OUR STAFF

Randal Helten

Representative Director, Antarctica

Born in Canada, he has loved nature since he was a child camping in the forest and ocean. He had the opportunity to travel the world as a student and was moved by the beauty of people and the earth. After graduating from university, he came to Japan and started working as a volunteer for Friends of the Earth Japan in 1989, and has been involved in a variety of activities up to now, including events, forests, development finance, climate, and energy.

I think there is wisdom in the slogan “mobilize, resist, transform" of Friends of the Earth. The world is going through a difficult time right now, but I believe that if we all work together, we can realize a bright future. We only have one Earth, so let’s protect it together!

Yuri Onodera

Climate, Biomass, Development and Human Rights

After working in general administration and wetland protection, he is now in charge of tracking and analyzing international policies related to climate change in the climate and energy Program. He is a member of the steering group of Friends of the Earth International’s climate justice and energy program. He is also a member of the biomass team, where he analyzes issues related to international rules on biomass.

For a long time, international climate action has lagged behind due to the influence of some experts, politicians and industry, but in recent years we have been encouraged by the voices of citizens and young people for climate justice.

Waka Kitsugi

General Affairs

Staff member since 2021. She is in charge of general affairs, member management and supporter communication. I majored in environmental policy and studied waste problems, food loss, and the formation of a recycling-oriented society.

When I was in high school, I was appalled by the mass disposal at my part-time job, and I felt a sense of crisis about the mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal society. As a general affairs officer, I will create an environment conducive to the activities of campaigners and supporters. I will also contribute to a sustainable society by acquiring knowledge and experience. Thank you for your support!

Kazue Komatsubara

Biomass

Commissioned researcher since 2020. She has been working on biomass power generation issues from the perspective of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

Unlike other species, the relationship between humans and the ecosystem is very unique, so how can we live in harmony with nature? This grand question seems to be connected to the solution of various environmental and social issues we are facing. I will keep on working to change our society.

Katsunori Sasaki

Forests

Full-time staff member since 2004. He was involved in local activities such as eco-tours in indigenous villages as part of forest conservation activities in the Russian Far East. He is now involved in research projects related to the forest and forestry sector in Russia, activities to promote Fairwood, an environmentally and socially conscious wood, and the coastal forest restoration.

Once forests and its ecosystem are damaged to a certain level, they can never be restored. I would like to do what I can for what I think should not be lost, including the lives of people who are connected to it.

Yuriko Shinohara

General Affairs, Forests

Participated as a student intern since 2003, and has been a full-time staff member since 2006. She is in charge of general affairs, communication with supporters, and coordination of activities such as hiking and satoyama restoration activities.

Through my activities, I would like to let as many people as possible know the joy and pleasure of living with nature and feeling the four seasons.

Hanae Takahashi

Climate, Development and Human Rights, Biomass

Full-time staff member since 2018. She communicates with residents and civil society groups calling for a halt to the construction of the Yokosuka coal-fired power plant, conducts research and advocacy on climate change and energy policy, and follows up on international climate change negotiations.

Climate crisis, biodiversity crisis, war, sexism, economic disparity and difficulty in living – I believe that these seemingly disparate issues are connected in that “life is being neglected. We will continue to listen to the voices of those who face each of these issues and work toward a society where every life has a place.

Toru Tabuchi

Power Shift Campaign

He has been Involved in the Power Shift Campaign since 2017, encouraging people to switch to renewable energy power companies and communicating with power companies that focus on sustainable renewable energy.

The Power Shift Campaign is working to realize a sustainable renewable energy society, but all of Friends of the Earth Japan activities, not just those related to renewable energy, are essential to realizing the society we are aiming for. We would like to listen to your voices and utilize them in our activities. Thank you very much for your support!

Hozue Hatae

Development and Human Rights

Born in Shimane Prefecture, grew up in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hokkaido before moving to Tokyo. Interested in issues of peace, human rights, environment, and development, she became a volunteer at Friends of the Earth Japan in 2000 and an intern in 2001. She has been a staff member since 2007.

I will continue to do my best with the strong will of those who continue to fight against unreasonable development in the field and never give up!

Ayumi Fukakusa

Nuclear, Fossil Fuels, Climate
Development and Human Rights

She joined Friends of the Earth Japan as a student intern in 2012, and has been a full-time staff member since 2016. Her work includes research and advocacy on climate change, nuclear power export, and coal-fired power export by the Japanese public and private sectors.

When I was in elementary school, I read Fuyumi Ono’s “Tonan-no-Tsubasa" and began to think about what a social system is. I would like to continue to work for system change, which Friends of the Earth is trying to achieve.

Hikaru Matsumoto

Nuclear, Development and Human Rights

Full-time staff member since 2018. He has been working to improve and solve environmental, social, and human rights issues related to development sites such as mines and nuclear power plant accidents.

Many environmental and human rights issues are not reported by the mass media and are not well supported by the government and politics. I am putting a lot of effort into my activities, starting with researching the issues on the ground, listening to the real voices of the people, and sending out messages. I often feel that I am not doing enough, but I would like to continue doing what I can.

Junichi Mishiba

Forests

Full-time staff member since 2004. He has been involved in the procurement and promotion of Fairwood, an environmentally and socially friendly wood in the Japanese market. He also does research on forest and forestry laws and regulations in tropical countries and the environmental and social impact of logging sites from the perspective of local residents. Based on this research, he is working to promote measures against illegal logging in Japan and contribute to forest conservation by making recommendations to the government and companies.

As is the case with environmental issues in general, there are no easy solutions to the complex intertwining of problems. I am involved in forest conservation with the hope that I can lead them in a better direction.

Kanna Mitsuta

Executive Director, Nuclear, Biomass
Development and Human Rights

She has been with Friends of the Earth Japan since 2009, and has been working on energy policy and supporting victims of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident since 2011.

There are people who continue to raise their voices to protect the environment, their lives, and democracy all over the world. Sometimes they even have to risk their lives…. Each and every one of us can voice our opinions, participate in politics, and change our society for the better. I would like to make this a natural part of our society.

Mayuko Yanai

Development and Human Rights

After working as a climate change staff member, she is now working on development issues and practical research on climate change adaptation measures in Indonesia.

Whenever I visit communities affected by climate change and development, I feel the distortions and inequities in society. However, at the same time, I am encouraged by the people who respect nature and live strongly despite the various impacts. I will continue to work for a society that can coexist with nature.

Eriko Yano

Nuclear, Pokapoka Recreation Camp

She was born in Nagano Prefecture and is currently living in Yokohama. After the nuclear accident, she wanted to be involved in activities related to the children of Fukushima, and has been a part-time staff member at Friends of the Earth Japan since 2013. She has been involved in a recreational project to support the victims of the nuclear accident.

Our recreational project, the “Fukushima Poka Poka Project" was held on a small scale last year, avoiding crowded occasions. We are planning to hold it again this year, taking safety measures for those who are trapped by both Covid-19 and radiation. We are very grateful for the support and encouragement we receive from everyone.

Akiko Yoshida

Climate, Nuclear, Power Shift Campaign

Staff member of Friends of the Earth Japan since 2007, and has been involved in activities related to Fukushima and the energy shift since the 2011 earthquake and nuclear power plant accident. She is in charge of administrative affairs for the “e-Shift: Association for realizing a new energy policy without nuclear power", a network established after 3.11. In 2015, she launched the Power Shift Campaign to promote the choice of renewable energy.

I am looking at the Climate Change Action Map we published with my 3-year-old child. Let’s work together to bring about systemic change, individually, locally, nationally, and corporately!