Earth Day Tokyo to urge greater awareness of environmental issues

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As it marks its 10th anniversary, Earth Day Tokyo has rarely been more topical than this April. The two-day festival will be held in Yoyogi Park and a number of venues in the Shibuya and Harajuku districts of the city from Saturday, almost exactly six weeks after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture.

The damage caused by the quake and the tsunami that it triggered have been devastating, but it is the ongoing problems associated with the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor that continue to cause concern among environmentalists around the world.

This year, Earth Day Tokyo is expecting to attract 140,000 people and has made raising awareness about global environmental issues its key aim.

Earth Day has evolved around the world from a grass-roots approach in the United States in the 1960s to promoting attention towards the dangers of pollution of water and the air. Credited with the global move towards conservation and recycling, it has since grown into an organization that promotes the use of renewable sources of energy - particularly appropriate given Japan's present problems with nuclear energy.

To underline its green credentials and reduce its energy consumption - a major worry for Tokyo this summer as electricity supplies are likely to be limited during the hottest part of the year - all the electricity for the festival will this year come from recycled cooking oil.

More than 400 organizations will be present at the various venues, promoting their environmental ambitions and selling products and services. Meals will be provided by 27 food stalls serving dishes that are locally grown and contain no genetically modified ingredients. Visitors are even encouraged to bring their own eating utensils and plates to reduce waste.

The Yoyogi Park Ampitheater will host live music throughout the two days, while there will be workshops in Japanese paper-making and a number of art exhibitions and displays.

Earth Day Tokyo

April 23-24

Venues: Yoyogi Park and other locations in the Shibuya and Harajuku districts of Tokyo

Further information: www.earthday-tokyo.org or Tel. +81 3 6416 0917

JR

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