イベントスケジュール - COP25 JAPAN PAVILION


08:30 - 09:30 2019.12.11

Youth in Japan in Action


  • Youth in Japan


Good morning and welcome!
Today, you’re going to hear from 15 speakers or organisations, and the only three things all of us have in common is that we are young, are passionate about combating climate change and are Japanese nationals or residents!… While our similarities brought us together, it is our differences that make us interesting – some of us are high schoolers, others dedicated PhD. students, some are activists and others very niche researchers or leaders of student clubs. We come from different parts of the world and of Japan, but are united in our desire to significantly contribute to the global and local effort to combat climate change!

Wait, what is happening?
Apologies, I’ll explain. What you just read was the beginning of an exciting journey, one that started on the morning of 11th December, 2019 at the biggest conference for climate change - COP25 - in Madrid, Spain and one that needs your involvement for what is to come next.

Okay, so what did you exactly do?
We hosted a session at the Japanese government's pavilion titled "Youth in Japan in Action" which featured 15 diverse students and/or youth organisations from Japan.

Can you tell me why did you do this?
That’s a great question. This session was the first step towards an idea I have held close to my heart for a while. My passion for climate action makes me cross paths with different kinds of activists, initiatives, individuals and groups in Japan - all of them equally inspiring, and albeit divergent in their approaches, yet complementary in their goals. I also frequently meet individuals who understand the urgency of climate change, and would join some initiative if it matched their interests and skills. I want to connect these two sides, because by unifying our voices - the voices of the youth in Japan - we can achieve a lot. Our voices don’t just add to each other, they amplify our collective impact. It becomes much easier for individuals to find us, allows us to know our own counterparts within Japan better, and makes the sharing of our stories with the global youth much easier.

SO WHAT COMES NEXT? What can I do?
The short answer is - anything and everything that you want. First, skim through the section following this where you can find what each of our speaker’s youth organisation does. In case you find an initiative that remotely interests and you want to just learn more about them or join them, send me an email at amishiharrypotter@gmail.com It doesn’t have to be formal, and I will just connect you to the right person. Second, this article is one of the first steps in a longer process of information sharing and collaboration; if you’re aware of other initiatives working on climate change related goals, or could feature an article such as this in your publication/on your social media handle/on your website (print or online) do contact me. And finally, I am currently researching the ingenious ways civil society in Japan is responding to climate change, and want to develop a bilingual website (English and Japanese) as a unified source for such information. Using the footage we have from our session in Madrid, I also want to develop a short film, and both of these ideas will also need language translation support. If any part of the project sounds slightly appealing to you, do reach out to me. Your email does not have to be serious at all - just tell me your name and your initial thoughts, and we will see how it goes from there. I would also love to just hear your ideas. Once we have the film version, we will hopefully also release it on the web version of Komaba Times - one of the official newsletters of Todai - and add the social media handles of all these organisations along with it. So keep an eye out for that!


  • Amishi Agrawal, University of Tokyo, Student Activist
  • Lilian Ono, Spiral Club, Activist and Fashion Model
  • University of Tokyo Students, Organisations and Clubs
  • No Youth No Japan
  • Climate Youth Japan
  • Fridays for Future Japan


Let’s start! Stories of youth organisations in Japan ~

Fridays for Future Japan

Starting with the elephant in the room, we were all surprised by what Minori - one of the founders of FFF, Japan - had to say. FFF organises youth-led peaceful strikes in different parts of the world, and is easily the most recognisable youth organisation. But in Japan, their first strike in February 2019 attracted only 12 people. The journey since then has been slow and steady, and now they have 2000 supporters from all over Japan. One clear aim of FFF Japan is to play the role that neither governments nor NGOs are currently playing, that is to garner the attention of the public for climate change. When it comes to FFF Japan, you could simply just follow them on Facebook and join the next protest, or join the team and also help design and plan what comes next! It’s a growing family in Japan, and they are more than welcoming!

Spiral Club

Although they were our first remote speakers, their video message was warm and loving - just as their actual community is. They are an open community from Japan, which gives people from all walks of life the space to talk about the environment. They publish articles on anything and everything under the sun, such as zero waste, circular economies and individual stories. They also organise workshops, events, cooking parties, book exchanges, and would also love to organise an event around any idea that you might have. Once again, you could go for some of their very fun events and meet and bond with like-minded individuals, or become a part of the core team - as they said, they are "innovative, diverse and fun!". Linking your hobbies with your passion for climate change would be the smoothest ride with Spiral Club!

Lilian Ono

Never before have I met a person with a more calming aura, and eccentric ideas. Lilian was my co-moderator and her individual story is so inspiring in itself. Lilian is a model and has currently taken a break as she wants to learn about the global responses to climate. Instead of taking a flight from Japan to Spain as the rest of us did for attending COP25, she travelled there by ferry, rail and bus. Lilian’s individual endeavour is very similar to a group which started in Europe this year, called Sail to COP and Rail to COP, where youth delegates to COP undertake ferry or rail journeys to the venue, and are trying to spark a conversation about sustainable travel habits. Currently based in Europe, they want to expand their movement to other regions of the world, and them and/or Lilian would be great focal points if your area of interest is sustainable travel. Even if you are wanting to ask about how you can reduce your carbon footprint while travelling, they would be great sources to do so!

Climate Youth Japan

Founded in 2010, CYJ engages with stakeholders on all levels including the youth and even the government. Easily one of the oldest players in the game, they aim to empower Japanese youth to become more involved and host discussion events regularly. They also launch fun projects such as a recent one called EchoTapi which is spreading the message of climate action through recyclable bubble tea containers!

Global Alliance of Universities on Climate

I was overcome with a strong feeling of pride when four of my friends and co-delegates from Todai - Emma Saraf, Kotone Kagami, Gen Hayakawa and Jelena Aleksejeva - took the stage. They personified the idea that research must be parallely socially engaged, and addressed the most diverse issues such as global governance and justice models (Emma), sustainable design and fashion (Kotone), sustainable transport in Asia’s developing countries (Gen) and the role of mega-cities and technology in combating climate change (Jelena).

Three of them are part of another intriguing organisation - the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate, which consists of 12 universities, including our own, from 6 continents and encourages collaboration and research among many other avenues. For UTokyo students this could be an easily accessible yet global avenue!

Emma introduced us to Climate Action Japan - an English language volunteer group for which she is a co-coordinator, that aims to support grassroots climate activists and make research more accessible. Jelena works with the National Institute for Environmental Studies - a central research institute in Japan that might be of interest to many of you. They also organise annual public symposiums in Kyoto and Tokyo where attendance is open to the public. An actual tour of their facilities, or just skimming through their website could be the beginning of a long association!

No Youth No Japan

With the exception of a few most youth groups in Japan are relatively new. However, this group from Tokyo has 150,000 followers, and their goal is to connect the youth in Japan with the climate crisis. Their vision includes transitioning to renewable energy, and increasing political discussions and understanding of climate change. By working with them your ideas could reach a wide audience and you would significantly contribute to adding critical content to public opinion!

Students and Clubs within UTokyo

A number of efforts through clubs and individual students are currently underway in UTokyo. One environmental club you could join is First Access. They collaborate with embassies, companies, individuals and students to provide solar lanterns to children studying in non-electrified parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Another club is Echo - they decide their major theme within the domain of the environment at the start of every semester and work on both research and actual projects for the same. One of their current goals is to reduce the paper waste associated with receipts. They also have their own vegetable garden on campus, if you’re looking for some hands on experience. SUS+ student members collectively work to understand climate science, and also organise the delegation of students from UTokyo for COP every year. Equally laudable are efforts of students - Chris Clayton works with the Wakupro Foundation and after having attended one of their world congress events in Japan, organised a simulative learning experience for the Sustainable Development Goals in Australia. He now wants to expand the project in Tokyo. Ernest Carr has co-founded Tokyo Tutors and in collaboration with international schools in Tokyo they are developing and delivering weekly workshop lessons on the SDGs. Mahi Patki participated in the Cobis Global Social Leaders Competition and has extensive experience on tackling the issue of plastic consumption within educational institutions. After her previous experience in her high school, joining hands with her for something similar in your campus would be fun and adventurous. All six of these clubs and individuals are unique, and buzzing with energy. Joining them or working with them, I guarantee you, would be the experience of a lifetime.


As a final message, I will say that one of the most heart-warming aspects of the youth climate movements is our genuine desire to impact climate change. This means that we are not in it for the media attention this issue has, or for the money. This means that we are not seeking credit, or claiming to be unique, but are saying that we are pursuing activities within our range of skills and interests and there exists a whole other set of approaches which are just as needed to achieve our common goal. We are not just open to the possibility of collaboration, but are more than willing and eager to do so. So if you believe you can find your calling with any of these organisations - send me an email and jump on board. All hands are needed and welcome on deck, we are all in the same boat anyway. Whether you choose to act or choose not to act, climate change will impact all of us just the same, and as bleak as the prospects of the future might seem, giving up is not an option. Working together is our best bet, and we hope that this article has planted the seeds for just that.

2019.12.11 WED のタイムテーブル