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By examining the issues of environmental policy formation and implementation linked to economic development, and reviewing the Japanese experiences and the examples of other Asian countries, this book reveals factors of dynamism between environmental policy and social change in a domestic, regional and global context.





In order to conquer poverty, raise social welfare and secure political stability, most governments in developing countries have promoted economic development through industrialization. In the process whereby developing countries achieve economic development through industrialization, environmental problems arise in various forms and the government, companies and citizens in each country are compelled to find countermeasures. Responses to environmental problems often involve trade-offs with the policy that promotes economic development. Fundamentally, economic development policies are, in many cases, major factors in the cause of environmental problems.

Tadayoshi Terao, Kenji Otsuka

Rethinking of Japanese Experiences in Environmental Pollution Control


1. Industrial Policy, Industrial Development and Pollution Control in Post-war Japan: Implications for Developing Countries

There is a self-serving belief that the ‘Japanese experience’ with industrial pollution was a paragon of success in conquering environmental problems encountered in the process of rapid economic development and that this experience can be transplanted to late-comer developing countries. On the other hand, there is also the idea that the ‘Japanese experience’ should be presented to the developing countries as a negative lesson on serious pollution damage and failure of environmental policy. It is possible to view both of the arguments as standing on the common premise that Japan’s experience can provide some kind of model for environmental pollution and policy.

Tadayoshi Terao

2. Historical Dynamic Interactions between Regulatory Policy and Pipe-end Technology Development in Japan: Case Studies of Developing Air Pollution Control Technology

The report entitled Environmental Policies in Japan by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reviewed Japanese environmental policy in the 1970s and its outcome, concluding that ‘Japan has won many pollution abatement battles, but has not yet won the war for environmental quality’ (OECD, 1977). The report characterized the policy as a non-economic or command and control one. The report also questioned how environmental improvement under the policy could be consistent with economic performance and industrial competitiveness. In fact, the Japanese economy achieved relatively good performance after succeeding in sharp reduction of the sulphur oxides (SOx) concentration and even after introducing the first emission standard for nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the world, which had the potential to cause more than a small economic impact.

Yoshifumi Fujii

3. Role of Local Governmental Research Institutes in Development and Diffusion of Pollution Control Technologies in Japan

When certain kinds of environmental regulation are introduced, enterprises are, in many cases, forced to attain the target technologically. The types of environmental policy instruments that exert a strong incentive to develop or diffuse environmental technologies have been discussed theoretically in environmental economics.1 Most of the analysis, however, regards the response of enterprises to environmental policies as a ‘black box’, that is, enterprise incentives for innovation in pollution control are measured as the amount of the cost savings in the abatement cost if innovation in abatement technology occurs, and it assumes that the introduction of regulations automatically leads to implementation of measures for pollution control.

Yasushi Ito

4. Administrative Guidance of Japanese Local Government for Air Pollution Control

Administrative guidance (Gyoseishido) has been conducted in the various fields in Japan. During the post-war period, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI, currently the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) frequently issued administrative guidance in order to promote infant industries, protect declining industries, rearrange the national industrial structure and control public enterprises (Oyama, 1996, p. 44). While MITI only partially succeeded in attaining these objectives, the guidance has often been lauded as a successful soft tool adopted by the national government that contributed to the remarkable development of the Japanese economy. On the other hand, the accusation has often been made that the guidance is a symbol of the opacity and ambiguity of the Japanese administration, and this assertion has been made particularly by the United States government, which is impatient with the trade imbalance between the two countries (Shindo, 1992).

Ryo Fujikura

Dynamism of the Environmental Policy Process in Asia


5. Environmental Policy Planning under Imperfect Market and Government Capacity: A Case of Air Pollution Abatement in China

It is well known that China suffers from severe air pollution. China, however, has also made great progress in addressing the problem. For instance, statistics show that emissions of SO2 and smoke dust, which are two main polluting substances, have substantially been reduced from 23.7 million tons and 17.4 millions, respectively, in 1995 to 19.2 million tons and 10.1 million tons in 2002. This represents a reduction of 14.1 per cent and 41.9 per cent, respectively. This is a great achievement for China, considering the high growth rate of the Chinese economy maintained during that same period and the accompanying increase in energy consumption, which is the source of pollution.1 Such achievements would not have been possible without policy measures known as command and control measures. Above all, China has managed to implement policy measures that are imperative for pollution reduction. Specifically, China has implemented the compulsory closure of small coal mines and small power plants, as well as the mandatory shutdown of small enterprises in such highenergy-consumption industries as the steel and cement industries.

Nobuhiro Horii

6. Rating Programme Revisited: In the Case of Indonesia

The rating programme for companies in Indonesia is regarded as a model of environmental policy from the viewpoint of environmental management in developing countries. PROPER PROKASIH, a rating programme concerned with water pollution control in Indonesia, attracts international attention because the programme is an alternative environmental policy based on disclosure of information.1 In addition to the same kind of programme being carried out in the Philippines, India and China, similar rating programmes are also planned in Mexico and Colombia.2

Michikazu Kojima

7. Industrial Pollution Control in India: Public Interest Litigation Re-examined

The salient feature of India’s pollution control is the active role played by the judiciary. There are an increasing number of public interest litigation (PIL) cases and other legal efforts, which are playing an important role in environmental policy implementation and legal compliance. PIL, in addition to formal lawsuit procedures, allows the general public to invoke the warrant jurisdiction of the court, sometimes even by sending a postcard directly to the Supreme Court or High Court. Buses, taxis and three-wheeled vehicles used for public transportation in the capital city are now fuelled with compressed natural gas (CNG). This is one example where PIL was effective in ameliorating the air pollution problem by leading to a Supreme Court order that public transportation must use CNG. There are now so many environmental lawsuits that every Friday is ‘Green Friday’, when Supreme Courts deal with environment-related cases (Agarwal et al., 1999).

Yuko Tsujita

8. Environmental Policy under Multi-stakeholder Governance in China: Focusing on Implementation of Industrial Pollution Control

China has developed its environmental policy by mainly focusing on industrial pollution control for 30 years. In the beginning, environmental policy in China was initiated by the central government under the leadership of top leaders in the Communist Party, and administrative and law systems have been strengthened gradually. Since the 1990s, the State Council, the highest administrative body in China, has called all industries to comply with emission standards and has also issued implementation guidelines to order local governments to shut down small-scale industries that cause heavy environmental pollution. On the other hand, the government has cooperated with the newly reformed People’s Congress and the mass media, even though all media in China are still under the control of the government and the Communist Party, to supervise and inspect the implementation process of strict command and control regulations. At the same time, in recent years NGOs and residents are also expected to play important roles in implementing the regulations.

Kenji Otsuka

9. Democratization, Decentralization and Environmental Policy in Taiwan: Political Economy of Environmental Policy Formation and Implementation

Taiwan experienced rapid industrialization starting in the 1960s and suffered severe environmental problems, such as aggravation of industrial pollution, degradation of the living environment and degradation of natural resources, in the process. The countermeasures for environmental pollution and the deployment of environmental policy were not at all sufficient to counteract environmental degradation.

Tadayoshi Terao

10. Environmental Cooperation in East Asia: Comparison with the European Region and the Effectiveness of Environmental Aid

One of the important characteristics of any effective environmental policy is local information and local response. We cannot enforce an international environmental policy supranationally from above; we have to build an international environmental regime based on spontaneous local responses. So the regional dimension of the environmental policy is very important for international environmental governance. In practice, regional environmental regimes have been emerging in Europe, North America and East Asia since the 1970s. The regions have also been fields for experiments in innovative methods of international environmental governance. Japan is one of the major actors promoting an environmental cooperation regime in East Asia.

Hideaki Shiroyama


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