Japan Energy Tour (April 22-25)

Societies of Sustainability and Sufficiency:
Learning from Fukushima & Building Green Temple Communities

A study tour
sponsored by the Japan Network of Engaged Buddhists (JNEB)
in conjunction with
The International Conference of the Inter-Religious Climate and Ecology (ICE) Network

Read the Participant Report Here

Summary of Goals:

  • Expose foreign Buddhists, other religious professionals, activists, and media to: a) the realities of life in Fukushima, b) the dislocations caused by nuclear energy in wide sectors of society, c) community support and activism by Japanese Buddhists and other religious professionals throughout Japan, d) renewable energy initiatives by Japanese Buddhist groups and other religious organizations.
  • Share through experiential workshops the perspectives and skills of: a) South and Southeast Asian Buddhists in community development and b) Japanese Buddhists and other religious professionals in anti-nuclear activism and renewable energy.
  • Create an international network for sharing best practices on building “green temples” and “green temple communities”

Program: 
April 21 (Tues): Arrivals at Narita or Haneda International Airports

April 22 (Wed): Orientation the Japanese Energy Issue and Exposure to Juko-in Solar Temple and Kenju-in Temple (Tokyo)

April 23-24 (Thur-Fri): Fukushima Exposure: meeting internal refugees, Buddhist priests and community activists involved in child healthcare, food security, and community restoration

April 25 (Sat): Networking meeting of Buddhists, other religious groups, social activists and other persons involved in the nuclear and renewable energy issue (Tokyo)

Participants: 10 person limit
This tour is restricted to the international participants of the INEB ICE conference in Seoul. We would like participants to join not from curiosity but from the basis of their own work in: 1) grassroots Buddhist or religious community development especially in sustainable energy, ideally with a temple/church/mosque base, or 2) anti-nuclear activism, ideally with religious identity and interest in sustainable energy activities; or 3) newspaper or media profession with an interest in reporting on and promoting these activities. General priority will be given to participants from the global South (as similar events will be organized for East Asians and Westerners at another time).

About the Organizers:
The main organizer of this project is the Japan Network of Engaged Buddhists (JNEB), which provides an informal network and umbrella for a wide range of Buddhist social activists to engage in social activities. The Interfaith Forum for the Review of National Nuclear Policy 原子力行政を問い直す宗教者の会, the AYUS International Buddhist Cooperation Network and the International Buddhist Exchange Center (IBEC) of the Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship is providing support to the organization of the project. Within Fukushima, these 3 organizations above work with a wide range of civic and religious groups who support this project, such as Team NihonmatsuDokei-ji Temple, and the JIPPO Rape Seed Project. Within Tokyo and Kanto, the project collaborates with Juko-in Temple & Kenju-in Temple, the Edogawa Citizen’s Network for Thinking about Global Warming (ECNG), the Religious and Scholarly Eco Initiative (RSE), and the Tochigi Young Buddhist Association. Within Fukui Prefecture, the project collaborates with the Association of Obama Citizens against the Installation of Nuclear Reactors (原発設置反対小浜市民の会). Within Kyoto, the project collaborates with Ryukoku University and others.

JNEB Team:
Staff: Rev. Hidehito Okochi (Interfaith Forum for the Review of National Nuclear Policy), Jonathan Watts (IBEC), Tom Eskildsen (freelance translator), Mika Edaki (AYUS), Rev. Kobo Inoue (Tochigi Young Buddhist Association), Prof. Hisashi Nakamura (JIPPO/Ryukoku University)
Advisors: Rev. Masazumi Okano (IBEC/Kodo Kyodan), Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu (Jodo Shu Shinko-in Temple)

Registration:
We would like to request an individual donation (dana) from participants to support the program of: US$80 for those from lower income regions, especially in the Global South, and US$150 from higher income regions, especially in the Global North. This donation can be paid in cash upon arrival and registration in Japan. For registration and further questions, please contact the coordinator:
Jonathan Watts (ogigaya<at>gmail.com)

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