Our Earth is approaching its limit. The abnormal weather observed in various parts of the world in recent years is evidence enough.
Japan is experiencing a heatwave with temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F). Torrential rains, not caused by typhoons, have flooded many regions in Japan and caused extensive damage.
Meanwhile, Europe is facing what is said to be the worst drought in 500 years. It has reduced grain production and caused massive wildfires that threaten people’s livelihoods. Similar phenomena have been observed in the United States.
And that’s not all. Huge earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the modern plague of COVID-19, and a large-scale war have wreaked havoc throughout the world. In these extraordinary times, something must be done to protect our Earth, and therefore our future.
It was this sense of urgency that spurred JAPAN Forward to launch its brand-new website Japan 2 Earth after a year and a half of preparation. The website delivers news about Japanese environmental initiatives with the aim of reaching out to like-minded collaborators and partners both in Japan and overseas.
On August 16, The Sankei Shimbun announced the launch of Japan 2 Earth in the article “New Website Shares Japan’s Environmental Initiatives Toward the SDGs.”
The launch was also announced by JAPAN Forward the day before, on the anniversary of the end of World War II, in the article linked here.
Why Japan 2 Earth?
The purpose of Japan 2 Earth is to build a network of collaborators and partners taking action for the Earth. Sharing the stories of Japanese citizens, communities, companies, and organizations, it will share information on initiatives to protect the global environment and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Japan 2 Earth’s managing editor Susan Yoshimura is from the United States and speaks both English and Japanese. Although the website is available in both languages, Yoshimura stresses the importance of providing the information in English.
“Japan’s innovative environmental technology, ideas, and its rediscovery of traditional ways of protecting the environment are not widely known overseas, so it’s especially important to make the information available in English.”
By providing information in English, Yoshimura hopes the platform will spark action overseas as well as in Japan.
Hideaki Ota, Representative of the Board of Directors of JAPAN Forward, which runs the platform, explains:
“During Japan’s economic growth, the country developed world-leading energy-saving technology, which spread the concept of “mottainai” [don’t make waste] throughout society. The time has come to rediscover that foresight and wisdom, and share it with the world.”
Extending a Hand Overseas
Japan 2 Earth provides plenty of inspiration to galvanize action for the future. One article is about a Japanese businessman in Hanoi exploring the potential of applying Japanese technology to the pollution problem in Vietnam. Another article is about a Saitama City official channeling Japan’s know-how into an international waterworks project in Laos.
Less than two weeks after the launch, a partner company of Japan 2 Earth commented, “The appeal of Japan 2 Earth is that it’s operated with a high degree of freedom without being influenced by self-seeking opinions of certain organizations.”
By facilitating the sharing of information in English and encouraging communication between different industries, the platform is expected to play an important role in fostering mutually beneficial relationships between partners.
In an increasingly chaotic world, Japan should work toward gaining the trust of the international community and seeking a deeper connection with the rest of the world.
Together with our partners, we hope to continue exploring what Japan can do for the Earth.
Join us in sparking action with Japan 2 Earth!
Japan 2 Earth was launched to coincide with JAPAN Forward’s 5th anniversary. The platform works with partners and collaborators to develop innovative projects for the future of the planet. If you want to become a partner or want to know more, visit the website or call 03-3275-8511.
Watch for our next issue on September 12.
(Read the column in Japanese at this link.)
Author: Yasuo Naito, Editor-in-Chief, JAPAN Forward