March 11th 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the disaster that followed at TEPCO’s Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

Since 2011, many countries around the world have taken big steps towards phasing out the use of nuclear power and promoting renewable energy. In Japan, however, nuclear power remains a major source of energy and the country lags behind others in embracing green power sources.

House destroyed by the tsunami that hit the Fukushima coastline. | DVIDSHUB CC by SA 2.0 / ©

"Global Conference for a Nuclear Free, Renewable Future"

An online event entitled "Global Conference for a Nuclear Free, Renewable Energy Future: 10 Years Since Fukushima" will be held on March 11th. The event has been organised by the Federation of Promotion of Zero-Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy (Genjiren), an organisation co-founded by former Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro.

A broad swath of Japanese NPOs is also taking part, with the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Friends of the Earth (FoE) Japan, Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants and Peace Boat as key partner organisations.

The conference includes a range of panel discussions and keynote speeches, film screenings, and a special live tour from Fukushima. There will be over 100 speakers in 75 different discussion sessions.

The conference organisers say they hope to inform people in Japan of global trends promoting an energy shift, while giving people around the world an opportunity to find out about the lessons learned after the disaster at Fukushima.

No registration is required, all events are free and most of them will be available to watch after the conference closes. For more details, including how to take part, see the conference’s homepage here.

IAEA inspectors at Unit 4 of Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. | IAEA Imagebank CC by SA 2.0 / ©

Here are a few more events being held online to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima:

Special Leaders’ Forum

Another event due to take place on March 11th is an online "Special Leaders’ Forum," when five women community leaders from Tohoku will discuss the current situation in the Tohoku region, the challenges facing local communities and the future they envisage for the region.

The "Special Leaders’ Forum" is organised by JWLI and the United States-Japan Foundation, and takes place every Thursday between 4 pm and 9 pm at CIC Tokyo. Events differ from week to week but include lectures, panel discussions, and breakout sessions featuring participants from a diverse range of sectors. The organisers call it “a great opportunity for innovators to be inspired, discover new opportunities, and connect with innovators.” For more details and registration, see here.

"Be Prepared! Lessons Learned on Readiness and Resilience"

Love to Nippon Project and Japan House Los Angeles is holding an online discussion called Be Prepared! Lessons Learned on Readiness and Resilience on Thursday, March 11th between, 10 am and 11.15 am (Japan Time). See details and registration here.

"A Resurgent Region – Tohoku’s Recovery Since 2011"

The Japan-America Society will be holding an online commemoration event as part of their 311 Resilience Series. It’s called "A Resurgent Region – Tohoku’s Recovery Since 2011" and will be held on Tuesday, March 16th between 7 pm and 8 pm.

Among the speakers are Kazuko Kohri, the Mayor of Sendai, the biggest city on the stretch of coastline destroyed by the tsunami that followed the earthquake. More details here.

SAFECAST online event

March 11th also marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of SAFECAST. To commemorate this, SAFECAST is planning a daylong global online event on March 13th to give updates about the situation in Fukushima, stress the importance of open access to data related to the disaster and reflect on the lessons of the past decade.

A team of Safecasters will be reporting live from Fukushima throughout the day and discussing important issues as hear stories from residents ten years on. They will be joined by guests online from around the globe to discuss major topics. The event will be held from Saturday, March 13th to Sunday, March 14th, between 9 am and 1 am Japan time. For more details, see here.

"Ten Years after Fukushima: Commemoration and Lessons for the Future"

Finally, the University of Tokyo and the University of British Columbia in Canada have teamed up to host a commemorative event and panel discussion. "Ten Years after Fukushima: Commemoration and Lessons for the Future" will be held on Thursday, March 18th, 9:30 am-11:30 am Japan time.

Attendees will receive the Zoom Webinar access link via email 24 hours prior to the event, so be sure to register as soon as you can. See here.



Social Sciences Japan newsletter (March 9th, 2021).

By - George Lloyd.