Societies of Sustainability and Sufficiency:
Learning from Fukushima & Building Green Temple Communities
The Japan Network of Engaged Buddhists (JNEB) is building an international exchange and networking program that exposes foreign Buddhists, other religious professionals, activists, and media to:
- the realities of life in Fukushima,
- the dislocations caused by nuclear energy in other parts of Japan,
- community support and activism by Japanese Buddhists and other religious professionals in these regions, and
- renewable energy initiatives by Japanese Buddhist groups and other religious organizations
Since 2011, JNEB has been building a wider national network in Japan of Buddhist anti-nuclear and alternative energy activists. In this way, working from the local outward to the national and international, our first steps have been to develop exchanges and solidarity with Buddhist and civil society activists in East Asia, particularly South Korea, where nuclear energy has already been developed for some decades. From this basis, we will be looking to link with Buddhists and other religious groups in South and Southeast Asia, where Japan and South Korea are aggressively exporting nuclear technology. While also welcoming participation from activists in the United States and Europe, we are seeking to bring together Buddhists and other religious professionals with experience in nuclear energy and renewable energy with those experienced in community development, especially in South and Southeast Asia, to create an international network for sharing best practices on building “green temples” and “green temple communities”.
The program is part of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)’s Inter-Religious Climate and Ecology Network (ICE), which will have its second international conference in South Korea from April 27-April 30, 2015.
- Eco-temple Community Development Project (ongoing)
- Towards Collective Action: A Buddhist View of Laudato Si by Jonathan S. Watts, a paper prepared for a talk given to the Jesuit Social Center of Tokyo located at Sophia University on October 19, 2016.
- Study Session on the health affects of radiation on women with Mary Olson – Director of the Southeast Office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (U.S.A) and Steven Leeper – former Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation (March 2, 2016)
- Eco-Temple Community Development Project Meeting @ the 2nd International Conference ICE in Seoul April 27-30 (April 27-30, 2015)
- Study Tour to Fukushima and Workshop on Energy in Tokyo (April 22-25, 2015)
- Conference in Frankfurt, Germany: The “Energy Shift” – What Can Religious Groups Contribute? hosted by the Center for Ecumenical Work of the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau (March 3-6, 2015) papers in English, Japanese, and German
- Japan-Taiwan Buddhist Exchange on Nuclear & Clean Energy (January 15-19, 2015)
- Japanese-Korean Buddhist Exchange Program on Nuclear & Clean Energy (July 3-5, 2014)
- After Fukushima and the Promise of Buddhism in the Nuclear Age Public Talk in Berkeley, CA (July 11, 2014)
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 Nihonmatsu, Dokei-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.