Japan’s Environmental Politics and Governance : From Trading Nation to EcoNation book cover
1st Edition

Japan’s Environmental Politics and Governance
From Trading Nation to EcoNation

ISBN 9781138339552
Published August 9, 2018 by Routledge
354 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Environmental issues stretch across scales of geographic space and require action at multiple levels of jurisdiction, including the individual level, community level, national level, and global level. Much of the scholarly work surrounding new approaches to environmental governance tends to overlook the role of sub-national governments, but this study examines the potential of sub-national participation to make policy choices which are congruent with global strategies and national mandates.

This book investigates the emerging actors and new channels of Japan’s environmental governance which has been taking shape within an increasingly globalized international system. By analysing this important new phenomenon, it sheds light on the changing nature of Japan’s environmental policy and politics, and shows how the links between global strategies, national mandates and local action serve as an influential factor in Japan’s changing structures of environmental governance. Further, it demonstrates that decision-making competencies are shared between actors operating at different levels and in new spheres of authority, resulting from collaboration between state and non-state actors. It highlights a number of the problems, challenges, and critiques of the actors in environmental governance, as well as raising new empirical and theoretical puzzles for the future study of governance over environmental and global issues. Finally, it concludes that changes in the tiers and new spheres of authority are leading the nation towards an environmentally stable future positioned within socio-economic and political constraints.

Demonstrating that bridging policy gaps between local action, national policy and global strategies is potentially a way of reinventing environmental policy, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Environmental Studies, Environmental Politics and Japanese Politics.

Table of Contents


1. The Transformation of Japan’s Environmental Policy

2. The Rigidity of Japan’s Nuclear Energy Policy: State-Centric Gate-Keeping

3. The State of Local Capacity Building: Decentralized Policy Making

4. Tokyo’s Metropolitan Cap-and-Trade: Policy Learning and Diffusion

5. Shiga’s Cooperation with UNEP: Transnational Sectoral Network

6. Kitakyushu’s Environmental Business: Utility-Based Transnationalism within Norms

7. Yokohama’s Normative Commitment: Image and Reputation

8. Expert Citizens’ Role: Civic Science in Environmental Policy


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Yasuo Takao is Senior Lecturer of Political Science in the Department of Social Sciences and Security Studies of Curtin University, Western Australia.