International Activist Profile: Ryoichi Terada
Ryoichi Terada was born in a suburb near Tokyo. He was a part of the anti-pollution environmental movement of the 1960's and 1970's in Japan when residents began to recognize that pollution was becoming widspread.
Terada became involved in the environmental movement after he became sensitive to chemical materials. He began to study chemicals and their presence in food. Recognizing the sociopolitical nature of environmental issues, he obtained a master's degree in sociology, specializing in the socio/political aspects of the environmental movement.
During the late 1980's and early 1990's, he studied and promoted the use of renewable energy sources. Most recently, however, he has become interested in researching, and organizing around, groundwater contamination by the high tech industry. With such an immense population coupled with such a small geographic area, all freshwater in Japan is sacred. The high tech electronics industry has been responsible for contaminating extensive groundwater reserves in Japan. The government, which works very closely with companies such as NEC, Fujitsu, Matsushita and Mitsubishi, has simply closed off any drinking wells leading into these aquifers, rather than cleaning them up to safe drinking levels. Meanwhile, suburban and rural water retail agencies recognize that in the longterm they must tap these local aquifers in order to serve the growing local populations.
Terada has recognized that he must have an international perspective because the high tech industry's power and resources continue to expand globally. As a result, he has joined the international network on high tech accountability being coordinated by the Campaign for Responsible Technology.
For more information on groundwater contamination in Japan, contact the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition to get a copy of Terada's Water Resources Exploitation and the Community: A case of citizen's action for recovery of the groundwater contamination and sustainable use. 1993
- 192 Technology & Telecommunications