International University of Japan (IUJ) has not yet decided anything about the city’s planning for a new Regional EcoCenter, however, we would like to announce our basic position about it in order not to cause rumors and misunderstanding within and outside of the IUJ community.
IUJ has gained much support from, and coexisted with Niigata prefecture, specifically the Uonuma region, for nearly forty years since our foundation.
It goes without saying that, just as other local people do, IUJ depends on the city’s waste treatment and recycling centers to dispose of our garbage.
Recently, the local two cities and one town have faced difficulties with their planning for a new cutting-edge technology energy recycling plant for the region surrounding IUJ, specifically with where to locate it. Hoping to help improve the environment and develop the local community, IUJ received a request from the city to use the outskirts of IUJ’s land for the plant subject to the local people’s general agreement.
We are aware that some neighbors have concerns about the construction of the EcoCenter. It is quite common to encounter negative opinions: Although people understand that such a public facility is a social necessity, no one wants it to be built near them. However, we cannot forget the viewpoint of social responsibility. As a graduate university which offers higher education in an international environment to future leaders with a broad mindset and high aspirations, including global business leaders, and government officials of many countries, IUJ leadership, based on objective knowledge, including Japan’s high technical expertise for waste management and energy creation, feels that we should not hesitate to cooperate if building the facilities leads to, and contributes to, the development of the local community.
Minamiuonuma City has thus far held three meetings about the plan for this regional EcoCenter for IUJ students, faculty and staff members. Our students, faculty and staff members have also participated in four field trips to learn about the latest clean centers. Many international students who participated in the meetings or field trips will be leading their own countries in the future. The students who participated highly evaluate Japan’s cutting-edge technology and consideration for the surrounding environment, and they fully understand the situation. They all say that they learned something new and gained new insights into this matter.
Last year, IUJ established the educational Japan-Global Development Program, in which students systematically study Japan’s growth and its experiences since the Meiji Restoration. The program helps to provide young people from developing countries knowledge from Japan’s experiences and models to develop their own countries. IUJ believes that this cutting-edge technology project which gives full consideration to the environment will also be a most suitable case model for our students who study development studies, public policy or business administration.
Furthermore, this plan is in accordance with the idea of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) advocated by the United Nations and fully supported by the Japanese government. Obviously full consideration is being given to preserve the natural environment and avoid any negative impact on campus. According to the authorities, the center will be of the highest global standard. IUJ understands that the implementation of the center and the other public facilities being considered will contribute to IUJ’s further development, and we expect this to be a promotional attraction.
This plan will take several years to implement as the city planning officials need to develop the plan with public openness and transparency, and through a democratic process to bring about benefits for the greatest number of people. Any plan must go through Japan’s strict evaluations that include a full environmental assessment. However, while nothing has been formally proposed to IUJ, IUJ will keep moving forward with the local community in the spirit of pursuing mutual benefit.
International University of Japan
Information on the New regional Ecocenter is posted on Minamiuonuma City’s website.
Here is the link: http://honyaku.j-server.com/
*Name has not yet been decided: this is just a working label.