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Browsing by Author "Poikkeus, Jussi"

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  • Poikkeus, Jussi (2023)
    This study sought to find how the Japanese newspaper media address climate change and its impacts, and how they view the government’s decarbonization efforts. The study was also interested in finding what kind of energy sources do the newspaper media support and oppose to reduce the country’s emissions and especially, how do they see nuclear power’s role in this. To answer these questions, editorial articles of three newspapers were analyzed: Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The analysis contained eighteen editorial articles, six from each newspaper, and they were collected between 2020 and 2022. The analysis was conducted by using Fairclough’s three-dimensional approach, and it was divided into six sections: (1) Suga’s climate pledge on October 26, 2020, (2) the Green Growth Strategy on December 25, 2020, (3) the new emission reduction target by 2030 on April 22, 2021, (4) the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan on July 22, 2021, (5) the end of Glasgow Climate Change Conference on November 15, 2021, and (6) Kishida’s speech for nuclear power on August 24, 2022. The first section analyzed the papers response to the prime minister’s net-zero pledge, while the second section paid attention to the publication of the ministry’s Green Growth Strategy. The third section observed the paper’s stances toward the government’s decision to upgrade the country’s medium-term emission reduction target, and the fourth section analyzed the papers response to the publication of the Sixth Strategic Energy Strategy. The fifth section associated with the Glasgow Climate Change Conference and its commitments, while the final section was about the prime minister’s policy speech on expanding nuclear power. The findings of this study suggests that there are differing views on climate change and the government’s decarbonization measures among the country’s three largest newspapers. These views can roughly be divided into progressive, conservative, and semi-conservative groups, in which Asahi represents progressive, Yomiuri conservative, and Nikkei semi-conservative stance. Asahi addresses climate change with full seriousness, criticizing the government’s backwardness and calling for more ambitious climate policy. It sees renewables as the solution, strongly opposing nuclear power or coal-related energy sources. Yomiuri, on the other hand, takes more cautious approach towards climate issues, giving a rather indifferent impression at times. It gives its support for nuclear power yet does not exclude the possibility using of coal plants equipped with CCUS technology or ammonia co-firing. Nikkei’s stance on climate change is somewhere between these two yet clearly more conservative than progressive. It also supports nuclear power and coal-firing by alternative methods, but it shows more interests in renewables than its conservative competitor.