Today we launched our popular Guide to Greener Electronics in Japanese, for the very first time, as part of a week of activities to mark the 20th Anniversary of Greenpeace in Japan.

Regular readers will know Greenpeace in Japan has not had an easy ride, especially lately with the Tokyo Two case. We decided to launch the Guide in Japanese for two simple reasons:

The Guide includes Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, Fujitsu and Nintendo. These companies have large markets in Japan that our English version of the Guide doesn’t reach normally.

Greenpeace is often incorrectly portrayed in Japan as being only about whaling and being anti Japanese. Greenpeace’s work in other areas is not known and the fact that Greenpeace has helped drive progressive environmental change from some of the biggest companies in Japan (OK not so much from Nintendo!) is a fact that could help change important perceptions of Greenpeace in Japan.

Zeina journeyed from Amsterdam to Tokyo to be our international spokesperson, the office put in sterling work to translate 37 pages of dense company information into, apparently, 137 pages of Japanese text – obviously complex terms like precautionary principle and Individual producer responsibility must be really long in Japanese.

Zeina phoned today to report that the launch press conference went really well with lots of important Japanese media there and asking detailed questions about how we rated Japanese companies environmental performance. We’ll have to wait and see what’s written in the media but as one journalist from the Asahi Shimbun (second biggest daily paper in Japan) told Zeina:

“You’ve change my whole perception of Greenpeace”

Now if we get media stories even half as positive as this quote it will be mission accomplished.