【News】Growing opposition to coal-fired power in Yokosuka: one after another, youth and local residents take action.
Construction of coal-fired power plant in Yokosuka continues
The construction of a coal-fired power plant in Yokosuka continues to progress. JERA, the operator of the project, states on its website that the construction of Unit 1 is 54.4% complete, Unit 2 23.5% complete, and 42.2% for the overall construction. There is a growing sense of urgency about the climate crisis throughout the world, and it has recently been reported that Prime Minister Kishida was strongly urged by British Prime Minister Johnson to declare the retirement of coal-fired power plants in Japan ahead of COP26.
Is JERA really going to go against global trends of exiting from coal-fired power and continue with the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Yokosuka?
Video of local actions
Locally, youth are increasingly taking action against the project.
On September 24, actions against the project were held in conjunction with the Global Climate Strike, with appeals at the construction site in Kurihama and at Keikyu Kurihama Station. The action was filmed, and a documentary video was made focusing on Hikari Matsumoto, a local university student (Japanese).
Additionally, an action was held on October 13 in front of JERA’s head office in Nihonbashi to call for a halt to the construction of coal-fired power plants, claiming that it is a “zero emission wash” for JERA to declare a goal of zero emissions while proceeding with the construction of coal-fired power plants (Japanese).
Local citizens group established
In Yokosuka, No Coal Yokosuka-Highland, a group of neighborhood associations, was also established, which sent a letter of inquiry to JERA. A response was finally received two months later, but it did not provide any specifics regarding the plan for Kurihama in Yokosuka, saying only that they will “continue to take proactively consideration to achieve the national target” and will work toward establishing “ammonia co-firing technology and the production, transportation, storage, and use of ammonia.”
The local community, led by No Coal Yokosuka, will continue its signature petition campaign calling on JERA to exit from coal.
See more: The documentary video “Voices from the local community in Yokosuka to stop the construction of a new coal-fired power plant” can be viewed in English here.