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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 16 - 29  > Young people rally to urge gov’t to increase its effort to combat climate change
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2020 September 16 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Young people rally to urge gov’t to increase its effort to combat climate change

September 26, 2020

On September 25, joining with environmentally-concerned youths who staged protests in many countries across the globe to urge their governments to work harder to combat climate change, Japanese youth assembled in front of the Diet building to call on the government to increase its effort to tackle the issue.

With the COVID-19 pandemic being a serious concern in Japan, in order to avoid forming a crowd, about 100 participants expressed their protests by placing footwear and message signs on the roadside near the Diet building. The sidewalk was covered by around 100 pairs of sneakers, boots, sandals, and other types of footwear.

This action was organized by a youth group called “Fridays for Future Tokyo”. Similar events took place at 75 locations in 32 prefectures across the country.

One of the participants, a 26-year-old woman said that when she was a child, she often traveled abroad with her family and saw many people living in poverty. She said, “I know now that the environment problem is a factor behind the worsening poverty in the world. The Japanese government appears to be reluctant to reduce the use of coal. It should stop providing support for coal-fired thermal power generation projects abroad and instead take a lead in efforts to promote clean energies.”

A home-visit care worker, who joined the action after working the night shift, put out a pair of sandals and a sign reading, “I’ve decided to change. How about the government?” The 34-year-old worker said, “We have enjoyed a convenient and comfortable life. But, I realized that it is necessary to change the economy-centric lifestyle in order to protect our future.”

Fridays for Future Japan is now carrying out an online signature-collection campaign demanding that the Japanese government work to achieve a common target of limiting a rise in the global temperature to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius and swiftly implement necessary measures to help achieve this. As of September 25, about 24,000 people signed the petition. FFFJ also claims that young people’s voices should be reflected in the government’s energy policies.

Past related articles:
> 127 global environmental NGOs urge Japanese banks to withdraw from coal-fired power plant project in Vietnam [May 28, 2020]
> More than 5,000 young people in Japan join ‘Global Climate March’ [September 21, 2019]
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