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Environment and History

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Environment and History

The Nature Conservation Movement in Post-War Japan

Catherine Knight

Environment and History 16 (2010): 349-370. doi: 10.3197/096734010X519799

Like many other developed or developing nations, Japan has found itself faced with the challenge of finding the balance between the economic and social needs of its nation on the one hand and the protection of its natural environment on the other, something that has been particularly challenging in the post-war decades of high economic growth rates. In this process, the national nature conservation movement has played an important role in counter-balancing the power of the pro-development forces in Japan. However, owing to a number of factors, both social and political, its influence has remained limited. This paper explores those factors, and outlines recent developments which may lead to both a greater emphasis on the greater participation of non-governmental organisations in the political process, and a greater emphasis on the protection of the natural environment.

KEYWORDS: Nature conservation, Japan, development, NGOs, LDP, Isahaya Bay

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