Japanese youth call for climate change measures

Groups of young people have gathered around Japan to call for measures against climate change.

The event, organized by a youth group, was held to coincide with the COP26 UN climate change conference taking place in Britain.

The rally was held in 10 prefectures across the country, including Hokkaido and Shizuoka, on Saturday. Nearly 100 high school and university students gathered at the Tokyo venue near Shinjuku Station.

Takasu Kaichi, a university student from Shiga Prefecture, said that people cannot focus on others, on society or the global environment unless they are emotionally and financially capable of doing so. He said there needs to be a social and economic system that gives people leeway to think about the future.

Nakamura Suzuka, a university student from Kagoshima Prefecture who took part online, questioned when Japan would stop using coal power. She said that now was the time to do so. She said the country needs to quickly convert to using renewable energy sources.

A 31-year-old woman at the event said it touched her to see people younger than herself taking a stand. She said that with Japan's technology, the country should be able to break away from its reliance on coal power and called for specific measures to be devised.

Kurobe Mutsumi, a university student and a member of the youth group that organized the event, said that countries attending the COP conference appear to be presenting how well their countries are doing. She said they should listen more to the voices of young people around the world.