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comparative politics international relations Japan-related research

JPOSS # 24: “Rethinking Environmental Mobilization: Civic Engagement in Post Fukushima Japan”

The twenty-fourth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on December 2, 2021. Phillip Y. Lipscy (University of Toronto) chaired the seminar and moderated the question and answer session.

Pinar Temocin (Hiroshima University) presented her doctoral research exploring the degree to which environmental civil society organizations (ECSOs) might have influenced Japanese energy policy since 3/11. Specifically, her research seeks to investigate domestic advocacy groups pursuing cooperative strategies (Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies, Renewable Energy Institute) as well as international advocacy groups that use a confrontational approach (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth). Based on in-depth interviews with various policy stakeholders (including environmental advocates, politicians, corporations, and scientists), Temocin finds that ECSOs have had a limited influence on Japanese energy policy since the Fukushima triple disaster in 2011. Her work also suggests that the pro-nuclear lobby has had far more influence on policy relative to environmental activists.

Discussant comments were given by Mary Alice Haddad (Wesleyan University) and Yasuo Takao (Curtin University). During the Q and A session, participants raised important questions about the degree to which civil society groups influence Japanese policy-making and their influence on politicians.

This event attracted around thirty participants and produced an engaging Q&A session. The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS: https://jposs.org/