Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Transnational Japan in the Global Environmental Movement$

Simon Avenell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824867133

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824867133.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Globality through Local Eyes

Globality through Local Eyes

(p.177) Chapter 6 Globality through Local Eyes
Transnational Japan in the Global Environmental Movement

Simon Avenell

University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores Japanese groups’ involvement at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Responding to debates over global environmental problems such as climate change, Japanese activists argued that the rights of marginalized groups needed to be recognized when formulating countermeasures. They sympathized with advocates from developing countries who argued that it was unfair to demand restraint now when the advanced countries had developed without consideration for resource usage or environmental destruction for hundreds of years. Japanese activists pointed to the violation of the rights of marginalized groups in Japan as a result of industrial pollution. They suggested that similar patterns of discrimination were at work between rich and poor countries and hence, any solutions to global environmental problems needed to consider the situation of these disadvantaged groups. The chapter argues that the experience of environmental injustices in Japan deeply shaped this perspective among some Japanese activists.

Keywords:   UNCED, Earth Summit, global environment, climate change, Global Forum

In June 1988, Dr. James Hansen, an atmospheric physicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told a US congressional committee on energy and natural resources that he was 99 percent confident the temperature increases of the 1980s were not caused by natural variation. Hansen’s analysis of weather data in the United States for the previous hundred years revealed that the highest four temperatures had occurred in the 1980s and that current average temperatures were the highest in recorded history. Significantly, Hansen attributed the warming to anthropogenic emissions of green house gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which he said were not only contributing to “extreme weather events” such as heat waves and droughts but also detrimentally transforming the global climate.1

Unusual and in some cases severe weather events at the time seemed to corroborate Hansen’s hypothesis. In Canada, the Calgary Winter Olympics witnessed some of the warmest temperatures ever experienced in the city at that time of year. On February 26 the mercury hit a balmy 64.6 degrees Fahrenheit (18.1 degrees Celsius).2 In the United States, a three-month drought affecting states from California to Georgia resulted in terrible harvests in the Midwest and the loss of thousands of head of livestock. According to Time magazine, temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) raised fears that the “dreaded green house effect … might already be underway.”3 “Killer” hurricanes in the Ca rib bean, devastating floods covering four-fifths of Bangladesh, and mysterious seal deaths in the North Sea only added to the sense that some dramatic process of climate change had begun.4 Coupled with these unsettling events were growing (p.178) anxieties about the negative human health effects of the so-called hole in the ozone layer caused by damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Of such concern was the issue that in September 1987 countries worldwide rallied to sign the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in a last-ditch attempt to protect stratospheric ozone.

Sensing the mood of the moment, Time magazine abandoned its usual “Man of the Year” edition in early 1989, naming the Earth as its “Planet of the Year” for 1988. In his cover story, journalist Thomas A. Sancton observed how “every one suddenly sensed that this gyrating globe, this precious repository of all the life that we know of, was in danger. No single individual, no event, no movement captured imaginations or dominated headlines more than the clump of rock and soil and water and air that is our common home.”5 The Japanese media responded even earlier to concern about the global environment. Beginning in late 1987, NHK, the public broadcaster, aired a highly rated television series on worldwide environmental problems; in January 1988 the newspaper Asahi Shinbun devoted its New Year’s special edition to the “global environment”; and in September 1988, journalists at the newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun voted to make the “global environment” 1989’s topic of the year.6 So intense was media, popular, and political attention throughout 1988 that some observers in Japan began to optimistically look toward 1989 as “Year One of the Global Environmental Age” (Chikyū kankyō gannen) in the country.7

The combination of extreme weather, ozone holes, and dire scientific predictions encouraged political leaders of all ideological persuasions—ranging from Margaret Thatcher to Fidel Castro—to join in the environmental discussion, if only as a form of lip service. In May 1988, US president George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged opinions on environmental issues for the first time, paving the way for further debate among leaders of the advanced industrialized nations’ Group of Seven (G7) during their Toronto summit the following month. After the G7 summit, Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney hosted the landmark Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere, at which scientists and policymakers from around the globe formulated rudimentary countermeasures to address global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, and acid rain. The conference participants called for an ambitious 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, compared with 1988 levels, by the year 2000; the creation of a dedicated United Nations agency; and the implementation of a “fossil fuel tax” in developed nations to underwrite a global “atmospheric (p.179) conservation fund.”8 In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September, Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze noted that “the biosphere recognizes no division into blocs, alliances, or systems. All share the same climatic system and no one is in a position to build his own isolated and independent line of environmental defense.”9 The culmination of this political attention to global environmental problems came in December 1989 when the UN General Assembly decided to hold the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)—the Rio Earth Summit—in summer 1992. Thereafter global environmental problems—mainly climate change—became the central focus of environmental debate and discourse worldwide.

Just as The Limits to Growth and Only One Earth had framed environmental debate at events such as UNCHE in the early 1970s, the 1987 report Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED, also known as the Brundtland Commission after its chairperson) brought the idea of “sustainable development” to the very center of thinking about global environmental problems.10 As Clapp and Dauvergne explain, Our Common Future “went further than any official international document to provide a new definition of development with the environment at its core.”11 It defined the concept of sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” stressing three essential elements: environmental protection, economic growth, and social equity.12 In spirit, at least, Our Common Future tried to chart a midpoint between the “North” and the “South” and between “market-liberal and institutionalist views on growth” and “social green and bioenvironmentalist views.”13 Economic growth and industrialization were seen as not “necessarily harmful to the environment,” and WCED members did not see any “limits” to these processes, as the MIT group had. On the contrary, similar to the Founex Report prepared by Tsuru Shigeto and others before UNCHE, Our Common Future pointed to poverty as a fundamental cause of environmental disruption, hence it recognized the necessity and right of developing countries to industrialize and grow.14

For critics, however, the problem was how sustainable development would find expression in a real world shot through with economic and political inequities. As Thiele explains, “While the commission spoke of ‘our common future,’ the rhetorical question that critics asked was, whose common future is really being secured? Who [was] being protected by centralized (p.180) control over environmental affairs, the local dwellers of the land or the bureaucracies and corporations that rule[d] over them?”15 Such worries about autonomy in the face of an emergent global environmental governance structure dovetailed with concerns about the sudden dominance of global problems over and above other more localized yet nevertheless threatening environmental issues for many, like clean water or soil erosion. Just as Third World advocates had done at UNCHE in 1972, activists committed to an emancipatory environmentalism and global justice argued that disproportionate attention to global-level problems created a false image of unity that obscured more fundamental resource and power inequities worldwide. They argued there could not, in fact, would not, be any “common future” until such inequities were addressed and resolved by the wealthy societies of the global North that were responsible for the current environmental predicament. To be sure, in its concept of sustainable development, Our Common Future pointed at a middle way, but as advocates of the developing world pointed out, the WECD’s definition did little to address historical injustices that greatly disadvantaged the global poor. Although by no means of one voice, a number of prominent Japanese environmental activists and groups agreed with and strongly advocated this latter opinion because it resonated with their own worldviews on environmental injustice.

In this chapter I analyze the involvement of Japanese groups in this moment of heightened attention to global-scale environmental problems beginning in the late 1980s and marked by important events such as the Earth Summit (1992) and the Kyoto Protocol climate conference (1997). These groups continued the legacy of Japanese transnational activism from UNCHE in 1972 and subsequent movements opposing forms of pollution in East Asia and the Pacific, particularly in their focus on environmental injustices worldwide. First I trace the role of Japanese groups in influential meetings and forums before and during UNCED—especially the Japan People’s Forum for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (hereafter the People’s Forum). I then analyze the ideas of leading activists such as Iwasaki Shunsuke on global-scale environmental problems. My primary objective is to show how extant notions of environmental injustice continued to deeply inform and shape approaches to the new global environmental agenda. While many Japanese activists did indeed became vocal advocates of a global perspective and ideas like “global citizenship,” there was a steadfast core who remained resolutely committed to a very localized or situated paradigm of environmental injustice. The globe was (p.181) warming, the ozone layer thinning, and tropical rain forests disappearing, but these activists asserted that such problems needed to be anchored in lived experience if they were to be solved in an equitable way. They argued that particular consideration must be afforded to the lived experience of those most marginalized within nations and globally.

Japanese groups such as the People’s Forum tended to resist globalizing discourses, much as their predecessors had rejected collectivist ideologies of the “national interest,” because they believed such ideas obscured fundamental structures of discrimination and marginalization. Instead of global solutions they proposed processes of “endogenous development” that would put control of life spaces in the hands of local people as opposed to corporations, governments, or the institutions of “global environmental governance”—regardless of how benign or well-intended these might be.16 The central assertion of prominent activists such as Iwasaki Shunsuke of the People’s Forum was that local self-management and autonomy, whether in the developed or developing world, could form the basis of an authentic and grounded approach to global environmental problems from the bottom up.

Needless to say, in an age of resplendent globalism, this approach left itself open to criticisms of naïve and blinkered NIMBYism—the Old Maid mentality. But it was more nuanced and historically informed than that. Japanese groups’ appeals for the rights of local communities, developing nations, and other marginalized groups in an age of global-scale problems drew on a paradigm of environmental injustice shaped by firsthand knowledge of suffering and struggle at Minamata, Grassy Narrows, Incheon, Belau, and other local spaces worldwide. Viewed from this bottom-up perspective, the problem was not so much in the concept of sustainable development, which in ways resonated with their outlook. Rather, it was how this concept would be defined and who or what would control and monitor its implementation—questions, of course, that involved fundamental issues of power, autonomy, rights, and justice.

Japanese Activism in the Global Environmental Movement: From Asia to Rio

The late 1980s was a moment of frenzied organization and activity for Japanese environmental NGOs, reminiscent on a smaller scale of the wave of activism during the country’s “long environmental 1960s.”17 Numerous veteran transnational organizations opened branches in Japan around this time. In 1989, for instance, both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (FoE) (p.182) began operations in the country, joining their more moderate cousin the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which had been in Japan since 1971. Greenpeace and FoE immediately took aim at the Japanese state, lobbying vigorously on climate change issues and the environmental effects of Japanese official development assistance (ODA) throughout Asia.18 These established transnational NGOs were “instrumental in disseminating knowledge and environmental values” from abroad and helping to “insert” environmental groups “into Japan’s policy-making process.”19 They also provided valuable logistical and financial support to domestic groups with a transnational and global focus.

But it was a new cadre of homegrown environmental NGOs that led the civic engagement with global environmental problems from around the late 1980s. Although these homegrown groups were directly responding to the new global environmental agenda of the late 1980s, many—including some of the most influential—continued to draw on an environmentalism attentive to human rights, justice, and equity. Atsuko Satō has usefully defined these organizations as “transnationalized domestic actors,” by which she means groups that do not have solid transnational institutional structures, like Greenpeace or FoE, but instead, “use transnational networks when necessary” while maintaining their “autonomy within a country.”20 Early prominent examples include the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network (JATAN), formed in 1987 by the consumer activist Kuroda Yōichi, and the Citizens’ Alliance for Saving Earth and Atmosphere (CASA), formed by antipollution groups, consumer associations, scientists, and lawyers in 1989. Both of these groups adopted a decidedly anthropocentric focus in their activism for the global environment. In its movement for rain forest protection, JATAN, for example, stressed the plight of forest peoples whose living spaces were being decimated by logging over and above the destruction of virgin rain forests. CASA, likewise, drew on notions of “aggressors” and “victims” in its emphasis on Japan’s international culpability as a perpetrator of atmospheric pollution. Its leaders drew heavily on their earlier experience supporting victims in struggles against air pollution in Japan. In December 1996, an alliance of groups including CASA and the WWF established the influential Kiko Forum, which brought together some 225 groups committed to influencing proceedings at the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Kyoto City the following year. Similar to CASA, Kiko Forum leaders’ backgrounds in pollution (p.183) victim advocacy within Japan deeply shaped their network’s attention to questions of equity and justice in responding to climate change. To invoke Sidney Tarrow’s terminology again, the leaders of these groups were ideally positioned to act as the “connective tissue” in this critical phase of environmental globalism, not only between Japanese groups and the outside world but now also between marginalized groups and the advocates of an all-encompassing global agenda for the environment. In this sense they continued in the tradition of rooted cosmopolitism begun many decades earlier by Ui Jun, Harada Masazumi, Tsuru Shigeto, and others.

CASA’s expanding agenda from local industrial pollution to global-scale environmental problems offers an excellent example of the way these trans-nationalized domestic actors embraced the new agendas while staying faithful to local perspectives and earlier paradigms of environmental injustice. Established in March 1989 by the lawyer Yamamura Tsunetoshi and fellow activists in western Honshū (the Kansai region), CASA was initially called the Citizens’ Conference to Consider Atmospheric Problems. Similar to the People’s Forum in Tokyo, it consisted of grassroots groups and professionals with track records in local, transnational, and global environmental issues. Founding members included scientists researching atmospheric pollution; the Osaka Alliance of Consumer Associations, which had a background in CFC and global warming issues; lawyers such as Yamamura, with experience in environmental litigation; and local residents groups that had been protesting air pollution in the Osaka region from as early as the 1970s.21 As a lawyer involved in domestic environmental litigation for pollution victims, Yamamura was instrumental in formulating and advocating the notion of “environmental rights” in the early 1970s as a method of preemptive regulatory protection for ordinary citizens. Together with Ui Jun and Japanese pollution victims, he and fellow lawyers in the JFBA had traveled to UNCHE in Stockholm in 1972 to promote this idea by way of a Declaration on Environmental Rights. Although their main aim in Stockholm had been primarily to advocate for the rights of domestic pollution victims in Japan, meeting with foreign NGOs and discussing environmental problems in other countries proved to be a “decisive” moment for Yamamura and others. As Yamamura later explained, it was a first step toward linking their struggle with domestic pollution to a broader global environmental awareness.22 Indeed, so “domestic” was his mind-set at the time that Yamamura recalled being surprised when a foreign NGO gave him a pamphlet on the problem of Japanese whaling.23 Yamamura and CASA activists went on to be involved (p.184) in the People’s Forum in 1991 and 1992, and thereafter they participated in COP (Conference of the Parties) meetings for the UNFCCC and in the 1996–1997 Kiko Forum movement. So, on one level, international experience undoubtedly fostered a more global outlook and approach among CASA activists.

But Yamamura and his colleagues in the movement stayed committed to local problems, knowledge, and perspectives. CASA was instrumental, for instance, in promoting Japanese grassroots citizen science practices such as air pollution monitoring to foreign activists. In 1994, for example, the group sent atmospheric pollution monitoring equipment to thirty-four NGOs in seventeen developing countries worldwide. CASA also became a member of the Atmospheric Action Network of East Asia formed in Seoul, South Korea, in 1995 by civic groups from China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. This initiative set out to become a grassroots network of citizens collaboratively monitoring air pollution in the Northeast Asian region. Thus, CASA’s involvement in global events and processes such as UNCHE, UNCED, and the UNFCCC process grew out of a local and regional program to address air pollution and to pursue justice for pollution victims. Climate change and ozone depletion were understood less as new issues than as extensions of these more concrete problems.

Other Japanese NGOs concerned about global-scale environmental problems began to collectively organize and network in the late 1980s, primarily in response to what they perceived as attempts by Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru and environmental bureaucrats to monopolize leadership over the emergent global environmental agenda. The immediate stimulus was the Tokyo Conference on the Global Environment and Human Responses toward Sustainable Development, cosponsored by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Japanese government and presided over by Takeshita from September 11 to 13, 1989.24 In response, activists organized “counter conferences” in the Kansai region (Osaka and Kyoto) and Tokyo. From September 8 to 10, 1989, Kansai activists in CASA, FoE Japan, the Rachel Carson Association of Japan, and the National Pollution Victims Alliance convened the Symposium on the Global Environment and Atmospheric Pollution, which attracted around 1,400 participants (1,250 in Osaka, 150 in Kyoto) and included thirteen invitees from nine foreign countries.25 The symposium was particularly significant in its bold attempt to fuse the local and the global: participating groups ranged from domestic victims’ movements opposing localized air pollution all the way (p.185) to newer groups focused on global-scale environmental issues like climate change. Important too was the focus on rights, symbolized most poignantly on the final day of the Osaka symposium when participants sang a rendition of the United States Civil Rights Movement anthem We Shall Overcome, including a verse for “No More Hiroshimas.”26 Predictably, discussion gravitated around the (dis)connection between the new global environmental problems and the lingering, unsolved North-South issue. Marginalized communities received pride of place at the symposium, including a slideshow on the victims of atmospheric pollution in Japan and presentations by representatives of indigenous peoples in the Amazonian rain forest.

In Tokyo, activists held a similar event titled the International Citizens’ Conference to Consider the Global Environment and Japan’s Role. The Tokyo conference attracted around 1,500 participants from within Japan and twenty invited guests from ten foreign countries, including progressive lawyers, specialists on global environmental problems, and representatives from indigenous groups such as the Kayapo People of the Amazon.27 Like the official Takeshita event, participants addressed global warming, extreme weather, rain forest preservation, biodiversity, and the destructive effects of ODA, but they did so through the eyes of local victims. For instance, special attention was afforded to grassroots groups within Japan from Minamata, from communities affected by resort developments, and from urban neighborhoods suffering the effects of automobile emissions. The domestic groups were joined by representatives from the Amazonian Kayapo People, the Penan forest people of Sarawak, and activists from West Papua, Thailand, and the Philippines—all of whom repeated a common refrain about daily lives ravaged by capital and ODA from rich nations.28

The Tokyo Appeal promulgated on the final day of the Tokyo conference flatly rejected the notion of “sustainable development” and laid blame on “modern industrial society,” which had “expanded from the 16th century” onward on the basis of “exploiting nature and plundering resources from colonies.” It was this history that produced the system of “mass consumption of fossil fuels” and “the use of chemical substances” that could not be safely reincorporated into the “natural cycle.” The appeal argued that, to the extent mass use of synthetic chemicals and fossil fuels persisted, “economic growth” and “development” could not be “harmonized” with “global environmental protection.” “Technological contrivances” would not produce solutions, only more “contradictions” for future generations and for the Third (p.186) World. Necessary were genuine changes in the lifestyles of citizens in wealthy countries, in the logic of administrative organizations and corporations, and in the understanding of and support for NGOs.29

The culmination of these grassroots initiatives for global environmental problems came in May 1991, when three hundred activists from sixty civic groups throughout Japan gathered at Tokyo’s Meiji University to establish the People’s Forum, which would represent Japan at the NGO events at UNCED.30 The People’s Forum was a fascinating blend of the national and the transnational, the local and the global, and the old and the new, and, in this sense, was an organizational manifestation of organizers’ strong belief that global-scale environmental problems should not—indeed, could not—be separated from questions of local rights, equity, and justice. Prominent figures in the People’s Forum, such as Miyamoto Ken’ichi and Iwasaki Shunsuke, drew on years of activism for marginalized groups. Miyamoto, as we have seen, was a longtime advocate for industrial pollution victims, while Iwasaki Shunsuke, a young architecture professor and leader of the People’s Forum, had experience working with disadvantaged communities throughout Asia as director of the Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC). Member organizations represented a broad spectrum, including groups in very local struggles such as the Association to Protect the Nagara River in Aichi Prefecture, nationwide affiliations like the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA), and internationally active NGOs such as CASA, JATAN, and FoE Japan.31 Iwasaki Shunsuke stated emphatically that the People’s Forum was committed to a “Glocal Action Plan,” which ensured that global environmental initiatives did not lose sight of all-important local problems.32

We can see this perspective clearly in the activities of the People’s Forum in the lead-up to UNCED. In December 1991, for instance, representatives of the forum traveled to France to take part in the Paris NGO conference on the environment sponsored by the French government and attended by close to nine hundred activists from 150 countries. As if to confirm their own perspective, the overwhelming conclusion of the conference was that developed countries were to blame for both global environmental problems and poverty in developing nations.33 Back in Japan, for three days beginning on May 1, 1992, the group sponsored the Forum on Asian NGOs and the Global Environment in Yokohama City. Once again, the explicit objective of this event was “to make clear the connection between the problems experienced by people living in Japan and the environmental problems (p.187) experienced by people in the Third World, particularly Asia.”34 Around 2,700 people participated over the three days of the event, which featured invited foreign participants from the Narmada Dam opposition movement in India, the Third World Network in Malaysia, the Environmental Restoration Project in Thailand, and representatives of indigenous Peruvian peoples.35 For Iwasaki and other leaders of the People’s Forum, this and other events leading up to UNCED represented concrete ways for their movement to “go to Brazil via Asia.”36 As Iwasaki later recounted, from the outset their explicit objective was to avoid participating in UNCED simply as activists from a rich country. Rather, because Japan was located in Asia, Iwasaki and others in the forum set out to “clarify” their “position” and to “find points in common” with people in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and elsewhere.37 Japan’s position as a wealthy non-Western country seems to have engendered the belief in forum members that they had a responsibility to support and advocate for the globally marginalized.

The People’s Forum advocated three fundamental principles with respect to global environmental problems: first, that the notion of “development”—including “sustainable development”—needed radical redefinition; second, that the local perspective be a central element in any program to address global environmental problems; and, third, that developed nations and their citizens recognize and act on their responsibility to the developing world.38 These principles put the forum somewhat at odds with mainstream discourses and approaches to global environmental problems yet, as I have noted, unmistakably within a domestic tradition of activism animated by notions of rights and justice.

Dissatisfied by what they saw as the elite-monopolized discourse on “sustainable development,” Iwasaki and others in the People’s Forum proposed a radical recalibration of “development”—reminiscent of Tsuru Shigeto’s endeavors in the 1970s—by introducing notions of equity, interconnectivity, and especially endogeneity into its definitional parameters. The forum’s Kanagawa Declaration of 1992, for example, argued that the concept of development must be about far more than the processing of “things,” and must also include the fair division of resources and the active construction of interconnections between people. Borrowing from Ardhen Chatterjee of the Regional Center for Development Cooperation in India, the declaration proposed that development for human beings was about “enriching the division of things with other people and living things” as well as “helping to strengthen social connections with the very weakest part of society or the (p.188) very weakest people.”39 Indeed, the development of social connections between the “materially wealthy and the very poorest people” would be vital in stimulating citizens in wealthy nations to adopt the “problems of people in developing countries” as “their own problems.” Conversely, development proceeding through the established channels of ODA and foreign investment did nothing to “restrain” the “unlimited material desires” of the rich, nor did it assist the “people of Southern countries” in “realizing independent societies” free from the “overwhelming domination of northern countries.”40 By broadening the definition of development beyond material processes of economic growth to include notions of resource equity and social development, then, the Kanagawa Declaration proposed a more multifaceted conceptualization that balanced the material with the ethical. Herein the people of the South were not merely seen as passive subjects in need of development from without (or, more to the point, from above), but as humans with the innate right to live their lives independently with dignity.

In place of the expansionistic and evolutionistic development model dominant under Eurocentric modernity, the People’s Forum proposed internal or endogenous development as a revolutionary modification to the modern concept of development that would supposedly “transcend the contradictions of ‘environment’ and ‘development’” and serve as the central dynamic of a “sustainable society of the twenty-first century.”41 This notion of endogeneity called on people in both the global North and global South to satisfy living needs “not by bringing things from afar” but from within the “cycle of materials in one’s locality.”42 The Kanagawa Declaration encouraged people to “source food and other materials necessary for daily life from places as close as possible” to where they were living and, moreover, “not to dispose of waste material in places far away but to solve the problem close to home.”43 Indeed, dealing with waste locally could help Japanese people rethink, for example, their “throw-away culture” and begin searching for ways to reuse and recycle that waste. To promote endogenous development the declaration proposed a rather blunt policy “stick” in the form of a “resource import tax” to be imposed on all new resource imports into developed countries, the revenues of which would be transferred back to developing nations “for the restoration of environments destroyed by resource theft.”44

Of course, the argument about endogeneity was not that people return to a world of absolute self-sufficiency and dis-integration but, on the contrary, through an exploration of local alternatives, that they confront the (p.189) human and environmental costs produced by a modernity underwritten by relentless expansionistic development radiating out from North to South. As a People’s Forum publication for the Earth Summit noted, “It is necessary to gain a clear understanding of how and by what means the things surrounding us—food, paper, timber, fuel, energy, industrial raw materials and so on—have reached us, and who is affected and in what way.”45 For example, people needed to think about the connection between the “structure” of a “wasteful, throwaway society” like Japan and “the destruction of natural environments and local societies in developing countries.”46 Since local resources “fundamentally belong to the people in that area,” the development and utilization of those resources had to be “based on the will of the people in those localities,” especially the most rooted individuals like “women” and “indigenous people.”47

Under lying the People’s Forum’s notion of endogenous development was an acute sensitivity to the Japanese experience with industrial pollution and environmental injustice. A common theme running through all of the People’s Forum’s statements at this time was that the Japanese people had much to teach the world about their traumatic struggle with industrial pollution. The forum’s official publication for the Earth Summit, the People’s Voice of Japan, for instance, identified three lessons Japan could teach the world. First, contrary to the implicit endorsement of economic growth in the concept of sustainable development, the Japanese experience of industrial modernization and pollution taught that there were clear and incontrovertible limits to growth that, if violated, would result in unconscionable human injustices. The victims in Minamata, in Yokkaichi, and in the decimated forests of the Philippines and Malaysia were proof of this. Second, even if development somehow proceeded without physiological and natural side effects, the Japanese experience suggested that affluence born of breakneck economic development did not necessarily equate to happiness. Since the dawn of the country’s industrial modernization in the mid-nineteenth century, the Japanese had recklessly pursued wealth and power. In the mid-twentieth century this resulted in national decimation and millions of “meaningless deaths” at home and throughout Asia and the Pacific.48 In the 1960s it resulted in the environmental and human tragedies of industrial pollution, and it created a society in which people worked themselves to death for the good of the corporation. As the People’s Voice of Japan observed, it was “quite clear” that rapid economic growth in developed countries such as Japan had “most certainly not caused the advancement of a fulfilling life (p.190) for citizens.”49 Moreover, the Japanese response to pollution—especially in terms of regulatory reform—offered a sobering warning about the vulnerability of apparent solutions such as “sustainable development.” The People’s Voice of Japan reminded readers about Japan’s Kōgai Taisaku Kihonhō (Basic law for environmental pollution control) of 1967, which anticipated the idea of sustainable development in its infamous “harmonization” clause, stating that “preservation of the living environment should proceed in harmony with sound economic development.” “But, in the context of a market economy, this meant that environmental conservation was limited to the extent necessary … for industry to maintain normal levels of profit, with weak environmental quality standards for pollution.”50 The cautionary tale from Japan, according to the People’s Voice of Japan, was that “the notion of ‘sustainable development’ adopted by UNCED must not be based on a ‘harmony’ type concept which admits environmental conservation only for the purpose of development to sustain the economy.”51

Lying beneath and, to a degree, predetermining their commitment to endogeneity and localism was the People’s Forum’s viewpoint that solutions to global environmental problems would hinge on the capacity of developed nations’ to accept their responsibility toward the developing world. The Japanese Citizens’ Earth Charter, promulgated by the People’s Forum prior to UNCED, described the Earth Summit as a truly historic opportunity to “rethink the nationalism and evolutionary theory” beating at the heart of a modernity that knew no limits.52 “Northern countries, including Japan,” had to “accept responsibility for their significant role in the destruction of the global environment” and for dividing the world into “rich societies” and “poor societies” over the course of half a millennia.53 The “first step toward stopping environmental destruction and realizing a sustainable global society” would be the “restoration of equality between the countries of the north and those of the south.”54 The developed countries, which had become wealthy through imperialistic expansion and plundering the resources of the weak, needed to partake in serious historical soul-searching. “Solving the North-South problem” was thus a central issue in the movement to “protect the global environment.”55

From this perspective it became possible for activists in the People’s Forum to position the Earth Summit on numerous historical vectors. The year 1992 did indeed represent the twentieth anniversary of UNCHE in Stockholm, where Japanese pollution victims had appealed to the human limits to growth and Tsuru Shigeto to human welfare-sensitive development. (p.191) But 1992 also arguably marked five hundred years since the beginning of Western aggression and exploitation of the world in 1492. It was with this profound sense of historical responsibility to the Third World, and especially Asia, that members of the People’s Forum and other Japanese groups departed for Brazil in the summer of 1992.

The Earth Summit as Transnational Contact Zone

Hosted by the Brazilian government, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) took place from June 3 to June 14, 1992, at the Riocentro Exhibition and Convention Center about twenty-five miles (forty kilo meters) from downtown Rio de Janeiro. Representatives from 172 governments and 108 heads of state attended the “Earth Summit,” as it was informally named, during which they discussed the principal themes of the environment and sustainable development. Participating countries signed on to a number of agreements and declarations, including the Rio Declaration and its implementation strategy, Agenda 21; the Statement of Forest Principles; the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity; and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN-FCCC). The summit also established a number of follow-up mechanisms, such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, which was charged with reviewing the implementation of Agenda 21 in the ensuing years.56 The Earth Summit was “one of the most publicized large-scale political events since the end of the Cold War” and the largest UN conference up to that point.57 As Clapp and Dauvergne note, the Brundtland Commission’s recommendations—especially the concept of sustainable development—“dominated discussions at Rio.” It was “politically easy” for governments to support the summit’s objective to promote “more growth with more environmental protection.” Few nations needed convincing that more growth would actually produce a “better environment.”58 At the summit’s end, Secretary-General Maurice Strong hailed the event as a “historic moment for humanity,” adding that, although documents such as Agenda 21 and the UNFCCC were “weakened by compromise and negotiation,” the summit still created “the most comprehensive and, if implemented, effective program of action ever sanctioned by the international community.”59

The Earth Summit was not without its controversies and criticisms, however. In statements made before the summit, US president George H. W. Bush more or less eliminated any possibility of an agreement on numerical targets or dates for green house gas emission reductions under the UNFCCC.60 (p.192) Japanese prime minister Miyazawa Kiichi also raised eyebrows after announcing he would not be attending UNCED because of important Diet deliberations on Japan Self-Defense Force participation in UN peacekeeping operations. He instead delivered a video address and sent his chief cabinet secretary, Katō Kōichi.61 Both Japanese and foreigners alike were appalled by this decision, which prompted NGOs to confer on Miyazawa and the Japanese government the “Golden Baby Award” for the summit. As Honda Masakazu of the newspaper Asahi Shinbun later confessed, after Miyazawa’s decision there was “nothing more embarrassing” than being a Japanese citizen at the Earth Summit.62

But beyond such immediate controversies, there were deeper reservations about the meaning of a summit that appeared to so seamlessly combine environmental protection with economic development. Some worried about the influence of big business because of Maurice Strong’s background in industry as well as the corporate money funding the event.63 Others, such as Japanese activists in the People’s Forum, feared that the managerial tone of discussion might undermine the legitimacy of local responses to global problems.64 For the most cynical of Japanese critics, “global environmental protection” had been hijacked by the project of promoting economic growth and was now nothing more than a shrewd method to solidify North-South inequities.65 In his acerbic essay “‘Chikyū Samitto’ no giman” (The fraud of the Earth Summit), Yamamoto Kazuhiko, secretary-general of the Zenkoku Shizen Hogō Rengō (National Nature Conservation Alliance), argued that “sustainable development” meant no more than “maintaining the system.” It was “crystal clear” he said, that the “provision of funding and technology” to developing nations was merely “for the benefit of advanced countries.”66 Many activists—not all from developing countries—felt uncomfortable with Our Common Future-type approaches to environmental issues because they believed that the environmental crisis was “precipitated almost exclusively by … wasteful and excessive consumption in the North”—in other words, by the 20 percent of the world’s population consuming roughly 80 percent of its resources.67 Rather than “commonalities,” some, such as Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment in India, called for a clear distinction between the necessary “survival emissions” of the South and the reducible “luxury emissions” of the North.68 As the British environmental writer Fred Pearce perceptively wondered, “Why is it that Western environmentalists worry so much about population growth in poor countries when each new child born in North (p.193) America or Eu rope will consume 10 or 100 times as much of the world’s resources and contribute many times as much pollution? A three-child American family is, in logic, many more times as dangerous to the planet than an eight-(or even an eighty-) child African family.”69

Most of these criticisms of the Earth Summit emanated from the “Global Forum,” a parallel conference for NGOs held in Flamengo Park in downtown Rio about one hour by car from the main summit at Riocentro. As many attendees noted, the geographical separation of the Global Forum from the Earth Summit was clearly a deliberate strategy on the part of the Brazilian authorities to contain popular energies within a demarcated area well away from the formal proceedings where they could potentially cause trouble. The Riocentro summit venue itself was also awash with security, ensuring against any “undesirable” events arising in the vicinity.70 Yonemoto Shōhei, a historian and science commentator who participated with Japanese NGOs, even suggested that the Global Forum be understood as a separate meeting of NGOs, rather than as a launchpad for directly lobbying and pressuring official delegations to the main summit. This was certainly true for Japanese NGOs, although perhaps less so for US and European groups, with their stronger lobbying capacities.71

Nevertheless, the Global Forum was a landmark transnational event for environmental NGOs and, in fact, a landmark event in the broader development of global civil society in the contemporary world. Around 17,000 members of 7,500 NGOs from 165 countries participated in the events at Flamengo Park. A report by the Center for Applied Studies recorded the breakdown of participants by region as follows: Latin America, 41 percent; North America, 22 percent; Eu rope, 20 percent; Asia, 12 percent; and Africa, 4 percent.72 The forum consisted of four elements: (1) seven hundred booths and tent exhibitions set up by NGOs for information exchange and networking; (2) public lectures, seminars, and fora held at a central venue called “The Structure”; (3) the preparation of around thirty alternative NGO treaties on climate change, forest destruction, species diversity, agriculture, food safety, racial discrimination, the military, women, children, education, and indigenous people; and (4) the dissemination of information on daily developments at the Earth Summit.73

The Global Forum was as much a festive and performative space as it was a venue for dispassionate discussion and debate on the environment—hence the various characterizations of it as a “circus,” a “jungle,” and an “NGO Expo.”74 Kikuchi Yumi, of the Japan Environmental Action Network, likened (p.194) Flamengo Park to “all the circuses in the world having come to Rio” at once.75 Among the gaudier of the events at the Global Forum was the opening ceremony, attended by Maurice Strong, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the star of the James Bond 007 films, Roger Moore, all of whom watched on as a replica Viking ship, the Gaia, arrived with six youths bearing a message on environmental protection for political leaders from the people of Planet Earth. Adding to the political theater of the moment, on the beach a group of Rio street children raised banners reading “Gaia Go Home!” and “Five million rich men show off! Give the money to the favelas [slums].”76

Visitors to the forum were uniformly intrigued and, in some cases, a little overwhelmed by the carnivalesque of it all. In a fascinating dispatch written for the Women’s Feature Service, Sujata Madhok described a mishmash of ideas, images, colors, and performances: “An earnest young Japanese girl asks you to sign a petition against the proposed Nagara dam in Japan”; a poster at the women’s tent asserts “How’s God? She’s black”; “dozens of trash cans around—different ones for wet and dry wastes. The toilets are eco too, the latest, non-flush, water saving device from the US”; “solar cooker stalls stand cheek by jowl with the ‘fridge of the future’—a green refrigerator that does not emit CFCs … and thin the ozone layer”; “a closeup of India’s Nirmala Mata stares you in the face with the promise of Sahaja Yoga and instant bliss”; and “as you walk away from this fiesta there comes a last message from the Hare Krishna cult: ‘Consider the cows’ it tells you cryptically.”77 Another popular exhibit at the forum was the “Lie-O-Meter,” a device depicting a Pinocchio-like figure whose extendable nose was used to indicate the “sincerity” (or lack thereof) of governmental declarations and commitments on the environment ranging from zero to 100 percent. US president Bush’s declarations on biodiversity, for instance, pushed the Lie-O-Meter up to 100 percent, while the Japanese government scored in the high ninetieth percentiles for its environmental declarations.78

Amid this flurry of activity, Japanese NGOs operated one of the largest tents, the Japan People’s Center, which served as the base for Japanese civic activity at the Global Forum.79 Around eighty Japanese groups comprising 360 activists traveled to Brazil to participate in the events at Flamengo Park. Among these, the People’s Forum, the central organizing group for Japanese NGOs, sent thirty-five representatives.80 During the forum the Japan People’s Center hosted a range of seminars, dialogues, and debates, many of which featured activists from developing countries, especially throughout Asia. The connection between Asia and Japan was (p.195)

Globality through Local Eyes

Youth from the vessel Gaia arrive at the Global Forum. Third from the right is Japanese passenger Shibata Hiroko.

(The Mainichi Newspapers)

also a dominant theme in the many booths and exhibits run by Japanese NGOs both inside and in the vicinity of their tent.81 Ui Jun, who had led the small Japanese NGO delegation to UNCHE twenty years earlier, observed that the participation from Japan this time stood out both in scale and quality compared with Stockholm.82 He was deeply impressed by the positive impact of Japanese groups at the Global Forum, which ranged all the way from natural farming movements to children’s road safety initiatives, evidencing for him the sheer breadth of groups involved in global environmental problems in Japan. Ui himself participated in a symposium organized by the Association to Protect the Nagara River, during which activists, not surprisingly, drew connections between their local anti-dam movement in Japan and the struggle of Indian activists to stop the Narmada Dam project in Gujarat.83

Of course, not all was perfect. Ui pointed out that Japanese governmental attitudes toward civic groups had changed little in the two decades since Stockholm. Unlike other governments, Japanese officials did not conduct daily briefings for NGOs and, in fact, did their best to keep activists (p.196)

Globality through Local Eyes

Dancers at “Japan Night” at the Global Forum, 1992

(The Mainichi Newspapers)

at arm’s length. Ui recalled hearing one Japanese official scoff, “NGOs are the ones making a ruckus over in that park, aren’t they?”84 Some, such as Amano Reiko, an outdoor writer and member of the Nagara River movement, even pointed the finger at Japanese NGOs, saying that it was their lack of strategy leading into the Earth Summit that left NGOs without any official pipeline once the event began.85 Blame aside, however, the Earth Summit proved to be a wake-up call for Japanese activists in many ways. Despite their impressive efforts at the Global Forum, they still lagged far behind Western NGOs in terms of influence, organization, financing, information-gathering skills, and policymaking capacities. Unlike Western NGOs, they were not integrated into the policymaking process, nor did they have any established lines of communication with officials. Language limitations also made it difficult for the Japanese to influence foreign government delegations and the global media. Through the Rio experience many activists recognized the urgent need for a stronger financial base, which NGOs could use to nurture a cadre of specialists capable of giving Japanese (p.197)

Globality through Local Eyes

Celebrating “Japan Night” at the Global Forum, 1992

(The Mainichi Newspapers)

civic groups a stronger voice in politics and public opinion at home and abroad.86 In this sense, the Earth Summit also served as a crucial learning experience for Japanese activists and an important stimulus for the professionalization of civil society in the country throughout the 1990s.

But Japanese NGOs’ lack of integration into formal policymaking channels, while certainly a function of their organizational and financial weaknesses, also stemmed from the localism and situated ethics they brought to Rio. One of their basic viewpoints was that established institutions and top-down, managerial, bureaucratized approaches to global environmental problems—encapsulated in ideas like sustainable development—only threatened to replicate patterns of inequity that had been in place for many hundreds of years. In the face of this institutional domination, activists saw their task as one of shining a local, situated light on global problems in order to expose the injustices and inequities often obscured beneath the surface. The range of presentations and discussions at the Japan People’s Center offers the clearest evidence of this “glocal” agenda.

(p.198) Discussions on big issues like global warming, forest conservation, and sustainable development were balanced by many more specific discussions about mercury poisoning, pesticides, plutonium storage, toxic nuclear waste, and air pollution—all of which the Japanese had dealt with either within their country or in the regional contexts of Asia and the Pacific. Activists from Minamata, the JFBA, and the Air Pollution Measuring Center used the Japanese tent as a platform to promote tactics and methods they had found successful in concrete, grassroots struggles against industrial pollution at home. The under lying focus of discussions in the Japan tent was not so much on the big environmental problems per se, but on the human victims of environmental degradation, whether local, regional, or global in origin and scale. Moreover, the solutions presented and discussed were not only comprehensive global strategies but were also specific, realizable initiatives undertaken by individuals or small groups of like-minded people, for instance, making and consuming safe food, recycling milk containers, measuring air pollution with homemade devices, or monitoring the operations of pollutive industries abroad.

The presentations of activist-lawyers belonging to the JFBA typified Japanese groups’ advocacy of a local, justice-based approach to the global environment—in the JFBA’s case, by highlighting their domestic and regional initiatives for victims of environmental pollution. Lawyers in the association explained how their activism began locally in legal struggles for industrial pollution victims at Minamata Bay and Yokkaichi City in the 1960s, culminating in momentous victories in the Big Four pollution lawsuits in the 1970s. Thereafter, their activities expanded to include other forms of environmental litigation such as nuclear power plant siting, vibration from high-speed railways, and sunlight access rights.87 They told audiences how, at UNCHE in 1972, the JFBA group was the first to suggest the principle of “environmental rights” as a new concept for environmental law worldwide—an idea born in the context of domestic Japanese struggles. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s some of their members became involved in cases of Japanese corporate pollution export to other East Asian nations, for example, in Malaysia during the 1980s, when a Mitsubishi Corporation joint venture was found to be dumping radioactive thorium waste near human communities. Japanese lawyers had joined with Malaysian counter parts to bring the affected communities’ complaints to court, eventually contributing to the company’s decision to abandon operations.88 The lawyers explained how the JFBA began to seriously engage with global environmental (p.199) problems after holding an international human rights symposium in Tokyo in November 1988 that brought together researchers and activists involved in environmental movements worldwide.89 The lawyers had been shocked to learn of the extent of rain forest logging in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and the terrible results for local and indigenous populations in these countries. They also became more attuned to the detrimental environmental consequences of ODA, especially Japanese ODA in Asia.

To complement their human rights agenda at the Global Forum, the JFBA invited a Brazilian lawyer to speak about mercury contamination from gold mining in the Amazon basin and an Italian judge who gave an address on his idea for the creation of an “International Environmental Court” similar to the International Criminal Court.90 The overall message of the JFBA and, in fact, of the bulk of Japanese groups in attendance, was that engagement in environmental problems of any scale proceeded from recognition of, and support for, the rights of human victims of environmental injustices on the ground. Although delegates at the main summit were trumpeting sustainable development as a realistic way forward, the JFBA clearly saw global environmental problems in the context of their earlier (and ongoing) struggles for human rights and justice in Japan and East Asia to which there had been no magic solutions, simply relentless grassroots resistance.91

On the final day of the Earth Summit, members of the Japan People’s Forum issued a Japanese Citizens’ Rio Declaration, which, in hindsight, endures as a rather bleak commentary on their experience in Rio. The declaration made four points: first, that the Earth Summit had failed because nations were not able to conclude treaties strong enough to protect the Earth from environmental destruction; second, that the continuing domination of financial institutions meant further destruction of the global environment; third, that Japanese NGOs had communicated to other citizens at the Global Forum that, despite Japanese governmental claims to the contrary, their country was still dealing with its own problems of pollution and environmental degradation; and, finally, that their aims from now on were to change people’s lifestyles by transforming the system of mass production, mass consumption, and mass destruction, and moreover, to work for the reform of the UN into an organization for people not states.92

Yet, although many Japanese activists left Rio somewhat disheartened by what they perceived as a lack of concrete progress, the Global Forum proved to be an important international opportunity for them to advocate their approach to global-scale environmental problems firmly committed to (p.200) and anchored in the lived experience and daily lives of ordinary people. As the newspaper Asahi Shinbun noted on the one-year anniversary of the Earth Summit, the “greatest change” for Japanese NGOs after UNCED was the emergence of a new urgency to “internationalize” their local, justice-based perspective.93 The article described a Tokyo recycling group now thinking seriously about natural resource problems in Asia, a river pollution group involved with an anti-dam movement in India, and a Minamata disease support group investigating mercury contamination in the Amazon Basin caused by mining activity. Moves were also afoot to establish a new organization, the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), which would serve as a gateway for Japanese and foreign environmental NGOs to build substantive activist networks.94 As the activities of the JFBA and other groups at the Global Forum evidence, the process of engaging with this global environmental agenda involved an intricate blending of extant ideas about environmental injustice with new global agendas and paradigms such as sustainable development and climate change. Rather than an epistemic transformation, the outcome was more of an epistemic adaptation, in which new spheres and scales of concern were incorporated into an existing worldview that remained resolutely situated in outlook and committed to the perspectives and rights of the marginalized.

Globality in the Local, the Invisible, and Daily Life

Networks such as the People’s Forum and rooted cosmopolitan activists at the forefront of initiatives addressing global-scale environmental problems played a particularly important role in advocating an approach based on rights and justice. They presented a picture of daily life as an entangled locus of both vulnerability and complicity. They questioned erstwhile models of exogenous development and relentless capitalistic expansion and, most of all, they wondered about the feasibility of global solutions to global problems. Moreover, they demanded that the voices and rights of “invisible” localities—in the Third World, in the “peripheries of the peripheries,” and in “rural Asia”—be duly recognized in any countermeasures for the global environment. To better understand this perspective, in this section I examine three emblematic examples: Iwasaki Shunsuke of the People’s Forum, Kuroda Yōichi of JATAN, and the climate change NGO, Kiko Forum. I believe each example points to the continuing salience of environmental injustice as a critical paradigm for leading Japanese activists and groups in their engagement with global-scale environmental problems.

(p.201) Consider first the seminal role of Iwasaki Shunsuke, leader of the Japan People’s Forum. After graduating from the Department of Architecture at Tokyo University of the Arts in 1963, Iwasaki spent two years teaching at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana before going on to complete a master’s in Urban Design at Harvard University in 1970. Thereafter Iwasaki worked in the Yokohama City Planning and Coordination Bureau for close to a decade until being appointed director of the Bureau of Human Settlements Planning in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).95 Iwasaki did not particularly enjoy his time in the UN, describing his travel from city to city to attend conference after conference like “being on top of the clouds.”96 But the experience was an important one, nevertheless, because it gave Iwasaki a firsthand insight into the logic and operations of the national and international institutions that he would later challenge. In 1980 Iwasaki left the UN to take up directorship of the Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC), an atypically large and well-funded Japanese NGO that sent volunteers to assist in developing countries worldwide.97 Different from his earlier activities high up in the “clouds” of the UN, as JVC director Iwasaki connected with people on the ground in “rural Asia.” This experience proved transformative because, to use Iwasaki’s own words, it forced him to “look at reality from a different angle.”98 Iwasaki became convinced that Japanese NGOs needed to become more active internationally for the global poor—a conviction that he faithfully pursued throughout the 1980s as JVC director.

More significant for this discussion, in the late 1980s Iwasaki brought his Third World advocacy into the Japanese environmental movement when he assumed leadership of the Japan People’s Forum prior to the Earth Summit. The significance of Iwasaki’s leadership of this group cannot be underestimated. In effect, it elevated a staunch advocate for the rights of developing nations to the very apex of the Japanese environmental movement at a formative moment of its engagement with global environmental problems. Thereafter Iwasaki served as an influential mouthpiece for fellow Japanese activists worldwide and, more importantly, used this position of influence to advocate his own provocative viewpoints on the causes of and solutions to global environmental problems.

Iwasaki described his approach as one of “making visible a world which cannot be seen” and “joining hands with those who are invisible.”99 Organizations like the UN, he said, failed to hear the voices of the “2.8 billion (p.202) people living in the countrysides of developing nations” because they were distracted by the noise emanating from officials and political elites in the cities.100 Personal experience had taught him, however, that the best way to see reality (including the real Japan) was not from the capital cities of developing nations but from their countrysides; in other words, from the “peripheries of the peripheries,” where one could “clearly see Japan’s position and its form in relative terms.”101 Such ideas found expression in the People’s Forum’s explicit strategy of approaching “Brazil via Asia.” Herein Japanese NGOs were understood, first and foremost, as advocates and partners of other Asian NGOs at the Earth Summit rather than civic groups voicing the concerns of “First World Japan.”102

To fully realize this partnership with Asia and the Third World, Iwasaki believed that the Japanese people first needed to fundamentally transform their own consciousness. Above all, they had to recognize the profound and undeniable interconnectedness of their daily lives to the developing world and especially to the rest of Asia. As he wrote in a 1988 essay, “The insignificance of one banana eaten in Japan is connected to the significance of this [same banana] for the people who grow it in the Philippines.”103 We have “no choice,” he argued, “but to recognize that we are connected to people in other countries. … The food we eat every day, what we wear, and the materials used in the houses we live in—all of these are brought in from abroad.”104 For example, “the buckwheat noodles you ate for lunch today are a traditional Japanese food so you prob ably imagine that they are made from white flowers which blossomed somewhere in the foothills around Nagano [Prefecture]. But, actually, 75 percent of buckwheat flour is imported from abroad.”105 So, physically, at least, the Japanese people were no longer “purely homemade”: they were “international organisms” constituted by the many foreign-sourced materials they consumed daily.106

But unfortunately, or “tragically,” as Iwasaki put it, despite the reality of their physical interconnectedness, Japanese people appeared to have no significant recognition of the fact. The most “tragic thing” was that “almost all Japanese” had “limited themselves to the spatial sphere of Japan” and were “unable to understand phenomena in other countries across the sea as their own problems.”107 Iwasaki spoke of “the tragedy of the Japanese who cannot transcend national borders in their consciousness” and the “disappointment” of a contemporary Japan in which the people cannot “mentally” and “emotionally” transcend the spatial unit of the nation, despite the fact that “materially” and “physically” they were internationalized.108 As he explained, (p.203) for Japanese people foreign issues were still “wrapped in a veil” and treated as “outside events” without any connection to themselves. Most Japanese were “afraid to go and look outside this veil, preferring to “merely remain in a state of tentativeness, sometimes poking their necks out but quickly pulling them back in,” even though they realized that the veil itself was just a construct.109 The cause of this malady, according to Iwasaki, was the “political unit of the state,” which divided people and attempted to “crush” any initiative to bring people together by “lodging between humans” and “creating unwanted obstacles.”110 Yet the “future of the globe” depended now more than ever on the “success or failure” of attempts by NGOs and others to “transcend the state.”111 In a perceptive observation on the condition of globality, Iwasaki noted,

The contradictions among people today are no longer between capitalists and workers or urban dwellers and country folk in developed countries. They have been transformed into contradictions between those in developed and developing countries. For this reason I feel that in order to realize a new set of values, more than anything else, we need an international solidarity which transcends the framework of the state. In other words, it is not about going to developing countries and raising the Hinomaru [the Japanese national flag] but working out how to transcend the framework of the state as friends working together with the people there.112

But the important point to keep in mind here is that Iwasaki was advocating not so much a global-scale program as a post-national one. For Iwasaki solutions to the problems of globality and the barrier of national states began at home with local people and their local knowledge. Turning the popular catchphrase of the environmental movement on its head, Iwasaki said, “It’s not ‘think globally, act locally’ but think locally, act globally.’”113 Instead of waiting for top-down solutions, local people had to take the initiative, by circumventing metropoles such as Tokyo and actively “building connections with the world” with the help of NGOs.114 NGOs too had to stand at the same level as the people they were trying to help. They needed to produce solutions based on local conditions.115 For instance, although NGOs might offer technical know-how, Iwasaki envisioned their primary role more as one of empowering local people to combine “traditional” practices such as forest farming with “new sustainable agricultural technologies” (p.204) like mixed farming.” In other words, the process was not one of “sending in technicians from developed countries but of providing opportunities for people in developing countries to build up experience through individual trial and error.”116 The ultimate aim, argued Iwasaki, was to create a “new civic movement” that united local and transnational energies without replicating imperialistic hierarchies.117 He was convinced that only through a translocal network originating in, and firmly committed to, local knowledge and local perspectives could NGOs successfully address global-scale environmental problems.118 The key was that such activism had to proceed from the local and be steadfastly against the state—this was the essence of thinking locally, acting globally.

Of course, Iwasaki was well aware that his localist agenda practically invited criticism. After all, respect for the independence and traditions of local people was all well and good, but without a network of roads and ports or large-scale infrastructure such as electricity grids and power plants constructed or overseen by the nation-state, the gap between the developed and developing nations would not narrow.119 This was a central assumption of the sustainable development idea and, as we saw in the thought of Tsuru Shigeto and the Founex Report, it was an idea with deep and often progressive roots (recall Tsuru’s admiration for the Tennessee Valley Authority).

But it was precisely in such assumptions that Iwasaki identified what he and other activists felt to be the fundamental flaw of “development” (sustainable or other wise) controlled by First World governments and international organizations. Iwasaki understood development somewhat differently from groups such as the WCED. Development was not only about material advancement but also about the development of independence, dignity, and relations of respect—all of which were local “products” and, hence, profoundly endogenous in nature. Iwasaki, for example, emphasized that, since the gap between the developed and developing nations had evolved over a period of five hundred years, from around the time of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, it would not be solved overnight through quick technological fixes. To the utmost, people’s “independence” must be respected and restored. Assistance focused only on development of the “material environment” would simply push recipient communities back into a “position of subservience,” replicating the historical legacy of inequity between the First and Third Worlds.120 But a new alliance of local people and nongovernmental organizations promised to sever the link between “1492” and “1992” by restoring the primacy of endogenous, locally initiated development.

(p.205) Iwasaki was by no means an outlier here, and his call on Japanese people, particularly those involved in environmental activism, to focus on the development of Third World endogeneity found expression in many other influential Japanese movements addressing global environmental problems from the late 1980s onward. That many activists cut their teeth in very local activism or had experience in developing countries as Iwasaki did only further encouraged this tendency. Kuroda Yōichi of the prominent JATAN movement to save tropical rain forests is a case in point.121

A graduate in rural sociology, Kuroda worked during the early 1980s at the Seikatsu Club, a progressive consumer cooperative based on principles of collective purchasing and food safety in the Tokyo area. Kuroda’s transnational interests appear to have intensified in 1985–1986, when he was affiliated with the People’s Research Institute on Energy and Environment, a nongovernmental think tank focused on alternative energy development, antinuclear issues, and alternative agriculture.122 While conducting surveys on pesticide use in Southeast Asia, Kuroda came into contact with NGOs involved in rain forest conservation movements.123 In Malaysia in 1986, Kuroda and seven Japanese activists attended the Penang Conference on the Timber Resource Crisis in the Third World, organized by the progressive Penang Consumers Association, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (an affiliate of Friends of the Earth International), and the Asia-Pacific Environment Network.124 During the conference the Japanese participants were shocked to learn of the extent of Japanese corporate involvement in rain forest destruction throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Moreover, they were stung by criticisms that Japanese citizens were not doing enough to oppose such practices and mortified at not being able to report on any significant opposition movements back in Japan.125

With the logistical and financial assistance of Friends of the Earth International, in 1987 FoE Japan, the Asian Women’s Association, the Consumers’ Union of Japan, and the JVC established JATAN, with Kuroda Yōichi as its director.126 Thereafter, under Kuroda’s leadership, JATAN engaged in a series of highly creative and successful initiatives within Japan to raise awareness about the importance of rain forests for the global environment as well as the destructive role of logging operations by companies from rich nations such as Japan. In 1988, Kuroda and fellow author François Nectoux published Timber from the South Seas: An Analysis of Japan’s Tropical Timber Trade and Its Environmental Impact, a study commissioned by the WWF that outlined in graphic detail Japan’s environmentally destructive (p.206) logging practices throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific.127 JATAN also confronted responsible corporations head-on. In April 1989, JATAN activists took part in the International Action Day to Support the Indigenous People of Sarawak, a coordinated transnational protest in cities worldwide in support of the Malaysian Penan people, who were struggling to stop logging operations in their forest home in Sarawak State on Borneo Island.

JATAN’s Tokyo mobilization focused on the Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese trading company involved in logging operations in the region. Outside Marubeni’s Tokyo headquarters, activists presented the corporation’s bewildered public relations’ officer with an award for rain forest destruction and a large plywood cutout of a chainsaw. In a meeting with JATAN activists, Marubeni executives later refused to accept this “award” and denied any wrongdoing in Malaysia. On the same day, JATAN members met with government officials to whom they delivered a copy of Timber from the South Seas along with sixty thousand signatures calling for a stop to logging in Sarawak and support for the affected Penan people. As Kuroda and JATAN members would later learn, these actions made news in Malaysia and even on the radio news in far off Nepal.128 Japanese and Malaysian activists also developed transnational ties. Kuroda visited Sarawak for the first time in September 1987, and on numerous occasions thereafter, JATAN brought representatives of the Penan people, their local advocates, and Malaysian academics to Japan to speak at rallies on rain forest destruction.129 Notably, in June 1991 a group of Penan women traveled to thirteen local government offices throughout Japan to lobby for ordinances banning the use of rain forest timber in public works projects.130 JATAN’s public advocacy and political lobbying proved extremely successful. In October 1991 the Tokyo municipal government became the first local administration nationwide to announce a trial period during which only non-rain forest-sourced timber would be used in public works projects. This decision was followed by similar initiatives in cities and prefectures such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya.131 By mid-1995, sixty-six local administrations had stopped using rain forest timber in public works altogether.132

Fascinating in such initiatives is the way Kuroda and his colleagues garnered empathy for the Penan people and their forest life by framing the issue in terms of a familiar local experience of environmental injustice. As he explained, his impression and, indeed, that of “most Japanese” who visited the Penan was not one of a destitute community but, on the contrary, of people living in a kind of “heaven” on earth. Although they were monetarily (p.207) “poor,” the Penan had “never been in need of food or water, and their lifestyle based on living with the natural cycles and diligently working together on the basis of the mutual support of families and villagers” was a lifestyle the Japanese people had “lost.”133 Malaysian leaders, however, were attempting to portray the Penan as ignorant, backward savages in need of enlightenment and domestication, much in the same way Japanese political elites had promoted industrial development as a cure-all for “backward” regions in 1960s Japan. Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, for example, said his government did not “intend to turn the Penan into human zoological specimens to be gawked at by tourists and studied by anthropologists while the rest of the world passes them by.” There was “nothing romantic” about a “helpless, half-starved and disease-ridden people,” Mahathir declared.134 The Malaysian government even took aim at the Penan’s public advocates, writing in a publication for the Earth Summit that “the transition from cave and forest dwelling to village and urban living is a phenomenon that has marked the transformation of human societies from time immemorial. The environmental activists have no right to stand in the way of the Penans in this process of change and human development.”135 Such negative portrayals of the Penan fed into popular misconceptions of them as uncivilized enemies of the Malaysian nation and impediments to economic development. Even though the Penan (correctly) saw foreign corporations and logging companies as the villains, it was the Penan who were arrested as they attempted to stop the loggers’ trucks.136

Needless to say, JATAN’s emphasis on the plight of the victimized Penan people (as opposed to the preservation of tropical rain forest for its own sake) resonated with powerful and painful memories of industrial pollution, corporate misbehavior, state complicity, and injustice within Japan—especially in rural peripheries. Political scientist Anny Wong, who studied JATAN closely at the time, observed how the movement “redefined” the Sarawak logging “issue within the context of a domestic experience and sentiments.” Wong explained how “emphasizing the destructive role played by Japanese development assistance and Japanese big business in the tropical timber trade, the Japanese anti–tropical timber campaign stirred public memory of Japan’s own deforestation and their anger towards the Japanese government and big business for their poor handling of domestic industrial pollution.”137 Moreover, JATAN activists joined a chorus of Japanese activists like Iwasaki Shunsuke who were attempting to qualify the “novelty” of global environmental problems by situating them within longer histories of (p.208) imperialism, colonialism, and exploitation of the Third World—the so-called invisible local.

In a 1992 publication, Kuroda repeated Japanese activists’ mantra of “1492–1992,” explaining that, during five hundred years of colonial invasion, the Western nations had for many years controlled the land and forests of other people for their selfish ends, and they had massacred indigenous peoples. Japan did the same thing over the short period of a few decades during its own imperialistic adventures.138 Kuroda argued that this domination continued in the present “through multinational corporations and the World Bank,” which symbolized the way those with “money” and “power” protected their “self-interests” and continued to “extend the gap between rich and poor” to the point of “despair.”139 In order to bring a stop to rain forest destruction, citizens of the North and South had to unite. Moreover, Japanese people needed to address the “local” from two angles: by changing their own lifestyles in their own backyards, and by helping those in the marginalized corners of the Third World like farmers and indigenous people to attain true autonomy through the advancement of endogenous development. This, argued Kuroda, “is our challenge as we face the next century.”140

This attentiveness to marginalization and injustice is apparent even in leading Japanese movements dedicated to global-scale problems such as climate change, where we might intuitively expect such sentiment to be less prominent. The Kiko Forum, established in 1996 in the lead-up to intergovernmental deliberations on the Kyoto Protocol, is a prime example. Similar to the two examples above, the background of the forum’s leader, Asaoka Emi, appears to have been an important factor here.141 Prior to her involvement in the Kiko Forum, Asaoka practiced law after graduating from the prestigious law faculty at Kyoto University in 1972. Asaoka was an activist lawyer, with a strong background in litigation on behalf of consumers, women, and victims of pharmaceutical and chemical contamination.142 The Kiko Forum, which Asaoka and others formed in December 1996, brought together an array of progressive environmental groups, consumer cooperatives, religious organizations, agricultural associations, and youth groups concerned with environmental pollution, food safety, and related issues.143 On one level, the forum was the prototype of a transnationalized domestic actor—firmly rooted at home yet transnationally connected and globally sensitive. In terms of organization and strategy, for example, the Kiko Forum (kikō means “climate” in Japanese) drew liberally on the example of the Klima Forum (klima also means “climate” in German) established (p.209) by German activists at the First Conference of the Parties (COP1) to the UNFCCC, held in Berlin in 1995. Asaoka and other Kiko Forum activists who attended COP1 stayed in close contact with Klima Forum activists after initially meeting in Berlin, even inviting Klima’s leader, Sasha Mueller-Kraenner, to Japan in 1996 to help with the establishment of the Kiko Forum.144 Klima Forum activists appear to have provided very concrete and valuable assistance to their Japanese counter parts, for instance with respect to event planning and budgeting.145 Adding to this transnational character, as Kim Reimann notes, some 40 percent of the Kiko Forum’s finances were sourced abroad, in some cases from governments such as Germany, Denmark, and Norway, which wanted significant green house gas emissions reductions at Kyoto and saw NGO lobbying as one way to achieve this.146 International organizations such as the UN also opened previously closed doors for groups such as the Kiko Forum, giving them “access to policy makers and a new channel for lobbying the government, enabling them to overcome problems of access they faced in Japan.”147

Yet for all its internationalization, the Kiko Forum remained acutely sensitive to questions of equity and justice in global environmental problems, particularly as these related to the developing world. A four-page pamphlet on global warming released by the Kiko Forum in 1996, for example, explicitly connected climate change to “the inequity of ‘North’ and ‘South.’” The pamphlet carefully explained that, although all countries worldwide would be affected by global warming, it was important to recognize that “only people living in wealthy countries during the twentieth century” had actually “enjoyed the affluence” from the “economic activity” that had caused that global warming. It was the “Northern developed nations” that had consumed countless quantities of natural resources and produced colossal emissions of green house gases. The pamphlet offered the example of island nations such as the Maldives, Kiribati, and Mauritius, whose existence was threatened by rising ocean levels caused by global warming. “We simply must not forget that these nations are emitting almost no green house gases,” the pamphlet reminded readers.148

A May 1997 pamphlet released by Kiko Forum just months before the deliberations over the Kyoto Protocol began reiterated this responsibility of the rich to the poor. The pamphlet noted that each Japanese person was, on average, responsible for green house gas emissions ten times greater than those of a person in India and one hundred times greater than those of a person in Nepal. Hence “we need to change our lifestyles of excessive consumption (p.210) and excessive waste” and, concretely, to reduce individual emissions of CO2 by 4 percent annually.” Referring to the “North-South Problem,” the pamphlet argued that the “exceedingly blameworthy” countries of the North needed to immediately decrease their emissions but not do so by merely shifting their industrial operations to Southern countries. Echoing Iwasaki and other activists’ calls for endogenous as opposed to sustainable modes of development, the pamphlet called for “restraint of excessive trade” that tended to exacerbate global inequities.149 Like earlier industrial pollution in Japan, “the problem of global warming” was also a “problem of equity,” which would have the greatest impacts on people in conditions of weakness in the global South and, moreover, on “future generations.”150 More than anything else, the rich needed to examine their own daily lives and open their eyes to the existential crisis climate change posed to developing nations, some of which might be swallowed up by the rising seas.

The common refrain in all of these articulations was that the new global-level problems still required people to think locally and, also, to carefully reconsider the local made invisible by its marginalization within societies and globally. Solutions were as much individual as they were global, since they involved a reexamination of “aggression” knit in to the very fabric of affluent daily lives. Indeed, only by looking somewhere in particular, these activists asserted, would solutions to the larger problems become possible. This attentiveness to complicity, responsibility, injustice, inequity, and rights had inspired some Japanese activists to look beyond the borders of their polluted archipelago many decades earlier, and it still deeply informed the perspectives of a new generation of activists facing the environmental complications of globality in the twenty-first century.


(1) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 65; Atsuko Sato, “Beyond Boundaries: Japan, Knowledge, and Transnational Networks in Global Atmospheric Politics” (PhD diss., University of Hawai‘i, 2002), 233.

(2) Historical temperature data obtained from http://climate.weather.gc.ca/.

(3) Thomas A. Sancton, “Cover Stories: What on Earth Are We Doing?” Time 133, no. 1 (January 2, 1989): 24, available at Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed May 14, 2014).

(4) Katō Saburō, Takeuchi Ken, Awaji Kōji, Akiyama Noriko, Teranishi Shun’ichi, Kihara Keikichi, “1992 Kokuren Kankyō Kaihatsu Kaigi to Nihon no Kadai,” Kankyō to Kōgai 20, no. 4 (April 1991): 31.

(p.263) (5) Sancton, “Cover,” 24. Time’s break with tradition was noted in the Japanese press: “‘Kotoshi no Hito’ wa ‘Kiki ni sarasareta Chikyū’: Kankyō Osen no Shinkokuka ni Keishō,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, December 26, 1988): 7.

(6) Ishi Hiroyuki, Okajima Shigeyuki, and Hara Takeshi, Tettei Tōron: Chikyū Kankyō Jyānarisuto no “Genba” kara (Tokyo: Fukutake Shoten, 1992), 78–79.

(7) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 71; Ishi et al., Tettei, 77; “‘Kankyō Gannen’ Chikyūjin no Jikaku o,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, November 20, 1989): 15.

(8) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 77.

(9) See Carol White and Rogelio Maduro, “‘Green house Effect’ Hoaxsters Seek World Dictatorship,” EIR: Executive Intelligence Review 16, no. 3 (January 13, 1989): 31–32.

(10) On Japanese involvement in the WCED and the concept of “sustainable development,” see Miranda Schreurs, “Shifting Priorities and the Internationalization of Environmental Risk Management in Japan,” in Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks, Volume 2: A Functional Analysis of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain, ed. Social Learning Group (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), 191–212; Reimann, Rise; and Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 11–14.

(12) Gary Haq and Alistair Paul, Environmentalism since 1945 (London: 2012), 31.

(13) Clapp and Dauvergne, Paths, 60–61. On sustainable development see Anne E. Egelston, Sustainable Development: A History (New York: Springer, 2006); and Dryzek, Politics, 145–161.

(16) Miyamoto Ken’ichi discusses his idea of “endogenous development” in Miyamoto Ken’ichi, Kankyō Keizaigaku (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1989), 273–311. On “global environmental governance,” see Rosaleen Duffy, “Non-governmental Organisations and Governance States: The Impact of Transnational Environmental Management Networks in Madagascar,” Environmental Politics 15, no. 5 (2006): 731–749.

(18) Miranda Schreurs, “Assessing Japan’s Role as a Global Environmental Leader,” Policy and Society 23, no. 1 (2004): 99.

(20) Ibid., 344–345. (p.264)

(21) For details on CASA see Chikyū Kankyō to Taiki Osen o Kangaeru Zenkoku Shimin Kaigi (CASA), “Chikyū Kankyō to Taiki Osen o Kangaeru Zenkoku Shimin Kaigi—Citizens’ Alliance for Saving the Atmosphere and the Earth,” accessed May 16, 2014, http://www.bnet.jp/casa/.

(22) Yamamura Tsunetoshi, Kankyō NGO (Tokyo: Shinzansha Shuppan, 1998), 22.

(24) For the proceedings, see Kankyōchō Chikyū Kankyōbu Kikakuka, Tokyo Conference on the Global Environment and Human Response toward Sustainable Development (Tokyo: Gyōsei, 1990).

(25) On these symposia see Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 148; Hayakawa Mitsutoshi, “Chikyū Kankyō to Taiki Osen o Kangaeru Kokusai Shimin Shinpojiumu no Hōkoku,” Kankyō to Kōgai 19, no. 3 (January 1990): 63.

(26) Ibid., 63.

(27) On this event see Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 148; Reimann, Rise, 140; Ikeda Susumu, “Chikyū Kankyō Shimin Kaigi Hōkoku,” Kankyō to Kōgai 19, no. 3 (January 1990): 64; Iwasaki Shunsuke, “Chikyū Junkan to Dai-3 Sekai o Utsu Seichō to Kaihatsu,” Kōmei 334 (November 1989): 106.

(30) The group’s Japanese name was “92 Kokuren Burajiru Kaigi Shimin Renraku Kai,” which translates as “the ’92 UN Brazil Conference Citizens’ Liaison Association.” See “Shimin Dantai ga Renraku Kessei, Teigen matome Daihyōdan: 92-nen 6-gatsu Chikyū Samitto,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, May 26, 1991): 3.

(31) Ichihara Akane, “Chikyū Samitto Hōkoku: ’92 Gurōbaru Fōramu ni Sanka shite,” Cures Newsletter 24 (August 1992): 5; Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 151; Iwasaki Shunsuke, “Kaihatsu to Kankyō: Chikyū Samitto o Shimin kara Tō,” Heiwa Keizai 367 (June 1992): 15–16.

(32) Iwasaki Shunsuke, “‘Sekai Kankyō Kaigi’ de Nihon wa Nani o Shuchō dekiruka: Posuto Reisen de sarani Jūyō ni natta Konseiki Saigo no Kankyō Samitto no Kadai,” Ushio 394 (January 1992): 137.

(33) “Kokunai no NGO, Senshinkoku no Sekinin Kyōchō shi Chikyū Samitto e Teigen (Osaka),” Asahi Shinbun (evening edition, December 12, 1991): 18.

(34) 92 Kokuren Burajiru Kaigi Shimin Renraku Kai, “92 Kokuren Burajiru Kaigi Shimin Renraku Kai kara no Teigen,” Kōgai Kenkyū 21, no. 4 (April 1992): 59.

(35) “Shinrin Hakai de Nihon ni Chūmon: NGO Fōramu Kaimaku Chikyū Samitto,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, May 2, 1992): 26.

(36) Iwasaki Shunsuke, NGO wa Hito to Chikyū o Musubu: Ima Kokkyō o Koete, Dekiru Koto, Surubeki Koto (Tokyo: Daisan Shokan, 1993), 61.

(p.265) (38) Important primary sources are the Kanagawa Declaration; “The People’s Voice of Japan: I Have the Earth in Mind, the Earth Has Me in Hand”; and The Japanese Citizens’ Earth Charter. On the Kanagawa Declaration, see Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 152; “‘Jūmin Shuken’ Kakuritsu Motome Sengen: NGO Fōramu Heimaku Yokohama,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, May 4, 1992): 26; Iwasaki, NGO wa, 61–64. On “The People’s Voice of Japan: I Have the Earth in Mind, the Earth Has Me in Hand,” see 92 Kokuren, “92 Kokuren,” 57; Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 151; and for a full English version, 92NGO Forum Japan, “People’s Voice of Japan: I Have the Earth in Mind, The Earth Has Me in Hand,” contained on Earth Summit: The NGO Archives (Hamilton, Canada: CCOHS, 1995), CD ROM. For the Japanese Citizens’ Earth Charter, see 92 Kokuren Burajiru Kaigi Shimin Renraku Kai, Shimin no Chikyū Kenshō (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1992).

(40) Ibid., 62.

(42) Ibid., 9–10.

(48) See Oda Makoto, “Nanshi no Shisō,” in Oda Makoto, Oda Makoto Zenshigoto 8 (Tokyo: Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 1970), 13–31.

(50) Ibid., 129.

(56) See United Nations Department of Information, “UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992),” accessed May 15, 2014, http://www.un.org/geninfo/bp/enviro.html.

(61) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 133.

(p.266) (62) Honda Masakazu, “‘Bideo Sanka’ no Kokusai Onchido: Kyokushiteki ‘Chikyū Samitto’ron,” in Chikyū Samitto Live in Rio, ed. Yamazaki Kōichi (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1992), 120.

(65) 92 Kokuren, “92 Kokuren,” 55.

(66) Yamamoto Kazuhiko, “‘Chikyū Samitto’ no Giman,” Gijutsu to Ningen 21, no. 6 (June 1992): 10.

(67) Ramachandra Guha, Environmentalism: A Global History (New York: Longman, 2000), 143.

(68) Ibid., 141–142.

(69) Quoted ibid., 143.

(70) Yonemoto Shōhei, Chikyū Kankyō Mondai to wa Nanika (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1994), 148; Amano Reiko, “Waga Nippon no ‘Osamui’ Genjitsu: Japan Day Jiken ga ‘Nagaragawa’ o Sekai ni Shiraseta,” in Chikyū Samitto, ed. Yamazaki, 110.

(72) Centre for Applied Studies in International Negotiations Issues and Non-Governmental Organizations Programme, “Report on NGO Activities at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the Global Forum, Rio de Janeiro, 1–14 June 1992,” Earth Summit CD ROM.

(75) Kikuchi Yumi, “NGO Jōyaku-zukuri no Genba kara,” Kankyō to Kōgai 22, no. 1 (September 1992): 39.

(77) Sujata Madhok, “Graffiti Greens the Forum” (June 13, 1992), in Women’s Feature Service (WFS) coverage of UNCED, contained in Earth Summit CD ROM.

(79) For a list of the Japanese and other Asian NGOs that attended the Global Forum, see Yamazaki, ed., Chikyū Samitto, 225–226.

(80) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 153.

(82) Ui Jun, “Kakumo Yutakana Shizen no naka no, Kakumo Shinkokuna Hinkon: ’72 Sutokkuhorumu kara ’92 Rio e,” in Chikyū Samitto, ed. Yamazaki, 101.

(83) Ibid., 102.

(84) Ibid., 101.

(p.267) (86) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 154.

(87) On sunlight rights see Osaka Bengoshikai, Nisshōken no Tebiki (Osaka: Osaka Bengoshikai, 1981). On environmental rights see Osaka Bengoshikai Kankyōken Kenkyūkai, Kankyōken. (Tokyo: Nihon Hyōronsha, 1973).

(88) See Kawana, Dokyumento 13, 111–144.

(89) Nichibenren, “ ’92 NGO Gurōbaru Fōramu Nichibenren Shusai Shinpojiumu—Exchanging the Ideas about International Environmental Law,” Jiyū to Seigi 43, no. 11 (November 1992): 116.

(90) Ibid., 115.

(91) Nichibenren, UN Earth Summit/Global Forum 1992: Japanese Lawyers’ Environmental Struggle, Conference Recordings RIO92–046, 1992, cassette tape; Nichibenren, “ ’92 NGO,” 112–116.

(92) Kawana, Dokyumento 12, 154.

(93) “Kankyō NGO to no Nininsankyaku o,” Asahi Shinbun (morning edition, June 3, 1993): 2.

(94) The organization’s Japanese name is Kankyō Jizoku Shakai Kenkyū Sentā. See JACSES, “Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES),” accessed May 16, 2014, http://www.jacses.org/en/index.html.

(95) Iwasaki Shunsuke, “NGO (Hiseifu Soshiki) ga Mezasu mono: Kokkyō o Koeru Shimin Sanka,” Kōmei 318 (July 1988): 56.

(96) Iwasaki Shunsuke, Kobayashi Akira, Okajima Nariyuki, Takeuchi Yuzuru, Hara Takeshi, Teranishi Shun’ichi, and Awaji Kōji, “ ’92 Kokuren Burajiru Kaigi to Nihon no NGO,” Kōgai Kenkyū 21, no. 2 (October 1991): 42.

(97) See Japan International Volunteer Center, “Specified Non-Profit Organization: Japan International Volunteer Center,” accessed May 16, 2014, http://www.ngo-jvc.net/en/.

(99) Iwasaki Shunsuke, “Ajia no Inaka kara Nihon no Ciiki o Miru,” Gekkan Jichi Kenkyū 30, no. 10 (October 1988): 24.

(105) Ibid., 56–57.

(106) Iwasaki Shunsuke, “Shimin ni yoru Kokusai Kyōryoku (NGO),” Tsukuba Fōramu 28–32 (March 1990): 71.

(108) Ibid., 3, 77.

(109) Ibid., 4.

(110) Ibid., 74.

(p.268) (111) Ibid., 2.

(113) Asahi Shinbun “Chikyū Samitto” Shuzaihan, “Chikyū Samitto” Handobukku (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1992), 39.

(116) Ibid., 52.

(120) Ibid., 52–53.

(121) On Japanese logging, see Peter Dauvergne, Shadows in the Forest: Japan and the Politics of Timber in Southeast Asia (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997); Anny Wong, “The Anti-Tropical Timber Campaign in Japan,” in Environmental Movements in Asia, ed. Arne Kalland and Gerard Persoon (Surrey: Curzon Press, 1998), 131–150; Anny Wong, The Roots of Japan’s International Environmental Policies (New York: Garland Publishing, 2001); Joshua Karliner, The Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1997), 123–128; François Nectoux and Yoichi Kuroda, Timber from the South Seas: An Analysis of Japan’s Tropical Timber Trade and Its Environmental Impact (London: Banson, 1990); Nihon Bengoshi Rengōkai Kōgai Taisaku-Kankyō Hozen Iinkai, ed., Nihon no Kōgai Yushutsu to Kankyō Hakai (Tokyo: Nihon Hyōronsha, 1991); Kuroda Yōichi, Nettairin Hakai to Tatakau: Mori ni Ikiru Hitobito to Nihon (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1992).

(122) On this organization, see Shimin Enerugī Kenkyūjo, “Shimin Enerugī Kenkyūjo—People’s Research Institute on Energy and Environment,” accessed May 16, 2014, http://www.priee.org/.

(124) Kuroda, Nettairin Hakai, 12; Kuroda Yōichi, “Nettairin no Kiki to Nihon Shakai no Shinro,” Kankyō to Kōgai 21, no. 1 (July 1991): 11; Wong, “The Anti-Tropical,” 140.

(127) Nectoux and Kuroda, Timber. The Japanese-language version: Kuroda Yōichi and François Nectoux, Nettairin Hakai to Nihon no Mokuzai Bōeki: Sekai Shizen Hogo Kikin (WWF) Repōto (Tokyo: Tsukiji Shokan, 1989).

(129) Ibid., 13.

(139) Ibid., 61.

(140) Ibid., 62.

(141) See Kim Reimann “Building Networks from the Outside In: Japanese NGOs and the Kyoto Climate Change Conference 2002,” in Globalization and Resistance: Transnational Dimensions of Social Movements, ed. Jackie Smith and Hank Johnston (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), 173–187.

(142) Saitō Kiyoaki, “Kankyō Mondai to Borantia,” in Borantiagaku no Susume, ed. Utsumi Seiji (Kyoto: Shōwadō, 2001), 24.

(143) Matsuo Makoto, “Kikō Fōramu no Seika to Kankyō NGO no Imi: Kankyō Seijigaku Kōchiku ni mukete no Oboegaki (2)—The Consequences of KIKO Forum and Significance of Environment NGOs,” Kyoto Seika Daigaku Kiyō 17 (1999): 213.

(146) Ibid., 179.

(147) Ibid., 181.

(148) Kikō Fōramu, “21-seiki no Kodomotachi, Magotachi ni, Seimei no Hoshi, Chikyū o tewatasu tame ni Chikyū Ondanka o kuitomeru Chie to Kōdō o ima suguni,” reproduced in Kikō Fōramu kara Kikō Nettowāku e: Kyoto Kaigi kara no Shuppatsu—Kikō Fōramu no Katsudō no Kiroku, ed. Suda Eriko, Taura Kenrō, Maruta Shōichi, and Yamaguchi Hironori (Kyoto: Kikō Fōramu—Kikō Hendō/Chikyū Ondanka o Fusegu Shimin Kaigi—Kikō Nettowāku, 1998), no page numbering.

(149) Kikō Fōramu, “Kikō Fōramu 10 no Shuchō,” reproduced Kikō Fōramu ed. Anzai et al., no page numbering.