Medical personnel check a woman evacuated from her home near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant for radiation exposure on March 16, 2011.Asahi Shimbun via EPA
In the wake of Fukushima, Tomonobu Narita is at the forefront of a movement to withdraw money from banks that back environmentally harmful energy projects.
by Daniel Hurst / May.27.2018 / 5:27 AM ET
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Buddhist priest Tomonobu Narita admits he hadn’t thought much about energy policy until the Fukushima nuclear meltdown forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in 2011.
Now he’s at the forefront of a budding movement in Japan to withdraw money from banks that provide finance for environmentally harmful energy projects.
“I was taught about the idea of how changing your bank account can contribute to bettering the environment, and that was an enlightenment for me,” said Narita, the third-generation head priest of a temple in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.
The campaign to “divest” from fossil fuels such as coal has gained traction in the United States, Europe and Australia in recent years, but environmental activists are now targeting Japan. They see the country as crucial to the success of international efforts to address climate change.