Will the world go bankrupt if I give up here? Jun Hori Explains “The SDGs Now”! | anan News – Magazine Agency


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In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted at a UN summit vowing to “leave no one behind”. We have set 17 Sustainable Development Goals and plan to achieve them by 2030. However, now we are still eight years away, how much has been achieved?

“I think the word SDGs has spread steadily around the world, the awareness that we have to do something has spread, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet in terms of actual changes in behavior and society,” said Mr. Hori.

Among the younger generation, including environmental activist Greta Thunberg, adults are just excuses and do nothing. I now continue to call for action in a strong tone.

Mr. Hori is only focusing on some of the goals of the SDGs, worrying that he may not see the full picture or achieve the original purpose.

What is the current situation in Japan? What do we need to know and do now? In 2022, Mr. Hori will introduce the current status of SDGs to the audience, including Keiko.

Numbers are just the entrance. Don’t get caught there.

– The SDG target period is 2030. Can it be done in eight years?

There are 169 more detailed targets out of 17 goals.

–Eh! I have too much homework. Feeling like a schoolboy on the last day of summer vacation. I’m worried if I’ll be in time for…

You don’t have to try to achieve everything. Number 17 is just the “entrance”. Why don’t you find a project that interests you and think from there? This is a suggestion. Start with 16 “Peace and Justice” if you’re interested in peace, or 5 “Gender Equality” if you have LGBTQ friends. However, when I see companies, I agree with movements like “We are committed to the environment, but we don’t comment on human rights issues because they relate to political issues” and “Let’s get rid of hunger.” I worry about raising wages and reluctance of employees.

–You mean that if you try to solve one project, you won’t be able to solve another project?

No, the opposite is true. The environment, human rights, peace and gender are all intertwined when we look for the root causes of social problems. For example, in the case of poverty, there are many possible causes. I don’t have the knowledge and skills to make money → 4 “Education for All”. Different wages for men and women → 5 “Gender equality”. Unable to produce food due to disaster → 13 “Climate change”. The war is still going on and I cannot work → 16 “Peace and Justice”. Exploited → 17 “Achieving Goals Through Cooperation”. As you can see, a problem is related to a wide variety of other projects that can only be improved by solving them. The goals of the SDGs are so cleverly designed.

– That’s it! I see why you can start anywhere.

The term SDGs has become widespread, and more and more companies are listing it. However, simply understanding the SDGs will not solve the problem. You have to actually change your behavior like Greta is hitting the adult ass. The United Nations has called for the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals, but ironically, wars, conflicts and environmental pollution have not stopped. The number of hungry people is also increasing. If you give up here, the world will fall apart. There may be hope for the future if we don’t give up and fix things. It stands on the edge.


――When it comes to SDGs, the image of “=environmental issues” is strong.

I agree. I think the theme is the easiest to sing in a company. The solution to the environmental problem seems to be to stop burning coal for power generation and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Sure, it’s important, but coal isn’t the only pollutant polluting the environment. Wars can destroy things, contaminate soil, and nuclear accidents can contaminate radioactive materials. In some cases, polluted water is discharged due to overexploitation of economic growth. The SDGs are often limited to “regenerate forests,” “reduce carbon dioxide,” and “stop using PET bottles and make them my bottles.” Differences are also a reason. I think we also have to think about it and address it. However, even if there are human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, many Japanese companies try not to mention the political issues.

– Why should companies avoid political statements?

You may be concerned that you may not be able to do business with the country concerned, or that you may not be able to buy the product if it becomes politicized. However, in Europe and the United States, when the Uyghur issue became clear, Adidas quickly announced “review of our supply chain (whether it involves forced labor in the Uyghur Autonomous Region)”, and many companies followed. On the other hand, Tesla retorted, “Since the Chinese market is important, we will build a showroom in the Uyghur Autonomous Region.” In this way, in European and American countries, clarifying the company’s position is considered to gain trust and value.

–Why are the SDGs falling behind in achieving their goals?

There are several possibilities, but as far as Japan is concerned, I don’t think it’s a big deal that companies haven’t seen it as a business opportunity. However, ESG investing has become a trend to invest only in companies that are sensitive to the environment and human rights, so Japanese companies are also increasingly interested in it, following Western countries. The move is accelerating as Apple announces it will “review deals with companies that burden the environment.” For example, Japan’s electricity is dominated by thermal power, but companies have begun petitioning the government to “increase renewable energy.”

――I heard that Japan is lagging behind on gender issues, so what?

In terms of gender, the world average for female parliamentarians is 25.5%, and Japan remains at 9.9%. The House of Representatives has 22.6 percent, but the House holds a majority. In the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index ranking, Japan will be ranked 120 out of 156 countries in 2021. In the political arena, a law was enacted where “every political party sets gender-conscious goals” and agrees to fight for equal numbers of male and female candidates at elections. There are no penalties, so it probably won’t happen anytime soon, but it’s a big change.


Jun Hori was born in 1977, from Hyogo Prefecture. reporter. After working as an NHK announcer, he became independent in 2013. Representative of citizen journalism website “8bit News”. Appeared in “Horijun Morning FLAG” (TOKYO MX). In his book, “I shall not allow division” (Jitsugyo no Nihonsha).

Keiko Sotome was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1974. Illustrator. He has written many books such as “The Book of Parents’ Stupidity” (Magazine House), “Otome’s Survival Technique” (Heibonsha). In 2018, the exhibition “Mayonna Keiko Counterattack” will be held in Taiwan. The LINE stamp “Lady’s Greetings” is also popular.

*From the March 30, 2022 issue of Anan.Photography: Maki Ogasawara Illustration: Keiko Sotome Interview with Tomoko Kurose

(Annan Editorial Department)

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