To Shinjiro New York-Accompanying reporter-October 4 15:52

Minister Koizumi visited New York, USA for seven days from September 21 to attend the United Nations Global Warming Summit and related events. Attend the first international conference after taking office as Minister. I will tell you twice about the reporter's report about whether Koizumi-bushi, who I am good at, can show a presence overseas.
(Satoshi Sugita, Reporter, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Social Affairs)


The evening of September 21. Minister Koizumi appeared at Narita Airport. Initially, the officials of the Ministry of the Environment spoke to the media companies saying, “Do not hang up at the airport at the time of departure. Do not ask questions.”

But when I go abroad for the first time, I can't speak anything. Thinking about that and waiting with a photographer ...

He stopped in front of the camera before getting on the plane as expected. Well, I always have a hairstyle and it looks refreshing.

“I want to leave a firm message that Japan is an indispensable player for global issues.”

When Koizumi talked, he got on board the plane with the staff of the Ministry of the Environment and the SP.

I am on the plane to accompany you on the same plane. By the way, the seat of the minister is first class, but this is decided as “a necessary measure for security”, and it is not a luxury.

What does it look like on board? I tried to take a little peek at the first class, but the curtains were closed and I couldn't see what was inside ...

I decided to go back to my economy class seat and read the documents in preparation for the next day's coverage, while drinking my favorite ice cream.

My favorite steak before the battle ...

About 13 hours from Narita Airport. Arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Local time is 4:30 pm.

The minister first headed to the United Nations, where people from various countries gathered. A well-established famous steak restaurant in Manhattan. This restaurant, a sirloin steak, that has also appeared in movies, can be enjoyed from around $ 60 per person.

The minister said, “I want to eat steak every day.”

However, when the remark was reported in the news, some media accused "no consideration for environmental problems". In fact, the production of beef consumes a large amount of grain and water, and the methane gas contained in the beef burp leads to global warming. In Europe and the United States, as part of efforts to address environmental issues, the “meatless” campaign is underway to avoid eating beef as much as possible.

Under such circumstances, the minister's remark that “I want to eat steak even every day” led to a criticism that “I don't understand any recent trends in environmental issues”.

I personally think that I should eat as much as I like steak ...

However, if the minister spoke without knowing that the mass production of beef had a considerable impact on climate change ... Before I went to a steak restaurant and asked me about my thoughts, I was sorry for the fact that somebody didn't give me advice.

Remarks at the first day conference

September 22nd. Finally, full-scale activities in New York start. Minister Koizumi arrives at a building near the United Nations headquarters. The first event I participated in was an event related to renewable energy.

At the same venue, we mainly met with foreign media. There were reporters of such media such as Reuters and Financial Times at the meeting place.

All exchanges are in English. Initially, the conference proceeded in a calm atmosphere, but when it came to the middle, strict questions stopped.

Reporter: While coal-fired power is a major power source in Japan, it is also a major cause of global warming. How do you intend to work in the next 6 to 12 months?

Minister Koizumi: Decrease.

Reporter: How is it?

Minister Koizumi: ... (Silence of silence. * Approximately 6 seconds) I just became a minister last week. Discuss with colleagues and staff from the Ministry of the Environment.

He was always a minister who could respond immediately to questions, but at this time he had a slightly troubled face.

And when you are in New York, ask what kind of discussion you want to discuss ...

“Politics has so many challenges, sometimes boring.”

"The big problem of climate change must be fun, cool and sexy"

Here, that “sexy” statement popped out. “Sexy” is sometimes used to mean “interesting and exciting”, so I do n’t think it ’s a fuss.

However, as environmental problems became so serious, I felt that it was a somewhat misleading expression.

However, this expression of “sexy” is not the original of Minister Koizumi. The minister just quoted the words that the woman at the secretariat before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who sat next to him at the conference, often used.

Overseas media “No specific measures”

Sexy remarks at this conference, Reuters, reported greatly with the headline that “Japan's new environment minister remarked that climate change measures are“ sexy ””, but at the same time, “There is no specific measure in Japan. ”He pointed out.

Exchanges that do not mesh

There were often occasions when interviews did not engage with reporters.

Reporter: Please give a message to President Trump, who has a negative attitude toward climate change.

Minister Koizumi: I want to meet you.

Reporter: What about climate change?

Koizumi Environment Minister: There is a US military base in my local Yokosuka. Interaction with Americans is very natural. Yokosuka is a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. If you are a president, I would like to tell you about Japan-US relations.

It is a technique that Mr. Koizumi often uses to talk about personal topics without answering questions from the front. In some cases, it can be received, but if you are in the position of the minister, it will be seen with severe eyes.

When asked about President Trump, I wanted you to say, “The United States should also properly deal with environmental problems”. Well, is it really impossible?

And at the UN headquarters

After this, the minister headed for the United Nations headquarters building. A speech was to be given at a decarbonization event.

During his stay in New York, he spoke at the United Nations headquarters only once, and the content of his remarks attracted attention.

The minister's turn is around 2:30 pm. Although the Japanese media have been waiting for the moment, other attendees have been giving speeches beyond their time, so it will not start easily even if the scheduled time comes.

The minister's turn finally came. Then the minister said at the beginning, “Japan keeps time”.

There was a big laugh and cheer from the venue. Grasp is okay. The minister who attracted the audience at once was a proud expression.

However, he did not mention any new content or specific efforts in the three-minute speech.

In fact, there are few things that can be said at this stage in Japan, which is not so active in combating global warming.

Even so, there is no content. I had to write the speech and then contact the Tokyo desk, but I thought, “Is it just enough to make news?”

After the speech, the minister surrounded by reporters looked very happy.

“Kenya in front of me is talking over the time limit. I ’m watching it and I feel the atmosphere of the place. If you show the words “Japan keeps time” to a UN staff member who is wondering if it will end early by the side, I ’m laughing and I ’m happy. That kind of instantaneous power. If that was a script, it ’s amazing. ”

Well. Although self-praise is good, isn't there any talk about the contents ...?

Opinion exchange with young people

On this day, the minister also exchanged opinions with Japanese university students and high school students visiting New York at an event related to the Global Warming Summit.

Now, the movement for environmental issues is happening mainly in the younger generation like Greta in Sweden. Demonstrations are also being conducted in Japan, but the current situation is that they are still less interested than overseas.

Anyway, I wanted to interview the minister about how to exchange opinions with young people from overseas, but there was no such situation because it would be a problem even if there were too severe questions.

During his stay, the minister said many times that "Japan is keenly aware that there is not enough ability to communicate." Since I came to New York, I wanted to have hot discussions with young people all over the world, not only talking with young Japanese people, but also using my good English skills. (Continue)

Sachiyo Sugita, reporter in charge of the Ministry of the Environment
Joined in 2010. After being mainly in charge of incidents at Wakayama Broadcasting Station and Osaka Broadcasting Station, Social Affairs Department from 2016