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  5. How to Green the Japanese Consumer Market after the Great East Japan Earthquake

2012 Vol.1
How to Green the Japanese Consumer Market after the Great East Japan Earthquake


As Japan faces an enormous amount of urgent issues that have arisen due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, the country is forgetting about global environmental problems. However, giving the issue proper consideration, it becomes clear that electric power supply systems need to be revolutionized following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and that such change is ultimately consistent with efforts to solve a global issue, the prevention of climate change. While securing the electricity supply is the sole, most important issue at this time, a common solution to broader problems would be the massive introduction of renewable energies combined with comprehensive energy conservation. This common solution would also be effective for energy security”æ­› major weakness of Japan”æ­›s well as help Japanese industry to survive. Put differently, renewable energy is domestically produced energy, and its large-scale introduction would lead to a reduction in import costs and become an effective means to sustain the Japanese economy. At the same time, if technologies developed in the process could be utilized overseas, they too could support some of the country’s industries.
From the standpoint of general global trends in the future, there is a need to green all markets so that human activities do not go beyond the limits of our planet. The situation that Japan faces today can be an important turning point in achieving this greening. Focusing on such a long-term prospect, this paper analyzes the relevant history and the current state of greening the markets. More specifically, it provides an overview of the process in which efforts for greening the markets have progressed from as many perspectives as possible, discusses the need for creating a green society in addition to greening the energy industry, and considers what kinds of basic attitudes consumers, producers, and policy makers should adopt in realizing such a society.