Foreign Policy Blogs

Gov't cuts eco-points amidst power shortages

The Japanese government decided this week not to renew its eco-points subsidy program, which ended Thursday. The ostensible purpose of the program was to encourage consumers to upgrade to energy-saving appliances and electronics. Consumer demand fell sharply following the Mar. 11 earthquake and tsunami, which crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, leading to power shortages in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry determined that the program will not sufficiently save energy.

As one incredibly intelligent junior high school girl pointed out in near-fluent English at a speech contest I attended last year, the eco-points subsidy was less ecological and more economical. She questioned how an incentive that encouraged consumers to discard perfectly good electronics for new ones could be ecological. She also pointed out that large appliances earned more eco-points than small ones, even though the small ones were more ecological.

Considering the government determined the eco-points program will not save enough energy seems to confirm that bright student’s theory. The government plans to introduce a new energy-saving plan by the end of April.



Dustin Dye

Dustin Dye is the author of the YAKUZA DYNASTY series, available through the Amazon Kindle.

He lived in Okayama, Japan, where he taught English at a junior high school through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for three years. He is a graduate from the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

His interest in Japan began in elementary school after seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah, the three-headed monster. But it wasn't until he discovered Akira Kurosawa's films through their spaghetti Western remakes that he truly became fascinated in the people and culture of Japan.

He lives in Kansas with his wife, daughter and guinea pig.

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E-mail him: [email protected]