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[Press Release] Citizens’ Climate Lawsuit to Stop Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant Construction in Japan: First Court Date October 2, 2019


Press Release

Citizens’ Climate Lawsuit to Stop Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant Construction in Japan: First Court Date October 2, 2019

September 30, 2019
Plaintiff Group and Legal Team for Plaintiff Group,
Yokosuka Climate Lawsuit

Japan’s new Minister of the Environment, Shinjiro Koizumi, represented Japan at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last week. The UN Secretary General, who convened the meeting, called upon member countries to raise their level of ambition in national emission reduction targets to comply with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and urged countries to stop new coal-fired power generation by 2020. In response, many countries announced new commitments to bolster their climate actions.

Unfortunately, Mr. Koizumi failed to announce any concrete policies on behalf of Japan. He announced no revisions to Japan’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and no concrete measures to reduce Japan’s coal dependency. As a result, Japan came under heavy criticism for continuing to promote coal.

Meanwhile, construction began in August on a large-scale coal-fired power plant in Yokosuka, which happens to be not only Mr. Koizumi’s birthplace but also his electoral district. The work has begun despite a strong advocacy campaign launched in 2017 by the Citizens Group Against the Construction of the Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant.

Because the government and companies did not heed the community’s calls to cancel the project, residents launched a lawsuit against the national government (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in May 2019 for having finalized what they say was a flawed environmental assessment process and paving the way for construction.

As the problems with coal power come increasingly under the spotlight in Japan and globally, this lawsuit will have its first day in court in Tokyo on October 2, 2019. The plaintiffs and their legal team will also hold a briefing session and seminar on the legal challenge and outcomes of the first day in court.


Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant Lawsuit: 1st Court Date

* When:      October 2, 2019 (Wednesday) (start 11:00)
* Where:     Court Room 103, Tokyo District Court


Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant Lawsuit: 1st Briefing and Seminar

* When:      October 2, 2019 (Wednesday) (room opens 12:30, start 13:00)
* Where:     House of Representatives,
First Members’ Office Building (Multipurpose Hall), Tokyo
* Program:

  1. Introduction to administrative lawsuit against Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant (Attorney Nobuo Kojima, representative of legal team)
  2. Appeal from plaintiff group (Rikuro Suzuki, representative of plaintiffs)
  3. Climate lawsuits in Japan and around the world (Attorney Mie Asaoka)
  4. Update from Germany, a leader in the coal exit (Attorney Tsunehisa Chiba)


Plaintiff Group of the Yokosuka Coal-Fired Power Plant Lawsuit
 (Secretariat at Kiko Network, Tokyo Office)
6th Floor, 9-7 Ichibancho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 102-0082