【June 2015 No.383】International Conference on Nuclear Energy Convened in Germany

by Akiyama Toru, chair

Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

Pastor, Ageo Godo Church, Kanto District


The Energy Shift from Nuclear Power to Sustainable Forms of Energy: What Can Religious Groups Contribute to Climate Protection?” was the theme of an international conference held in Arnoldshain near Frankfurt, Germany, March 3 to 6. This conference further developed the discussions held at the international conference organized in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) by the Kyodan last year, and the Reverend Okamoto Tomoyuki and myself were invited to attend as Kyodan representatives. This time the conference was organized by the Center for Ecumenical Work of the Protestant Church in Hessen and Nassau, Frankfurt, with input from International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), for the purpose of creating an international network to work for an “energy shift.”


A special feature of this international conference was the diversity of the participants. In addition to people dealing with environmental issues from churches in all the regions of Germany, there were Protestant and Roman Catholic representatives and activists from Japan and Korea. Participants included activists and priests from Japanese Buddhist organizations and new religions, such as Seicho-No-Ie, as well as Islamic representatives dealing with environmental issues and WCC environmental issue experts. International journalists were also present. Other participants included victims of the serious radioactive pollution in the town of Iidate due to the Fukushima disaster as well as people involved in daily sit-ins who are planning a gathering of 10,000 people in Fukuoka to demonstrate against the return to operation of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima. This meant that people, who until now had not had the chance to meet in Japan, were able to communicate with each other, thus showing that it is possible to build a network for dealing with these issues that truly goes beyond religious and sectarian divisions.

The conference schedule was tightly packed, with reports from participants involved in a wide variety of activities aimed at the abolition of nuclear power. We gained an awareness of the extent to which information concerning the maintenance of nuclear power plants and the handling of accidents is currently being manipulated and falsified. We saw that based on the theological considerations in all religions and denominations, there is a warning in their various doctrines about a lifestyle based on dependence on nuclear energy. The use of nuclear energy infringes on the natural environment and the lives of future generations, but it is not enough just to oppose nuclear energy. So there was also a lot of practical advice and examples of measures to take to change both the way we use energy in our churches and temples and in the way we live.


For the Kyodan, there are both issues to face and opportunities to be grasped as we seek to deepen discussion and put our ideas into practice more effectively as believers, making use of the network that was built up through this conference, and furthermore work to train young people who can grapple with these issues and provide opportunities for them to speak out. (Tr. SN)


国際会議報告 秋 山 徹

『核エネルギーから持続可能エネルギーへの転換-宗教グループに何ができるか』を主題にした国際会議が3月3日(火)~6日 (金)にドイツのフランクフルト近郊のアーノルズハインで行われた。昨年仙台で行われた教団主催の国際会議を更に発展させたもので、 教団より岡本知之牧師とわたしとが招かれ、参加した。この会議の主催はヘッセ・ナッサウ・プロテスタント教会エキュメニカルセンター によるもので、「教会と核戦争に反対する物理学者の国際会議

(IPPNW) を更に発展させて、エネルギー転換を目指す国際的なネットワークを築いて行こうという趣旨で開かれたものである。

こ の国際会議の特徴は、参加者の多彩さであった。ドイツの各州教会の環境問題の担当者だけでなく、日本と韓国のプロテスタント、カト リックの代表者、活動家、日本の仏教界の活動家、僧侶、成長の家、イスラム教の環境問題と取り組んでいる人、WCCの 環境問題専門家、国際ジャーナリスト、それに、原発事故による放射能汚染で深刻な被害を受けている飯館村の人、福岡で川内原発の再稼 動の反対1万 人集会を企画し、毎日座り込みをしている人など、日本でこれまで出会わなかった人たちと出会い、問題と取り組んでゆくまさに超教派、 超宗派のネットワークが築かれたのである。


が取り組んでいる核廃絶をめぐるさまざまな活動の報告でぎっしりと詰まった会議であった。原発の維持と事 故の処理にどれほどの情報操作と不正義が行われているかなどの現状認識とともに、どの教派、どの宗教でも、神学的な検討をもとに、それぞれの教義の中に核に依存して生きる生活に対する警告があることが確認された。核エネルギーの使用が自然環境と将来の世代の命を侵 害するものであること、ただ反原発を叫ぶだけでなく、教会施設のエネルギー使用の方法やわれわれの生活のあり方を変えて行く実際的な 多くの知恵と働きも紹介された。

信仰者としてこの問題の議論と実践を深めること、この会議で構築されたネットワークを用いて、更に若い 世代にこの問題を取り組む人材育成と発言の機会を与えるなど、教団としての課題と機会が開かれた。

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