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Sakura Kyodo Law Offices

Director / lawyer

Hiroyuki Kawai

hiroyuki kawai
Get rid of nuclear plants just because I love this country

I wanted to be a lawyer from when I was very little. The reason for this was because there was a fundamental desire to become a protector of weak people, troubled people, and oppressed people, and I wanted to help them win. On the other hand, I also had a strong desire to become wealthy. Although it may be a bit strange from a conventional value viewpoint, I had both desires, and I will not hide that. For many years, we have been working on removal campaigns of nuclear plants and the promotion of renewable energy, and this is because I have been able to make good money with my main job from the past until now.

Year of Birth
1944
Birthplace
Tokyo
Name
Sakura Kyodo Law Offices
Headquarters
1-1-7 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Hibiya U-1 Building 16th Floor
Founded
1972
Type of business
Law
url
https://www.sakuralaw.gr.jp/
During the bubble era from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, I was responsible for major economic cases, and won most of them. As a result, I accumulated considerable wealth as a lawyer, but at a certain point I had a sudden jolt in my heart. Business related projects are very interesting, but I began to think that I must not only stick to this type of work but also do things which benefit the people of the world. When I began to think how I could achieve that, I realized that this meant to help leave an earth that is beautiful and easy to live in for future generations. Furthermore, after thinking about what is the most serious and important problem affecting our society's environmental problems, I came to the conclusion that it is the nuclear problem. About 25 years ago from now, I approached people undertaking movements to remove nuclear plants, and joined their group.

Although some people misunderstand that I must be a "poor lawyer" for joining these movements, this is absolutely not the case and I am still fully involved as a business lawyer. Also, some think that I may receive less business related projects if I am fighting against a large industry such as the nuclear section, but in actuality more people now come to me with large cases, as they see my ability and desire to bravely fight against strong opponents. I am confident that I am the only lawyer actively dealing with business, social, human rights, and environmental issues in Japan. In the course of doing campaigns to remove nuclear plants, situations arise where we inevitably run out of activity funds, but in such cases I use my own money. I think that is one of my roles.

Why I participate in campaigns to remove nuclear plants while also working as a lawyer, is because I fear that our country will cease to exist if there ever were a serious nuclear accident. I truly love this country. That is why I have kept running constantly with the desire to not let Japan be destroyed. However, as we were constantly losing with regards to the nuclear disarmament trials, there was a time when I considered removing myself from the movement because I became tired. Then, the TEPCO Fukushima nuclear power plant accident (March 11, 2011) occurred. I felt like God grabbed my collar and was ordering me, "Kawai, do not run away! Finish what you started!" From that point, I strongly consolidated my determination and decided to say "I will partake in this movement all the way!" I decided to battle my opponent once again. Then, we began to win some cases whereas we were initially losing all of them. We achieved results such as halting the Takahama and Ikata nuclear power plants for one year. When the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred due to the earthquake, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission at the time said that, "In the worst case, there is a possibility that all areas 250 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant must be evacuated." What this meant was that the entire East Japan area including Tokyo would be destroyed.

Because Tokyo is the political and economic center of the country, it essentially would mean that Japan would be destroyed. I want to save Japan from such danger. I believe that especially conservatives trying to defend Japan must oppose nuclear power plants. Among the various social and political problems of Japan today, there is no issue more dire than nuclear power plants. Because once a nuclear accident happens, there will be multiple problems due to the radiation effect. However, people do not act only by speaking about removing nuclear plants. This is because "opposing" can sometimes come across as a negative campaign. So, I thought that I would like to switch it to a positive campaign by presenting alternative energy sources to replace nuclear power.

When I produced the movie "NUCLEAR JAPAN the nightmare continues" as part of the exercises to oppose nuclear plants, one person asked me "What about alternative energy?". I thought that this was a question I had to face straightforward and one I could not run from. So I traveled the world two and a half times around, heard various opinions in various countries, and produced the movie "Renewable Japan The Search for a New Energy Paradigm". In that movie, I laid out that natural renewable energy was already being used as a substitute for fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal all around the world. Three years after the Paris Agreement, an international multilateral agreement on controlling climate change, the movement to stop global warming is gaining momentum, more countries are using renewable energy to replace fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and it is no longer an environmental issue but one which affects every nation's economic competition.

Naturally, solar energy is free. Since the sun emits 10,000 times the energy compared to what humans use, countries converting this to electricity and heat, and countries still spending a great deal of expenditures every year (Japan imports 20 to 25 trillion yen worth of fossil fuels per year ) to import fossil fuels from other countries see a great disparity in their economic situations. In the near future the world will be using natural energy to power society. In Japan there is a strict interest force such as the "Japan’s Nuclear Power Village", but it is obvious that they cannot remain as they are if they begin to sense an economic crisis. I am fighting every day to stop nuclear power plants with lawsuits, and to inform the people that the country can fully function with natural energy. Japanese medias such as NHK and the Nikkei newspaper are beginning to notice the importance of natural energy. We will surely prevail. Most people who support this movement are those aged 50 or older, but my hope is that younger generations will eventually understand our stance.

hiroyuki kawai
hiroyuki kawai

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Sakura Kyodo Law Offices

Director / lawyer
Hiroyuki Kawai