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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Environmental Movements in Germany and Japan

 In Japanese media reports on environmental issues, Japan often appears as backward while Germany is presented as a role model and an „environmentally developed country.“

Partly caused by the introduction of an NPO law, numerous environmental groups have been founded in Japan since the late 1990s. This evokes the environmental boom in the Germany of the 1980s, when citizens’ groups were an important factor in the formation of new environmental policies in Germany.

The positive image of Germany in Japan combined with the similar development of citizens’ movements (albeit at different times) indicates a good basis for a successful direct exchange between citizens’ groups.

The research at the DIJ examines the actual relevance of Germany for the Japanese environmental discourse. It considers to what extent the view toward Germany influences environmental discussions within Japanese civil society and the work of environmental groups in Japan. At events and in publications, environmental activities in both countries are compared and mutual influences considered; at the same time, concrete exchange activities between civil society actors are also supported and analysed. This research is part of the initiative “Germany in Japan 2005/2006.”


Previous Staff

Isa Ducke
Head of Social Science Section

Selected Publications


[Blechinger-Talcott, Verena; Frantz, Christiane; Thompson, Mark] Zur Rolle der Zivilgesellschaft. Schlaglichter aus dem Umweltschutz (On civil society’s role: Glimpsing at issues of environmental protection)
In: Blechinger-Talcott, Verena; Frantz, Christiane; Thompson, Mark (Ed.) Politik in Japan. Frankfurt/Main, New York: Campus. pp. 289-310.
[Schad-Seifert, Annette; Vogt, Gabriele] Deutschland als Vorbild im japanischen Umweltdiskurs (Germany as a Role Model in Japan’s Environmental Discourse)
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette; Vogt, Gabriele (Ed.) Japanstudien 17. Deutschland in Japan (Germany in Japan). Japanstudien. München: iudicium Verlag. pp. 209-241.

Working Papers (Book)

[Vogt, Gabriele] Japan’s Green Networks: Going Transnational? . Working Papers | Reports. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 27 p.


February 7, 2006
Symposia and Conferences
Environmental Dialogue Between Civil Society Groups Germany – Japan