“Yarase” Is Astroturfing Propaganda In Japanese

The Japanese government has begun a series of formal public forums ostensibly to gain consensus on three proposed medium-term energy scenarios.  The first two meetings were held last weekend and have led to public outrage over alleged astroturfing propaganda, called yarase (pronounced yah-rah-say if you’re American) in Japanese.

Two forums held in Sendai and Nagoya included high level power industry employees that were supposedly chosen at random from the public to speak out on the energy scenarios in the public forum. The forums are supposed to be fair and represent general public opinion.

At the Sendai forum one of the panel members announced his employer’s outlook on nuclear power – his employer is Tohohoku Electric Power. Another panel member was from a nuclear power association. The revelations lead to understandably extreme outrage from the members of the audience and the discussion had to be cut short.

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Japan’s Astonishing Lack of Building Energy Standards

There’s an elephant in the tatami room – Japan has absolutely zero mandatory building energy efficiency standards.  This nation’s buildings consume about 40% of all primary energy, and about 70% of all electric power.  Simply improving building efficiency would dramatically change the electric power demand side of the equation in this nuclear catastrophe challenged nation, and yet there is no building code regarding efficient energy usage.

Japan is no stranger to strict building standards, it has some of the worlds toughest quake resistance and fire proofing building code. For some reason the government has never found it necessary to create efficiency requirements by law.

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