politics

Make climate fight 'sexy' and 'fun,' says Japan's new environment minister

72 Comments
By Matthew Green

Japan's new environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, pledged on Sunday to mobilize young people to push his coal-dependent country toward a low-carbon future by making the fight against climate change "sexy" and "fun."

Koizumi was speaking on the eve of a United Nations climate summit in New York where activists plan to float a blimp showing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a bucket of coal to protest Japan's plans to build new coal-fired power plants.

"In politics there are so many issues, sometimes boring. On tackling such a big-scale issue like climate change, it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too," Koizumi told a news conference in New York.

"We are committed to realizing a decarbonised society, and we are ready to contribute as a more powerful country in the fight against climate change," he said.

Japanese students in Tokyo were among the millions of young people who took to the streets on Friday to express the fear and outrage they feel over the failure of governments to control greenhouse gas emissions, which hit a record high last year.

Considered a rising star on Japan's political scene, Koizumi, 38, became the third youngest lawmaker to join a post-World War Two Japanese cabinet when Abe announced a reshuffle this month.

The son of charismatic former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, he is regularly rated by voters as the lawmaker they would most like to see in the top job when Abe steps down.

Although Japan is not due to speak at the climate summit on Monday, Koizumi said he was in New York to learn more about the state of negotiations on global greenhouse gas emissions and meet Japanese students.

He was speaking alongside Christiana Figueres, an architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming, who had invited him to meet various companies and banks aiming to accelerate investment in clean energy projects in Asia.

"It behooves the rest of the world to come together to support Japan, as well as the other Asian countries, to move beyond coal," said Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat who now leads Mission 2020, a campaign to accelerate climate action.

"We need to make an extraordinary effort that will favor the new fuels that we all need to move in to," she said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told governments they should only turn up to the summit if they came armed with more ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions under the Paris accord, which enters a crucial implementation phase next year.

Guterres has also urged governments not to build any new coal power plants after 2020 - setting him at odds with Japan, which is the only G7 country to be adding coal-fired power generation capacity. Japan's government and banks also play an important role in financing new coal plants elsewhere in Asia.

Nevertheless, Koizumi said he wanted Japan to do more on climate, invoking his country's role in forging the Kyoto Protocol, a climate treaty agreed in the Japanese city of Kyoto in 1997.

"We haven't taken the strong action and powerful leadership since then, but from now on, from today, we want to do more," Koizumi said, without giving details.

Koizumi sparked controversy shortly after being appointed when he told his first news conference that he wants Japan to close down nuclear reactors to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011. Isshu Sugawara, newly-appointed as trade minister, responded by saying it would be unrealistic to rid Japan of nuclear power.

Koizumi reiterated his opposition to nuclear power on Sunday. "I want to realize a society, a country, with no fear about the nuclear crisis," he said. "But it isn't easy, it's a complicated issue. But I'll try my best to reduce the nuclear power in the future."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
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... without giving details.

Enough said.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Japan Today should start a Koizumi Meter: a running tally of entirely uncritical fluff pieces that heap praise on him.

If every article refers to him as a rising star without actually saying why that is, then propaganda mission accomplished.

His father was Prime Minister; he speaks English, and his fiancé is beautiful.

Is there anything of substance in the resume before he is so ordained?

34 ( +37 / -3 )

Can someone please get this idiot off of the world stage? Statements that lack substance are one thing; but, statements like this that make it sound like a video game are... downright embarrassing.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

We will be seeing tons of these 'Fluff Pieces.'

Even the Jurassic Park,is that what the JP in jp.com,stands for,realises that.

They know that the plebs have had enough of seeing the old toads......Aso,et al.

They have got a bit of 'eye candy' in the party......and their approval rate has shot up.

Koizumi will be in every photo shot.

After all.....who would you rather see:Aso,Abe or Suga or even more of their older brethren.

Koizumi is a handsome bloke,that plus his 'pedigree' he is golden!

The fickle Japanese voting public know no bounds.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

"sexy" and "fun."

Good and grief.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Is there anything of substance in the resume before he is so ordained?

His family name. This is just more of the dynastic politics that have kept the offspring of war criminals and the LDP in power since the US forced democracy upon the Japanese.

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

Sounds more like the AK48 climate change movement who are partly to blame for increasing temperatures under the collar.

Love Hotels could make new themes with climate change rooms, hot and sweaty.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Is anyone else surprised that he omitted "cute"?

What a bunch of vapid ballspillage this is. Let me know when the LDP comes up with a plan for renewable energy, given that we are sitting on a geothermic, windy, sunny, ocean-wave-surrounded island.

Standard LDP words-equals-fact sh!te.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

There is nothing 'fun, cool and sexy' about climate change Koizumi. What the hell are you talking about. And what about we need the young people to understand and change things remark?

It is your party who is giving permits to companies who want to build/fire up these coal burners. How about NOT giving out and new permits and reexamining the existing ones. That would go a long way

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Who the hell is his speech writer? :)

Koizumi should face and address the imminent isssue of (diluted) waste water discharge in Fukushima. Ironically nuclear power is a quick solution to global warming.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Make the climate fight "sexy and fun"?

Seriously?

A 16 years old from Sweden,Gretha Tundberg have more concrete solution about the climate and environment than this son of daddy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg

This is the consequence to put in position sons of powerful men,these people have literally no sense of reality.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

He's really there to do a diversion. "...waste water... yep, well wait, let me sing a song before...".

 it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too,"

Is he going to sell a calendar with photos of him in funny sexy poses ?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

On tackling such a big-scale issue like climate change, it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too,

Maybe he's right. Or should the politicians be saying, "We won't solve this problem until we're all miserable, uncool, and ugly." (Visions of Abe in a coolbiz shirt.)

While climate change may not be 'fun, cool and sexy', the issue is how we address the problem. Getting the world population on board is not going to be easy. Many people won't want to believe there is a problem if the solution doesn't offer some kind of hope or opportunity. Maybe zichi's love hotel theme is not so wacky, although I'd like to think there are other ideas.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good grief what an embarrassment this clown is.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Amazing that a country with huge renewable resources but little native fossil fuel resources has done so little to utilise them and reduce the import cost and reliance on unstable governments in the Middle East.

Nuclear can be a safe part of the energy mix but only if the regulations are enforced and not using the inherently dangerous technology developed in the past primarily to produce weapons grade material. There are inherently safer technologies available which don’t produce weapons grade by products.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ah! Shinjiro Konezumi! Mickey Mouse to his friends!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sexy and fun? So, I guess this means we will have teenage girls in school uniforms dancing around yet another childish stuffed mascot.

Japan could be a world leader in alternative and renewable energies. They have many long and fast flowing rivers for hydroelectric and a never ending supply of geothermal. The irony of this is, they won't develop these resources due to environmental impact, but the coal and nuclear power are causing far more destruction to the environment.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It is OK, he says what he thinks honestly and directly. Politicians when their careers get longer, the more they speak ambiguously and dishonestly in fear of negative reactions to what they say.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

More LDP cack.

This boy could go far.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Let's Climate Change!"

...now mascot...we need a mascot...

Humanity is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. This is not going to change any time soon. We, 6 billion, are here and healthy because of oil, gas and coal. India and China are constructing hundreds of coal-burning generators.

Despite what the MSM, the UN and "the science" reports there is, thankfully, a growing body of data, information and knowledge demonstrating that there is no "crisis" and that the powers-that-be have done a wonderful job over the past 20 years to mislead. The biggest impact on global climate: the sun. No mention of this. The climate change folks: focus on CO2. Why? because they cannot tax the sun. It is with an open mind that I undertook research on the issue. I encourage everyone to question and dig a little deeper.

But that doesn't matter, politician need to create problems to look important. Koizumi is a glorious distraction - well timed just ahead of the sales tax increase.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

LET'S CLIMATE!!!

Kyoto Protocol - 1997.... so what went wrong? still, now we've got the Paris Accord, so I'm sure everything'll be alright.... but even if not, there's the Thunberg-Effect, so....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

and they all travelled to New York how? talk about political theatre.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

well, he's in coolbiz mode, no tie, top button undone, so that should help..... (⌒▽⌒)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He had me initially and I thought just maybe...but alas what he said:

"In politics there are so many issues, sometimes boring. On tackling such a big-scale issue like climate change, it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too,"

He totally lost me right there!

Did he perhaps miss:

Japanese students in Tokyo were among the millions of young people who took to the streets on Friday to express the fear and outrage they feel over the failure of governments to control greenhouse gas emissions, which hit a record high last year.

Millions of students globally didn't get out there because its cool, fun or sexy. They got out there because they are angry at the old guard for doing nothing about it and simply blowing only hot air at the problem which is literally exactly what we don't need!

The only pulse I think you are reading Mr Koizumi Jnr is Taro Aso's pulse. So I guess we can simply expect a young good looking hip politician spouting key words to sound cool and relevant while doing nothing except increase your own popularity. Ahh well, to be fair, thats really all politicians are good at I guess. Running a country..nah not so much! So the wheel keeps turning at the same speed and direction. How's that for cool, fun and sexy?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I would not say the free love generation accomplished their anti-war aims. On the other hand they did manage to mobilize a generation of protestors. Although I have never heard it stated explicitly, I think sexy and fun was part of the drive. Nay say it all you like, but hippies were not hippies so they could be serious as death all day. And the serious as death people are accomplishing what exactly? Increased CO2 emissions from whining?

Climate responsibility needs better PR and advertising. Anyone who says different has no clue.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Oh, yes! Young Koizumi leading the charge to be one Japan’s Climate Changist!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make climate fight 'sexy' and 'fun,' says Japan's new environment minister

Sweet mother of Jesus. I'd rather listen to an intelligent kid like Greta Thunberg than one of these politicians' sons. People might be impressed back in Japan, but this doesn't wash on the international stage.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He was once considered a future PM but his 15 minutes is over. Also, Abe is good at this, taking his enemy home and give them opportunities to make mistakes. Ishiba is down, Kishi is down and now Koizumi is down. They all lost credibility to speaking against Abe. Quite a strategist.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Comedians are popular in Japanese politics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When will Japanese politicians grow up ?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What an embarrassment.

This guy just embarassed the country yet the media here are hailing him for his brilliant international debut addressing the conference in good English.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tadow Pladow

Koizumi is not an idiot. He’s only slightly retarded. He seems to be in a self destruct mode ever since he became Minister of Environment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He failed my English test!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This official is so overrated and is only riding the coat tails of his father. This concept for his ideas on environmental issues is a slap in the face to all environmental professionals.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

look how cute he is, trying to be charismatic, and showing off his english skills... slowly making his way into the top spot of Japanese politics... predictable and boring if you ask me.

at the end of the day, still "giving no details" and no progress. what do we have? just people admiring his english skills, which is supposed to be a banal thing. (same old story: for a Japanese person, if you,re in the public stage, speaking english makes you a superstar. if not, it makes you just "different")

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow. Lot of disdain here for Koizumi. So, is ABE doing such an effective job? I am with Koizumi. We need actually living feeling humans in politics, not dried up old sexless men. "TIJ" is not acceptable when faced with what Japan is confronting.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Pls give the public a clear idea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

its a very Japanese answer, when they get out and around the world they say stuff like this, no surprises here

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too,"

A fluffy statement for sure, but I agree with the cool bit, in that rich countries have to move away from a model where lifestyles that involve huge amounts of consumption are presented as cool. People like the Kardashians basically going "look at me jetting about in all this bling". Even on a lower level, it's pretty universal to view stupidly big SUVs as cool and little eco-box cars as uncool. In the USA, one reason I imagine people buy guns is that they think they are cool. Guns in movies are always cool. It's only natural for people to want things presented as cool.

Some skater/snowboarder kids have a brand called "drink water" to basically fight the likes of Red Bull commercially exploiting their sports. It's a rare example of someone making less consumption appear cool.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The great hope for Japanese politics and he’s rolling out David Brent sound bites. Hopefully the Japanese electorate will see nepotism for what it is, just because your dad was a good politician it doesn’t mean you will be. Baring a major scandal he will be PM within 10 years..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Let's Heartful Eco!"

What a bag of cack.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

koizumi  = stupid, cringeworthy, embarrassing...……..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I found his speech excruciatingly embarrassing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yet another distraction providing no plan and no hope for anything positive. This is now a fight for survival of our civilization and our planet. Cute ideas don't stop global warming. Swift decisive actions enacting laws that reduce man made pollution and land clearing is what is needed now. Inaction will be another nail in the coffin of this world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No doubt he will be prime minister someday in tribal politics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am soooo enjoying this slow train wreck.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If we could make getting married and having kids more "sexy" and "fun", maybe more people would do it. Well, I guess if human life will be gone soon anyway due to climate change, well, never mind.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Meanwhile what his government is actually doing:

the only G7 country to be adding coal-fired power generation capacity. Japan's government and banks also play an important role in financing new coal plants elsewhere in Asia.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the other hand I kind of understand this. Koizumi went to a university in NY and he learned to speak in English. Since then he had been speaking Japanese in Japan. Now that he has an opportunity on the job to speak in English that is still school boy English. That happened to me too when I was young. Still embarrassing, he’s not young and he is a minister. He should have started with a translator.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A few days ago, some pro-environmental groups were chanting, "Hey hey, ho, ho, climate change has got to go . . . " Other environmentally friendly forms of energy: solar, wind, water (fall), water (wave), biomass . . . .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You folks refuse to admit he's got a point. Sure, millions of students protested. Worldwide, that's a small drop in the bucket. You want to really make change happen, you're going to need a lot more and making it actually interesting to the Twitter and Instagram generation is going to take something drastic. Maybe he chose his words poorly, but I think I understand what he meant and he's kinda right.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"In politics there are so many issues, sometimes boring. On tackling such a big-scale issue like climate change, it's got to be fun, it's got to be cool. It's got to be sexy too,"

[...]

"We are committed to realizing a decarbonised society, and we are ready to contribute as a more powerful country in the fight against climate change,"

As it is the only information about his speech, I do not really get why people are bashing him. He is minister of environment of Japan not of the world. He got to adjust to who he is dealing with. There is millions of young people around the world wanting a change and demonstrating for it. In Osaka, regarding the demo, I guess some idol show will be more enticing. So well, as he has got to deal with Japanese, he doesn't have much choice. For years, people in power worked hard to make the mass passive. So if the mass need a mascot to start feeling concerned, fine by me. Making them concerned by the world around is going to take a long time and is most likely to not be allowed.

For the second part, it is quite difficult to see if he is bullshitting others, bullshitting himself or downsizing "we" as the people concerned by the issue or something like that.

So I will stuck to wait and see regarding the guy. It is not like being the son of, good looking and able to speak english make you utterly incompetent.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Chip Star Sep. 23 04:38 pm JST

His family name. This is just more of the dynastic politics that have kept the offspring of war criminals and the LDP in power since the US forced democracy upon the Japanese.

Today Japan is a democracy precisely because the United States forced it to do so. And thanks to this, today any Japanese can participate in politics freely. Regardless of their social status. Whether you are rich or poor.

And there are alternative parties to the LDP. They can come to power in the future, as happened in 2009. If there has not been more alternation in power is because of the inconsistencies that often say the leaders of these parties. 

Only that a political party be formed with coherent measures. With common sense. Without ideological biases. And honestly admitting publicly that the Japanese constitution is obsolete. And proposing solutions under a basic consensus, for the good of the country. Above electoral interests. Perhaps the LDP can be defeated.

That's what I think.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A perfect example of Koizumi's proposal would be an electric GTR or Supra.

Europeans are ahead of Japanese with Porsche's Taycan EV and upcoming Ferrari EV, both powered by Korean batteries.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@dougthehead13

Today Japan is a democracy precisely because the United States forced it to do so.

I wouldn't call Japan a democracy, Japan is more like a Russian-style oligarchy, where a handful of powerful families control the entire country. In no true democracy a single party stays in power for 60 years, only an authoritarian regime can do this.

There are only two true democracies in Asia, Korea and Taiwan, with India on its path to become the third true democracy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Bring out the "Race Queens" and keep the politicians away.

Take a look at how Germany bolstered their solar energy capacity by setting power rates higher. Assuming Japan is serious about this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A perfect example of Koizumi's proposal would be an electric GTR or Supra.

Europeans are ahead of Japanese with Porsche's Taycan EV and upcoming Ferrari EV,

You know, you had a good point, until...

both powered by Korean batteries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese are obsessed with sex

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japanese are obsessed with sex

Yes, as compared with the rest of the world who are quite indifferent to it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

EVs are still a far way from being truly “environmentally friendly.” The prices are not yet affordable enough to offset any money that might be saved on fuel costs, and the chemicals used in battery production are arguably more polluting than burning gasoline. As of now, EVs are status symbol and virtue signal for upper class persons.

But by all means, make environmental consciousness “sexy.” Super “cool biz” bikini Fridays? Electric NSX and Supra? Biodegradable condoms? Running around naked like PETA?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

‘Cool, sexy and fun’

Sounds like he wants to be a bar host or maybe PM of Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in New York where activists plan to float a blimp showing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a bucket of coal 

I found this part of the article particularly amusing. A blimp, no doubt made from synthetic materials and floated with helium gas that is facing a future crisis level shortage and is notoriously costly and environmentally unfriendly to mine or extract.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a complete moron.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone purporting that nuclear power is a safe option for Japan needs educating...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a nonsense... while TEPCO tops have just been declared innocent.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a piece of work!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He has no plans yet as to how and doesn't know how to use the term.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, how about he start by taking off his sports jacket in this heat. That would be a small but positive contribution towards making changes, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh dear....how embarrassing. Clearly he’s not ready for this senior role as a Minister. Anyway he’s only there because it suits Abe’s strategy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps another Aso in the making.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe he means that AKB48 should all wear their hair in plaits, dress in sweaters and scowl at everyone over 16, point accusing fingers and scowl some more... oh, and sing and dance :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Although my approving post seems to have disappeared, I think his heart is in the right place. Just sayin'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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