The Politics of Sustainable Development in Japan

Discusses three important questions and issues regarding Japan’s role in global environmental affairs: how the environmental movement has evolved in Japan; what the country’s major environmental policy challenges are on the local-national, regional and global level; and, how Japanese companies are responding to the sustainability challenge. Describes unresolved sustainability questions facing Japan and how the current economic situation has overshadowed the urgency of sustainability. Describes the passing of the pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR) system and as encouraging sign for future sustainability efforts, not only because it gives the Environment Agency administrative authority over companies, but also because it signals a path towards increased accountability and transparency.