"The end of nuclear energy? International perspectives after Fukushima"

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima is an opportunity to organise energy supply more sustainably globally. Such re-organisation must balance the goals of energy security, economic viability, ecological sustainability and social compatibility. At the same time, a restructuring in the energy sector has to be formulated in a democratic manner.

Photo: “Atomkraft? Nej Tak” by RhinoMind, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima turned into a long-term crisis shaking the very foundations of economies and institutional structures. This offers an opportunity to organise energy supply in a more sustainable manner throughout the world. While a shift in thinking can be seen in some countries, others unswervingly continue along the planned path of an expansion of nuclear energy. However, given the economic and environmental misgivings as well as various security and safety risks of nuclear and fossil energy sources on the one hand as well as the benefits of green growth on the other hand, countries worldwide do not want to miss the opportunity to expand the use of renewable energy sources.

Against the background of an ongoing depletion of resources and volatile oil and gas prices, any future set up of energy policies throughout the world has to balance the goals of energy security, economic viability, ecological sustainability and social compatibility. At the same time, a restructuring in the energy sector has to be formulated in a democratic manner involving the national, state, and community levels as well as civil society and industry.

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Events

EPRIE 2019 - Overcoming the challenges posed by social media: How to make it work for social change?

EPRIE aims to share and exchange perspectives and experiences between East Asia and Europe. In 2018, we examined the challenges posed to the media sector by populism and post-truth politics. This year, together with media practitioners, actors from civil society, scholars and politicians, we will focus on social media as a tool for social change.

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C20 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+"

Growing inequality, humanitarian crisis and violation of fundamental human rights threaten the international community. As conditions and space for civic society to find solutions to these challenges remain restricted, protecting human rights and the freedom of civic society are crucial. To achieve the SDG 16 focusing on Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance the civil society and the world leaders of the G20 must solve global challenges together. During the 2019 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+" the Tokyo Democracy Forum will review and discuss these challenges within SDG 16 and adopt the Declaration of Tokyo Democracy Forum.

 

 

 

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Lecture "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Middle Powers Amidst Global Power Shifts"

Less wars, more prosperity—that is a global trend since the end of the Cold War. Yet, illiberalism is increasingly spreading, even in democratic countries, and nationalist populism has come to define the policies of some of the great powers. Do we head towards a world where—to speak with Thucydides—the strong do as they like while the weak do as they must? The most fragile and vulnerable states—the Middle Powers—have to find ways out of the conundrum. To that end, they must find solutions regarding the problems in their own societies.

 

Dr. Volker Stanzel is the former ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Japan and China and currently serves as the Vice President of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and President of the Association of German-German-Japanese Societies.

 

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Graphic: J. Traud

Latest Publications

Publication "The future of the German automotive industry. Transformation by disaster or by design?"

New concepts of digital mobility from China and Silicon Valley and the issue of environmental driving bans for diesel cars pose grave challenges to the traditional German car industry - the backbone of the German economy. German policies must support the transformation of mobility by initiating a stakeholder dialogue to forge a pact for future mobility to transform the German automotive industry.

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"Education and Patriotism" - A Documentary

The TV documentary "Education and Patriotism" (Kyōiku to aikoku) provides a critical look at recent debates surrounding the introduction of moral education in Japanese elementary and middle schools as a new subject and in particular focuses on the compilation, examination, approval and selection of textbooks for classes in moral education, while extending the analysis to the ongoing history textbook controversies.

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Renewable Energy Policies and the Energy Transition in Japan

This report outlines Japan’s renewable energy policy and the state of the energy transition in the country. It includes current prospects for climate change policy and the status of electrical power systems including nuclear power issues, status sand support policy of renewable energy as well as social issues and political feasibility. Furthermore, long-term vision and scenarios for promoting an energy transition are discussed, including community power and credit systems. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed for promoting energy transition in Japan.

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