December 5, 2014 (Fri)Climate Change Week on NHK World

Next week is going to be CLIMATE CHANGE WEEK on NHK World.
I think the series answers many of the questions you might have on global warming and its impact on our lives.  For instance, how serious is climate change?  Why are we experiencing powerful storms?  What is up with this extreme heat?  What can we do to adapt to changing climate and mitigate global warming?

The week starts off this weekend with “Climate Countdown”.
Earth in Danger: Dec. 6, Sat. 4:10/ 10:10/ 16:10/ 22:10 (UTC)
Time to Act: Dec. 7, Sun. 4:10/ 10:10/ 16:10/ 22:10 (UTC)

In many parts of the world, the impacts of global warming are being felt in the form of extreme weather, threatening not only our way of life but also our lives.  The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets are melting rapidly, prompting further sea level rise. The latest 2014 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of severe losses due to floods, droughts, food crises and other direct or indirect impacts on our eco-system.   The program features NASA experts and Bangladeshi climate refugees as well as the reports from the frontlines of the battle against climate change.

Climate Countdown

And from Monday, we will have 5-day series, “Tackling Climate Change”.
Episode 1 The Impact: A Warning from Scientists
Episode 2 The Extreme Weather: Asia at Risk
Episode 3 The Choice: Adaptation and Mitigation
Episode 4 The Future: Message from Al Gore
Episode 5 The Technology: Japan's Innovative Breakthroughs
Dec. 8, Mon. - 12, Fri. 4:30/ 10:30/ 16:30/ 22:30 (UTC)

Episode 1 of this series features the latest what’s happening with climate change based on the latest report by the United Nations IPCC. In Episode 2, we report on various Asian countries struggling with abnormal weather. Episode 3 focuses on the measures against abnormal weather in the US and Britain.  And the Episode 4 features an interview with Nobel Prize winner and former US vice president Al Gore. The last episode showcases the latest cutting-edge Japanese technology, and explores the ways humankind can face and tackle the challenges brought on by climate change.

Tackling Climate Change

Tackling Climate Change

So, don’t miss this week’s climate change programs on NHK World.  You can watch them on NHK World HP (live-streaming:  Or you can download the viewing application for your mobile devices. ( )


Posted at:18:15  |  Category:Programs  |  Climate Change Week on NHK World   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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February 1, 2013 (Fri)Upcoming NHK World program "Japan's Energy Shift ~A message from Amory Lovins~"

Hi!  This is Kumi-chan.
I am sorry for the long silence.
But I am back with follow-up news of the program I have been working on.

The program, Japan’s Energy Shift, that I introduced in my earlier blog will go on air on NHK World.  This was originally broadcast on NHK’s satellite 1 and was re-edited and went on air on NHK’s terrestrial channel 1 in Japanese.  Now, it will go on air on NHK World this weekend on Feb. 2, 2013.  So, this time it will all be in English!  For details of the program schedule, please go to  Because the viewership is global, the program will go on air 6 times on that day.  So, hopefully, one of these times will fit your schedule.

130201_en_1.jpg 130201_en_3.jpg

You can watch the program online as well.  NHK World has a video streaming service of the program currently on air on their homepage
Apparently, they have applications as well for smart phones:

By the way, Mr. Amory Lovins, presenter of the program, is scheduled to return to Japan next month to be inducted into Kyoto Prefecture's Earth Hall of Fame and do several speeches around time.  One of them is a conference on the future of renewable energy organized by the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation.
(∗leaving NHK site)

So, please watch the program this coming Saturday.  Hopefully, it will give you an idea of what’s going on at the forefront of Japan’ energy shift through the eyes of world renowned energy consult, Amory Lovins.  It will be a journey of what could be possible for Japan and world’s energy future and how each of us can play a part in creating it!

Have a great weekend!

Posted at:14:21  |  Category:Programs  |  Upcoming NHK World program "Japan's Energy Shift ~A message from Amory Lovins~"   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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October 31, 2012 (Wed)Seeing Tokyo from the eyes of world's renowned energy expert, Amory Lovins

Hi, everyone!  
It’s Kumi-chan!

For the last month or so, I have been working pretty hard on a TV program about Japan’s energy shift towards a renewable energy based society.  We invited Mr. Amory Lovins, the world-renowned energy consultant and chairman of the US based think-and-do tank, Rocky Mountain Institute, as the host of our program.  Mr. Lovins published “Soft Energy Paths” before the oil shocks in the 1970s and has been introducing key concepts to lead the world away from the dependence on fossil fuels.

Seeing Tokyo from the eyes of world ?renowned energy expert_1

It was really an amazing experience to spend time with him and look at my hometown, Tokyo, from a set of his “glasses”.  He has his “weapons” of his choice and, this time, one of them Mr. Lovins brought was thermography camera, as in the photo.

Seeing Tokyo from the eyes of world ?renowned energy expert_2

It was really interesting to see how I overlook the heat wasted (or energy wasted) in my day-to-day life.  When Mr. Lovins pointed me to the electrical plug, it was orange, indicative of the presence of heat.  It can add to the increase in the temperature of the room albeit minute as it may be.  If more of those electrical outlets exist, as little dust can make a big pile of dust, the heat could add up, increasing the need for more energy to cool the room.
It may sound trivial, but it can be quite a load if this tiny heat by 1 person was multiplied by the population of Tokyo, for instance.

BS1specialThe program is in Japanese, but is scheduled to go on air on this coming
Friday, November 2, 2012 from 23:00 to 24:49
(with 10 minutes news break between the 1st and the 2nd segments) on NHK BS1 channel.

For those of you interested in watching Mr. Amory Lovins’ TV appearance:

☆Amory Lovins Interview 1 ”Soft Energy Path" (The Proposal for the Future)
(*this video is no longer available)

Please watch out for more updates on Mr. Lovins' program!


Posted at:11:53  |  Category:Programs  |  Seeing Tokyo from the eyes of world's renowned energy expert, Amory Lovins   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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September 5, 2012 (Wed)Hello to the readers of the Eco Channel Blog!

My name is Yoshi Ogasawara and I'm the host for an NHK World program called Great Gear. A few days ago, Kumi-chan graciously posted an introduction to the program here, and I wanted to follow up her post with a bit more about the program and myself.

120821_en_3.jpgGreat Gear is weekly show which started in April. On it, we introduce Japanese technologies and products. Every week, one of our reporters visits an industry tradeshow and covers the latest trends. Are you into cars? Cameras? Or how about eco-friendly products? Well, there are tradeshows for all of them, and where there's a tradeshow, there's a Great Great reporter! On our other segments, we introduce products which exhibit distinctly Japanese qualities, such as attention to detail and quality workmanship, or represent a new approach to a traditional craft. So if a story on how a centuries-old handcrafting business in Kyoto has adapted itself and is thriving today sounds interesting to you, be sure to check the program out.

Here is a recent upload from Great Gear!

☆Environmental Exposition 2012 (Jun. 20 2012 on Air)☆Environmental Exposition 2012 (Jun. 20 2012 on Air)

As for myself, I grew up in the United States and came to Japan as an adult. It's always been a dream of mine to live here. Thankfully, my parents were strict about teaching me Japanese so I can almost pass myself off as a native Japanese. (My 漢和辞書 or kanji-character dictionary still gets used daily, however!) I love learning about Japan and trying to understand the culture, and sharing what I've learned with others who are interested in Japan. I also work as a graphic and product designer, so I especially appreciate both the beauty and innovations in the items we cover on the program. Other hobbies of mine include photography, drawing, cycling, and capoeira.

Great Gear does cover eco-related technologies and products, so if it's OK with Kumi-chan, I'll come back and write another post here the next time we do so.

Thanks and yoroshiku!

Yoshi Ogasawara

Great Gear +NHK WORLD TV (in UTC)Wed. 23:30 - 00:00  +Digital Educational TV (in JST)Wed. 15:00 - 15:30
+NHK WORLD TV (in UTC) Wed. 23:30 - 00:00
+Digital Educational TV (in JST) Wed. 15:00 - 15:30

Posted at:10:46  |  Category:Programs  |  Hello to the readers of the Eco Channel Blog!   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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January 28, 2011 (Fri)More Food Meals Made Easy- Nature Stove

On my most recent shoot, I tried out an amazing nature stove that allows you to be mobile but still make some good meals on the go, especially when you are in the outdoors.   I've been a hiker for 10 years and also a gadget addict, so I make it a point to try out all the latest hiking gear, including bags, clothing, and gadgets. 
I've tried out and a handful of really light, high-tech, portable stoves that work well, but the problem is they all required some sort of non-renewable fuel such as propane gas that you have to pack with you.

This new stove's most amazing feature is that it allows you to pack extra light because one can use resources that are already around you in your everyday life as fuel.   This could be anything from wood chips to leaves, to fallen branches to pine cones!

And it's not just for hiking and camping, this stove could come in really handy in many occasions. Especially, in the case of natural disaster, it has the potential to really help out when infrastructure is down in places that have experienced for examples floods or earthquakes.  This nature stove is one to check out on your next hike or outdoor excursion.  I'm impressed to see a gadget on the market that has such a wide range of uses as well as a good design within a reasonable price range.

Find out more about the nature stove, it's design and uses here:

Posted at:13:20  |  Category:Programs  |  More Food Meals Made Easy- Nature Stove   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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January 14, 2011 (Fri)2011-Year of the Forest

2011 was declared the "International Year of Forests" by the United Nations in an effort to raise awareness and strengthen sustainable management of forests, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

According to the  UN webpage:
-Forests are home to 300 million people worldwide
-Trade in forest products was estimated at $327 billion dollars in 2004
-Livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on the forest
-Forests are home to 80% of our world's terrestrial biodiversity
-Primary forests account for 36% of the earth's surface area
-Forests cover 31% of total land area

In a recent shoot for green lifestyle show, "Green Style Japan," we also covered the problem of forests in Japan. In Japan, it's not deforestation that's the problem, rather it's neglect.  Many forests are left untended, resulting in overgrown trees fighting for light and resources,  which eventually leads to dying, unhealthy forests.

One company we featured, Oak Village, has specialized in developing in manufacturing wooden furniture, interior goods and accessories based on the concept of making products that last 100 years using trees that took 100 years to grow.  What a concept!  Building things to last because resources are precious!!

The below photo is taken during our shoot, where I introduced some of the lovely scents from the firm's  line of aroma oils, such as the smell of "kuromoji," which some say smell like the Amazon rosewood tree which faces threat of extinction due to overharvesting and development.

This report on "Forests" will be part of a new series on the program, "Green Style Japan," which will be aired on Wednesday, February 9thth (23:00-0:00 UTC) on NHK World.

One of the challenges we have in preserving our forests is the dilemma many countries face in choosing between economic growth and preservation of their natural resources. 
Take a look this report  "Hot Spot Dilemma," which examines the affects of deforestation and development in tropical regions such as Indonesia and the need to set up conservation areas to prevent further loss of biodiversity.

e_nl_20101028_0142.jpg(*this video is no longer available)

Posted at:12:12  |  Category:Programs  |  2011-Year of the Forest   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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November 5, 2010 (Fri)Save the Scuba Diving Paradise Spots

Hello there and happy Friday!  I am stoked for an upcoming scuba diving trip to the amazing dive spot of Palau.  This island is a treasure chest of biodiversity located in Micronesia, 2000 km south of Tokyo.  Here I hope to swim with turtles, stingrays, and jellyfish (the stingless kind!) and enjoy the quiet and relaxation the island has to offer.

Fortunately, Palau has been kept relatively safe from the growing number of tourists including scuba divers and eco-travelers.  Some areas in southern Japan, also known for its amazing scuba diving have not been so lucky.  Okinawa's coral reefs have long been under serious threat due to warming seas and coral bleaching.  The good news is that efforts are being taken to protect these natural treasures.  Take a look at "Saving Okinawa's Coral Reefs."



Posted at:12:45  |  Category:Programs  |  Save the Scuba Diving Paradise Spots   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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October 28, 2010 (Thu)The Buzz About Rooftop Farming

Japan is a land of tight spaces and ingenious ideas.  No room to farm in the city, no problem!  Some companies are running rooftop gardens as a way to combine business savvy and biodiversity.  These initiatives also involve the local community to support various projects.

I was able to check this out for myself during a shoot where I participated in rooftop bee farming through the Ginza Honey Bee Project.  It was a bit scary at first with all the buzzing around, but proved to have a sweet reward!  Honey collected from the bees is sold to local businesses where it is made into a variety of products including limited edition honey cocktails....delicious! You can see me experiencing honey love through this report on a very special rooftop garden in Tokyo.

e_green_20100826_0125_1_m.jpgRooftop Gardens Make a Buzz / Green Style Japan Aug. 26 2010 on Air

Posted at:14:19  |  Category:Programs  |  The Buzz About Rooftop Farming   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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October 26, 2010 (Tue)Protecting Biodiversity

Biodiversity is under threat everywhere, even in your own neighborhood.  I read in the newspaper today that in my home state of North Carolina, the peculiar yet well-known plant, the Venus flytrap is dwindling in numbers due to poachers and overdevelopment.  The Venus' flytrap native habitat is limited to a few parts of North and South Carolina, where some estimates show there are less than 40,000 left.

For more on the importance of biodiversity, check out this cute animation, "Save the Endangered Species," from the Animal Conference on the Environment.


Posted at:15:03  |  Category:Programs  |  Protecting Biodiversity   |  Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0)

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October 8, 2010 (Fri)Check Out Biodiversity

Hello, welcome to the first eco blog post by ECO CHANNEL reporter Ginger Vaughn. 
To kick off the Cop10 Conference on Biodiversity being held in Nagoya city starting October 11th, I'd like to introduce one of my favorite ECO CHANNEL videos surrounding the theme of biodiversity offered on our website.

e_green_20100805_0117_1ms.jpgCheck out this clip on how one community's efforts in a small town in western Japan brought back white storks that were nearly extinct in the region. 
Not only did the exotic birds encourage locals to push for more sustainable farming methods, it also helped spark new business ideas such as eco-label stork brand products.

I hope to provide readers with an insight into what's happening on the eco-front here in Japan as I look out for the latest environmental info and green business trends.
See you again soon!

Posted at:11:42  |  Category:Programs  |  Check Out Biodiversity   |  Comments(1) | Trackbacks(0)

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