Environmental Politics Essay

Submitted By mikechino3
Words: 539
Pages: 3

Japan has achieved and sustained tremendous economic development over the past century. This growth was highly in part to industrialization and the movement away from a agricultural society. Unlike many of it’s neighbors Japan’s industrial growth was in many ways similar to that of countries in Western Europe and the United States of America. However as we have seen in much of the Western World, this rapid growth tends to lead to many environmental problems down the road. After the Second World War the United States occupied Japan. Under the occupation the United States revamped both Japan’s economy and infrastructure. As Nakamura (1995) points out, a variety of Occupation-sponsored reforms transformed the institutional environment conditioning economic performance in Japan. This relationship with the United States has greatly impacted Japan’s economy as well as Japan’s environmental policies. American companies were encouraged to license technology to Japanese companies in the new international environment.

Only 15 percent of Japan’s land is arable. This fact means that agricultural resource is high valued and highly protected. Because of the shortage of land Japan has been very selective in maintaining its agricultural resource, nearly better than any other major developed country in the Eastern and Western worlds. Another limited resource Japan has to deal with is it’s lack of energy sources that exist within its borders. Because of this much of Japan’s energy is imported from outside countries. This however has helped the Japanese government to keep down environmental pollution created by it’s own energy sources. Given its heavy dependence on imported energy, Japan has aimed to diversify its sources and maintain high levels of energy efficiency. Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, Japan has reduced dependence on petroleum as a source of energy from more than 75% in 1973 to less than 50% in 2006 (www.state.gov/japan).
Many other important energy sources including coal liquefied natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower. Today Japan enjoys one of the most energy-efficient developed economies in the world.
From what I have researched Japan seems to be in accordance with the development