The Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto came to Iceland for a concert in February 2013 with Alva Noto. Ryuichi is well known for his music for the Last Emporer and as an electronic music pioneer from YMO to his contemporary work. Ryuichi has been active in the campaign against nuclear energy in Japan. We met in Iceland and spoke a lot about environmental issues and activism for the Japanese Magazine Fujingaho. Iceland has in many ways solved many of its great energy problems by heating the city of Reykjavík with Geothermal Energy and using Hydro Electric Power for energy production. But the policy is not without problems. After meeting all the goals for home and domestic use – the government planned huge megaprojects of selling cheap power for international Aluminum Giants. Our industry went from solving problems to becoming a problem in itself. The environmental groups have been focused on the overexploitation of geothermal areas, the disruption of the natural flow of rivers and lakes, the destruction of waterfalls and landscape and the never ending hunger of the industry for more power. In that way, the Icelandic aluminum and energy industrial complex becomes similar to the Japanese nuclear lobby.
We went to Þingvellir, to see Gullfoss and ended the day in Toppstöðin, an empty coal fired power station now being turned into a design and innovation center. I am part of the group that is working on that project.
Two of my books have now been published in Japanese. The Story of the Blue Planet and Dreamland. The covers can be seen here below.