November 31 and December 1, 1998
Co-organized by the World Bank and
the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) of Japan
Abstracts of Papers Presented
Public Participation in Urban Environmental Management in Japan
Professor Ryo Fujikura’s paper offers a fascinating account of the environmental movement in Japan. He explains how local activism played a key role in promoting environmental reform. Using a series of historical cases, Professor Fujikura argues that the democratic structure of local government, and their autonomy, helped pro-environment groups to succeed in postwar Japan. The roles of certain fishing communities in instigating change and of women in pressing for better environmental conditions were particularly significant. Professor Fujikura shows how social concern and public participation persuaded local governments to take measures against highly polluting industries and brought into existence a national framework for environmental management.