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Making sense of Japan’s nuclear crisis

The current crisis involving several of Japan‘s nuclear power reactors continues to evolve. Regular updates are available on “All Things Nuclear”, a blog by Union of Concerned Scientists.

For background information on nuclear accidents and the use of terminology read Nuclear Accident ABCs factsheet put together by Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Mottainai

Posted in JAPAN by Faezah Ismail on July 24, 2009
Tags:
Act now to save our natural world

Act now to save our natural world

Mottainai is an old Japanese concept of wasting less, conserving more and using resources modestly.

I first learned of this way of life, which is making a comeback in Japan, when I visited Fukuoka in December, 2007 to attend the Asian City Journalist Conference Part II, which was organised by The Nishinippon Newspaper and UN-Habitat.

I subsequently interviewed Dr Shobhakar Dhakal, executive director, Global Carbon Project, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan on his views of Japan as a green role model (which will be discussed another time).

He touched on mottainai, among other issues, and said that it “lost its relevance over the last five decades but lately people are paying more attention to it having gone through the height of materialism and consumerism”.

The Nishinippon Newspaper foreign editor Takeshi Kokubu later told me that mottainai caught the attention of 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, who is now actively promoting the concept.

I have been thinking about this ancient Japanese philosophy since then and I have been trying to be more conscious of wasting less and living modestly. This is something we should seriously consider, if we want to move towards sustainability — the intended destination of sustainable development.

My plan of action:

* Keep my life simple

* Buy only what I need

* Take public transport

* Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repair


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