May 7 , 2019

Please SIGN-ON: Petition to request one of the leading travel agencies in Japan, H.I.S.,to stop the constructtion of the palm oil power plant

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  • One of the leading travel agencies in Japan, H.I.S. began constructing a power plant in Kakuda City, Miyagi Prefecture that utilizes palm oil. The plant is expected to burn about 70,000 tons of palm oil a year.
  • In the countries that produce oil palm such as Malaysia and Indonesia, the habitats of wild animals are being destroyed as well as a large amount of CO2 being emitted due to peatland and tropical forest destruction.
  • Burning palm oil for power generation leads to further destruction of tropical forests.


Mr. Hideo Sawada, H.I.S. Co., Ltd. Chairman (CEO)
Mr. Shohei Akao, CEO, H.I.S. Super Power

A leading travel agency in Japan, H.I.S. Co., Ltd. currently plans to construct a power plant that utilizes palm oil as a main source of fuel in Kakuda City, Miyagi Prefecture. This plant is expected to burn 70,000 tons of palm oil a year.

Palm oil is used in various products that people use on a daily basis, and is produced from oil palm. The major countries that produce oil palm are Malaysia and Indonesia, and production of oil palm has been a serious issue. Oil palm is usually produced on a large-scale, and this has led to a number of environmental problems such as destruction of tropical forests and peatlands, high CO2 emissions and diminishment of wildlife habitats. It causes not only these environmental problems but also social problems including human rights violation of farm workers by forced labor and land conflicts by oil palm plantation development.

The increasing demand for palm oil as food has already led to these environmental and social issues. If it is going to be used for power generation, it is clear that the situation surrounding these producing countries will worsen.

According to the research entrusted by the European Commission, CO2 emissions from palm oil is higher than CO2 emissions from coal when it is used as biomass fuel, with palm oil being 231g CO2-eq/MJ(note1) and coal 97.3gCO2-eq/MJ(note2). This indicates that power generation with palm oil is not suitable for renewable energy. For this reason, in the European Union, palm oil as biomass fuel is not considered as renewable energy.

In the Feed-In Tariff System (FIT), only the oil approved by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) can be used for power generation, but the problem is drastic increase in demand for palm oil will become the driving force to further develop oil palm plantations.

At the assembly in Kakuda City December 2018 and March 2019, the city council severely criticized this project by H.I.S., calling the city mayor to carefully reconsider this project and withdraw from it. Concerned about climate change and hoping for a true recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, local environmental organizations and citizens in Miyagi have been seeking for truly sustainable energy that does not bring any negative impacts on the environment and society of producing countries.

Your corporate philosophy is “to contribute to the advancement of world peace and mutual understanding by increasing the knowledge of people around the world through tourism, and thereby overcoming the differences of nationality, race, culture and religion,” and contributing to such an environmentally destructive power plant does not match your corporate philosophy. We thus urge you to stop the construction of the power plant.

Power generation with palm oil, as described above, will progress the damaging effects of climate change through high CO2 emissions and destruction of tropical forests. The climate strike started from a 15 year-old girl in Sweden in August of last year, grew into a world movement and more than 1,500,000 young people in over 2000 cities, 125 countries joined the world climate strike on March 15th. To protect tropical forests and the future of young generations and for a true recovery from the disaster on March 11, 2011, we demand H.I.S. withdraw from the palm oil power plant project in Kakuda City, Miyagi Prefecture.

ECOFYS Netherlands B.V., "The land use change impact of biofuelsconsumed in the EU -Quantification of area and greenhouse gas impacts", 27 August 2015, p.40

note2) Estimated by the following data:
Environment of Ministry, Japan

Institute of Energy Economics Japan

Organized by:

Friends of the Earth Japan
Japan Tropical Forest Action Network
Plantation Watch
Hutan-Save the Tropical Forests
Citizens for community renovation in Gamo, Sendai
Citizens group against coal power in Sendai Bay
Citizens group supporting the constitution in Ichihara City
Kiko Network
Citizens network in Chiba Prefecture
Citizens group against coal power in Ichihara
Citizens group against coal power in Tokyo Bay
Citizens group against coal power in Soga, Chiba City
Policy research network for Sodegaura citizens
Chiba Environmental Information Center
Citizens group against coal power in Yokosuka

WALHI - Friend of the Earth Indonesia
Mighty Earth

ASUKA Jyusen, Professor, Tohoku University
HASEGAWA Koichi, Professor, Tohoku University
HIROSE Toshio,
HOBO Takehiko, Honorary professor, Shimane University
HOSOKAWA Komei, Professor, Kyotoseika University
IINUMA Sayoko, Global Environmental Forum
INOUE Makoto, Professor, Waseda University
INOUE Tomoaki,
KONISHI Yukiko, Representative, Citizens group against coal power in Soga, Chiba City
MATSUBARA Hironao, , Chief researcher, ISEP
MATSUURA Makoto, Honorary professor, Miyagi College of Technology
MITOBE Hidetoshi, doctor
MITSUTA Kanna, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth Japan
MIZUGUCHI Takechi, Professor, Takasaki Keizai University
TERANISHI Shun’ichi, Professor, Hitotsubashi University
TODA Kiyosh, Professor, Nagassaki University
TOMARI Miyuki, Representative Director, Biomass Industry Netowrk
YAMASHITA Hidetoshi, Associate professor, Hitotsubashi University
YOKEMOTO Masahumi, Professor, Osaka-city University