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Lights out, Fukuoka

   Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, concerned citizens throughout Japan have demanded that the nation's nuclear power plants be shut down until the safety of the reactors can be determined. In Kyûshû, where some thirty percent of electricity production comes from nuclear power, this has meant residents, businesses, and governmental bodies have been asked to conserve energy by 15% during the summer months when demand for electricity peaks.

   Efforts to lower demand can be seen everywhere. Public offices have raised the thermostats on their air conditioners to 28℃ (82.4°F), and turned off the air conditioning completely in half of the city's subway stations. Interior lights on trains (pictured above) and university hallways have also been turned off.

   In a country where an abundance of illuminated billboards and flashing neon lights ensures that it is bright enough for a person to read a newspaper outside in the middle of the night, this new darkness will take some getting used to. 


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Reader Comments (2)

If only it really worked that way, though. Pedaling my mountain bike in the August sun, I'm often "refreshed" by a nice blast of cold air from the open doors of supermarkets and department stores. There is still a lot of waste going on. It reminds me of the water shortage we had in Fukuoka in '94 or so. Citizens were asked to not flush the toilet during the day, and to restrict water usage as much as they could. My (now ex-) wife chastised me for taking showers in the morning. Yet I'd routinely see cleaning ladies washing down the sidewalks in front of apartment buildings, and taxis were still going through car washes twice a day.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill


I remember that drought, too. No water from 10 pm to 10 am. At the time I was working from 10 am to 9 pm, so I only had an hour to shower, cook, clean up, do laundry, crap. What a summer.

August 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterAonghas Crowe

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