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Ube-Nishiokinoyama CFPP, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Coal Fired Power Plant project cancelled in 2021 in Ube City. Plans for two 600 MW CFPP emerged in 2014 causing local and national opposition.


In 2015, J-POWER, Osaka Gas, and Ube Industries established Yamaguchi-Ube Power Generation and carried out an environmental impact assessment to build two 600MW units utilising ultra-supercritical (USC) technology planned to begin operation in 2026. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Ube-Nishiokinoyama CFPP, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
State or province:Yamaguchi Prefecture
Location of conflict:Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
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 commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, plans for two 600 GW ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-fired power plants (1.2 GW in total) emerged in 2014. This "Nishiokinoyama Power Plant (tentative name)" is being built by Yamaguchi Ube Power Co., Ltd., which is jointly funded by Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. and Ube Industries, Ltd., on a site adjacent to Ube Industries' coal relay station.

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Level of Investment:2,899,220,280
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/03/2015
End of the conflict:16/04/2021
Company names or state enterprises:Yamaguchi Ube Power Co., Ltd
Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. from Japan
Ube Industries, Ltd. from Japan
Osaka Gas from Japan
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Kiko network
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Violations of human rights
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:According to the Kiko network,"Proponents of the remaining 25 coal projects in the pipeline in Japan should also withdraw from the new expansion of coal plants, which pose so many risks. In the nation’s long-term low-emission growth strategy currently being considered by the government, a coal phase-out was reportedly removed due to opposition from industry. Any strategy to maintain the status quo will not only hamper efforts to address climate change but also be a drag on sound economic growth. The government needs to recognize that its failure to adopt proper policies has resulted in industry heading to the wrong direction. It is time for Japan to adopt a coal phase-out policy to realize a decarbonized society." (4)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Because of the protests, and because of the companies' own assessment of risk, the project was stopped in April 2021.
Sources & Materials

(4). Kiko Press Release. Osaka Gas pulls out of coal-fired power plant expansion plan in Yamaguchi Prefecture: J-POWER and Ube Industries should reverse their decision to continue. Mie Asaoka, President, Kiko Network. April 24, 2019
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(5) Short description of the case in "Japan Beyond Coal".
[click to view]

(6) Welcoming J-POWER and Ube Industries’decision to cancel coal power station in Yamaguchi, Japan~Other coal-fired power projects must stop, too~April 16, 2021Kiko NetworkMie Asaoka, President
[click to view]

Other documents

Yamaguchi-Ube Power Generation Co., Ltd. Cancels cancelation letter
[click to view]

Yamaguchi-Ube Power Generation Co., Ltd. Cancels Osaka Gas letter
[click to view]

Other comments:[1] Kiko Network, 2021. Ube’s coal-fired power plant plan has been cancelled! [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 6.9.21).

[2]Kiko Network, 2019a. Yamaguchi Coal-Fired Power Plant New Design Plan Osaka Gas Announces Withdrawal-Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.-Ube Industries Misjudged Business Continuity, Immediately Canceled [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 6.9.21).

[3]Kiko Network, 2019b. Two mayors comment on the new design of Yamaguchi’s coal-fired power plant promoted by Osaka Gas, etc. [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 6.9.21).
Meta information
Contributor:Environmental Justice Japan
Last update03/07/2021
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