Soga coal power plant, Chiba, Japan

Citizens are worrying their living condition gets worse if a new coal-fired power plant is built in an already polluted area. Strong support from groups in Japan concerned with climate change.


In 2011, the amount of electricity generated from coal in Japan (including electricity supply directly to industry) was 238.8 TWh, which is 14 times greater than the amount in 1973.  Coal fired electricity accounted for 25% of all electricity generated in 2011.  Furthermore, after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident that year, we witnessed increased use of coal as an alternative to nuclear power plants that have been suspended. (3). In 2017 it was reported that the Japanese government was moving ahead with its plans to build up to 45 new coal fired power stations. The power plants would utilise high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal. Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG). But coal is cheaper than LPG. (5)

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Basic Data
NameSoga coal power plant, Chiba, Japan
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsChugoku Electric Power, JFE Steel Corporation, and Tokyo Gas have proposed a 1,070 MW ultra-supercritical power station at the site of JFE's old steel factory in the Chuo ward of Chiba. Estimated CO2 emissions, 6.420 Mt/ year.

Chugoku Electric Power and JFE Steel plan to sell the power to TEPCO, and Tokyo Gas plans to sell the rest to the Kanto area. As of 2017 the EIA process is underway. Protest against the proposed Soga plant on October 14, 201. Local residents and Friends of the Earth Japan protested the construction of the new Soga plant. According to Friends of the Earth: "Public facilities such as schools and athletic grounds are located within a 5km radius of the planned construction site. If a coal power plant is constructed and begins operations, additional concerns will be raised on the effects of air pollution on local residents. The planned construction site is in an area which experiences environmental improvement after the court rulings during the Aozora Trials." (Coalswarm).
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesKawasaki Steel from Japan
Chugoku Electric Power from Japan
JFE Steel from Japan
Tokyo Electrical Power Company (TEPCO) from Japan
Tokyo Gas from Japan
Relevant government actorsEnvironment Ministry

Industry Ministry
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFriends of the Earth (Japan)


Kiko Network, [email protected]
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Other Environmental impacts
OtherNasty smell.
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
OtherCoal dust
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEIA under discussion in 2018. Local citizens' movement, stronly supported by Kiko Network anti-climate change.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.It seems likely that the Soha coal fired power plant will not be built. This is probably to be decided in 2018.
Sources and Materials

(2) Reuters, Japan's environment minister sees business risk in building new coal-fired plant. 10 March 2017.
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(3) In many places, local movements against new coal-fired power plant project are getting active. In order to introduce local citizen’s movements at Sendai, Tokyo-Bay area, Kobe, and Takasago, set a new page call “Local Movements“.
[click to view]

(6) Japanese government planning to build 45 new coal fired power stations to diversify supply. By Babs McHugh. 1 Febr. 2017.
[click to view]

(4) Kiko Network. Developers Announced the Cancellation of New Coal Power Project in Ichihara, Chiba –The first case of cancellation on a large scale new project (March 23, 2017)
[click to view]

Media Links

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(1) FoE Japan, 16 Oct. 2017, Soga needs no coal power plants – The new construction plan on a land with a history of pollution
[click to view]

Other Documents

Source: FoE Japan No more Construction of Coal-Fired Power Plant! (the upper part). The Society for Reconsidering the Plan for Coal-Fired Plant Construction (the lower part)
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update02/03/2018