“We Are Not Alone”: Japan’s richest man ‘unlikely ally’ of nuclear protesters — 10 mega-solar plants in works — Donating lifelong future earnings to disaster victims

Published: November 23rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm ET
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Japan’s anti-nuclear protesters find the going tough, despite Fukushima disaster, Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 22, 2011:

‘We are not alone’

[Tadao Eda, who acts as a spokesperson for the nuclear protesters outside METI] is sure that his group of protesters is not alone. He estimates that more than 1,000 people formed a candle-lit human chain around METI on the evening Nov. 11, the eight-month anniversary of the beginning of the crisis. And, in other parts of the country, people have also been protesting. On Nov. 18 at the site of another nuclear power plant on the southern island of Kyushu, some 15,000 people demonstrated to call on the government to scrap all of the nation’s reactors.

Anti-nuclear protesters have an unlikely ally in Masatoshi [sic] Son, Japan’s richest man. The multibillionaire CEO of Softbank, which owns a major mobile phone carrier, 40 percent of Yahoo! Japan, and a championship-winning baseball team, is pushing solar energy as a post-Fukushima alternative. Mr. Son, who is donating his lifelong future earnings to victims of the triple March disasters, is planning to build 10 mega-solar plants. He says that such facilities covering 20 percent of unused agricultural land in Japan could generate as much as power as TEPCO. [...]

Published: November 23rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm ET
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25 comments

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25 comments to “We Are Not Alone”: Japan’s richest man ‘unlikely ally’ of nuclear protesters — 10 mega-solar plants in works — Donating lifelong future earnings to disaster victims

  • Clocka

    Everybody in Japan knows Son is a Korean actually and has a feet already in Korea to jump over.

    He was born in Kyushu and bases his empire there; so far Kyushu is OK, but if it begins to get radiation, he and his followers, and other wealthy Japanese businessmen with connections to Korea will jump to Korea in no time.


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    • mikey

      So What Clocky whats ur point? The dude is opening up his wallet and his heart and for that u belittle him? My God man this is the beginning of the 2012 transformation baby! Open ur heart and allow a filty rich man to give a damn and lets get this party started!


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  • Finch Finch

    As if the 150 km from Japan to Korea would change a thing. This is only a business thing. I don’t know why, but business and money is everything for them, Koreans and Japanese as well. What a huge amount of shipseki!


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    • hanaloa hanaloa

      I think mikeyʻs reply to Clocka applies equally well to your comment as well, Finch…I know itʻs super-heavy times right now, but…lighten up, dude…regardless of possible benefits to Mr. Son, is this not a good step in the right direction…

      by the way, if you were there, with your family, wouldnʻt you move too if you could?…isnʻt that what most of us here are advising people in Japan to do?


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  • ocifferdave

    That’s the best news I’ve read all day, all week, all month.


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  • DannieJ DannieJ

    Why would he be an unlikely ally? Wouldn’t he like to own more mega solar-plants? Seems to me that lobbying against the industry is just good business for the richest man in Japan …

    Of course he’d run to Korea. He’s probably there already and only visits Japan for photo ops and publicity stunts.


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  • jimbojamesiv

    I deleted my comment as being too harsh but then I read ocifferdave’s riposte, and I am compelled to recreate it.

    Never trust the mega-wealthy to be doing anything for the welfare of others.

    I’d have figured those on this site would understand that, but apparently they don’t.

    The mega-wealthy, including this guy, Son, are the ones who made the situation what it is. They are to blame and do not deserve laurels for “donating his future lifetime earnings,” which of course there is no way to know if he will ever keep his promise.

    P.S. It’s also always nice to be greeted with Clocka’s racism that somehow it matters if someone is Japanese or Korean, although he’s not alone as it permeates the world.

    I guess what I’m saying is, Don’t believe the hype, and occiferdave should, I think, know better.


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    • ocifferdave

      sometimes its hard on oneself to always know better. harmless for me to take this on face value


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    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      We don’t need to be cynical. We don’t need to refuse to believe that something may be helpful only because there has been too much hype already. Don’t let hip, sophisticated skepticism get in the way of something which might help.

      As OD says, it’s “…harmless for me to take this on face value.”

      I would rephrase Ronnie Raygun’s phrase: “Withold full trust, but allow for possibility.”

      Und, aussi, never say never, and watch out for the baby there in the bathwater.


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      • Misitu

        “praise god, but tie up your camel”


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        • Misitu

          Sorry ,attribution, the Prophet Mohammed, as follows:

          One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah”

          Or, maintain your nuclear power plant with all diligence and timely replacement parts, and you will have no need to pray to Murphy.

          Sometimes ideas from the religious cultures have relevance to our modern 21st century science based world (irony is in the eye of the reader).


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    • jonjon

      Everyone seems to believe the wealthier a person is the more corrupt and calculated his every move is. I believe some people become billionaire because they want to change the world for the better. Great examples include Jeff Skoll, co-founder of Ebay and billionaire philanthropist and social entrepreneur. Money is power and without it, it’s hard to get anything moving quickly. Son Masayoshi has a great opportunity to do a lot of good and profit from it at the same time. He doesn’t need to be subjected to Tepco and politics. He makes his own politics and for that I wish him the best of luck. There are very few Japanese business people who truly care for their country, but it seems to me that having one foot outside Japan allow people like Son M. to be objective, detached and caring at the same time, and ready to use his power to change things even if it pisses off a lot of people. No Japanese business man would want to trigger the wrath of multi-billion dollar corporations with political clouts such as Tepco.. Now that the beast is wounded and the ants and vultures are ready to strike, it’s time for the kill and someone to lead the way. Go Son Masayoshi!!


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  • americancommntr

    May God bless the man and protect him.


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  • kintaman kintaman

    This seems like great news but it is too late, the monster has already been released and the damage will be done. There be no means of stopping it. Thanks TEPCO, Japan government, nuclear industry and all others involved.


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    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Perhaps it is too late, and this tiny branch of evolution called homosapiens has already failed the adaptation mandated to survive beyond our awesome technology. But also perhaps, just perhaps, some of our thoughts, in keeping with the mandate, will be embedded in the memories of the stars for the next life form which reaches this stage.

      Perhaps we shall leave something behind for those later ones to build upon. I do not know. Do you? I only know I am not allowed to succumb to cynicism. My personal death is insignificant, meaningless, the completion of a cicle.


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  • May God bless the man and protect him.

    sign and

    That’s the best news I’ve read all day, all week, all month.

    sign

    at least he is really doing something (hope he follows his words)
    and sure the naysayers are happy about a new prominent victim


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  • Johnny Blade

    “A new addition to my Hero list”!! :) May God,Buddha,Allah,etc. WHOEVER people worship and/or consider “The Supreme Being” protect & Bless this man!! He needs all the help he can get regardless of personal belief,which seem to draw way too many people into dumb arguments way too often here on ENE News! No reply needed-just an untarnished moment of positive concentration applied to send our own “shielding aura of good will & hope” for this phenomenally rare & pleasant anomoly amongst the elite “1%”!! Seriously!! This dude will undoubtably have the focus of ill-intent placed on him for his “breaking ranks” from the “Grey Poupon” set,and I’d volunteer to be a personal bodyguard for him and anyone who joins him!! Even if he is simply displaying the common-sense associated with self-preservation,or a desire to wisely invest early in the most logical of “clean energy”options & pull in even more money? My guess is a little bit of both with the biggest inspiration being his big heart!! After seeing what he planned to do with most of his proceeds being directed to the victims of the disaster I’m sure of his good intentions and wish this awesome dude nothing but the best!!!~PEACE~


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    This article is nice billionaire PR to prevent assassination or popular public attachment of the value (“his” wealth) that can only be parasitized from others. While “he’s” at it, he might consider large-scale or municipal-scale cylindrical wind (the blade-type kills birds, the radiation will do plenty in that direction–no help needed) power, wave and tidal power, ocean water ion power, ocean water column thermal exchange power generation. A number of these provide 24-hour 365-day power. Replacement of nuclear could probably be achieved using alternative technologies at less than the annual cost of maintaining (not even building or dealing with the waste) of Japan’s extant nuclear power infrastructure.


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  • hanaloa hanaloa

    Mahalo nui loa to Mr. Son from Hawai`i Nei!

    May your actions inspire other 1%ers (and 1% wannabes) to put their money where their mouth is and do the right thing…thank you again!

    Me ka `oia`i`o,
    Hanaloa


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