by Jenny Tuazon
It’s not everyday that we see a vibrant scene outside the Japanese Embassy: climate activists, prepped with a powerful message and inflatable giant Doraemon mascots, have taken to the streets. Their mission? To challenge Japan to end its financial support for fossil fuels in anticipation of hosting the prestigious Group of 7 (G7) leaders’ summit.
For those unfamiliar, Doraemon – a cute blue robot cat – is a beloved manga and animé character that first emerged in Japan during the late 1960s. The activists cleverly draw parallels between the story of Doraemon and their cause: Just as Nobita Nobi’s grandson sends a robot from the future to guide and improve Nobita’s younger self’s life, Japan must be reminded of its commitment to real climate action to secure a sustainable and peaceful future for all, including future generations.
Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by this animated series, particularly Doraemon as a character. Witnessing today’s creative action in the Philippines drew me more insights into Japan and its popular character Doraemon.
Doraemon perfectly suits this creative action. In a world where technology plays an increasingly significant role, finding a symbol that embodies its potential for peace, creativity, and innovation may seem like a daunting task. Yet, nestled in the heart of Japanese popular culture, there exists a beloved character whose charm and adventures have made him a perfect ambassador for these values.
Unleashing the Power of Technology
Doraemon’s character represents a world where advanced technology serves as a force for good. Sporting an impressive array of futuristic gadgets, this robotic feline showcases the limitless possibilities that technology holds. From the “Anywhere Door” that facilitates instantaneous travel to the “Take-Copter” enabling airborne escapades, each gadget sparks curiosity and ignites the imagination. Through Doraemon’s inventions, the message becomes clear: technology can be harnessed to solve problems, improve lives, and shape a brighter future. Drawing parallels, Japan’s global reputation as a hub of technological innovation positions itself as a driving force in sustainable solutions. From renewable energy advancements to eco-friendly transportation, Japan’s commitment to harnessing technology for a greener future resonates with individuals seeking practical solutions to the impacts of climate change.
A Champion of Peace
Beyond the realm of technology, Doraemon embodies the values of peace and friendship. As a loyal companion to his human friend Nobita Nobi, he demonstrates the importance of empathy, understanding, and cooperation. Doraemon acts as a guiding light, offering solace during difficult times and teaching valuable life lessons. In a world often plagued by conflict, Doraemon’s unwavering commitment to peace resonates, inspiring individuals to seek harmony and foster positive relationships. These values echo Japan’s rich cultural heritage and its pursuit of global stability. As people become more socially conscious, Japan’s commitment to diplomacy and environmental cooperation aligns with their aspirations for a more peaceful and inclusive world. By embracing sustainable practices and championing global leadership, Japan inspires people to work collaboratively across borders, driving positive change on a global scale.
Fostering Creativity and Innovation
Doraemon’s universe thrives on creativity and innovative thinking. Each episode of his adventures presents unique challenges that require imaginative problem-solving. Whether it’s employing the “Time Machine” or the “Shrink Ray,” Doraemon encourages people to think outside the box, exploring unconventional solutions to everyday challenges. Through his whimsical adventures, he nurtures a spirit of curiosity and inspires individuals to embrace their own creativity, leading to a world where innovation becomes the norm. Drawing inspiration from this cultural icon, Japan leverages its cultural influence to promote sustainability and inspire action. Through cultural exchanges, creative storytelling, and media, Japan amplifies its message of environmental stewardship. As young adults immerse themselves in Japanese pop culture, they become empowered to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives and join a global movement for a greener future.
A Legacy of Inspiration
Doraemon’s impact stretches far beyond his animated world. With a history dating back to the late 1960s, this robotic cat has captured the hearts and minds of generations. His popularity knows no bounds, transcending cultural barriers and captivating audiences worldwide. Doraemon’s enduring legacy serves as a testament to his ability to ignite imaginations and inspire change. Through this widespread recognition and love, he has become an influential ambassador of technology, peace, creativity, and innovation. Japan, too, recognises the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, setting climate targets, and prioritising renewable energy investments. By embracing sustainability, Japan ensures a positive legacy for future generations, inspiring young adults to become catalysts for change.
While Japan has made strides in climate action and sustainability, its financial involvement in fossil fuels undermines its efforts. As the fourth-largest source of institutional investments in the industry, Japan falls short of its climate action pledge. The G7 leaders summit provides Japan with an opportunity to show leadership and inspire other nations to join the fight against climate change.
The activists’ call for action resonates beyond the borders of Japan, urging the G7 to respond to the climate crisis with utmost urgency and ambition. It is a united plea to tackle this global challenge head-on and pave the way towards a greener and more sustainable world.
As the world grapples with the challenges and opportunities presented by advancing technology, finding a beacon of hope and inspiration becomes vital. In Doraemon, we discover a timeless character who embodies the values we hold dear: technology’s potential for good, the pursuit of peace, the power of creativity, and the importance of innovation. As a climate activist myself, it is my hope that Japan will use its global influence at the G7 Leaders summit to be on the right side of history.
Take action with us!
The Group of Seven (G7) is a powerful political force made up of the world’s largest economies, including the US, Europe and Canada. Japan is president of the group this year and this opens an opportunity for us to demand that the Japanese government stop supporting all fossil fuels immediately. They’ve been one of the worlds biggest users of coal – so we can’t let this chance just pass by. Sign the petition now and we’re sure to deliver your message at the G7 summit.