness. Instead, we should seek a different kind of richness that is found within ourselves and nature.

 The event was attended by students from the university as well as people from outside the academy. The audience posted spirited questions and many people exchanged opinions on the topic. The symposium proved to be very meaningful, as it not only underlined the importance of preserving the memories of the energy crisis and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but also suggested specific steps and stances that could be used for future progress.