Chapter 24: Material flow analysis and industrial ecology studies in Japan
24. Material ﬂow analysis and industrial ecology studies in Japan Yuichi Moriguchi Although the term ‘industrial ecology’ (IE) itself has not been very widely used in Japan, numerous studies and practical eﬀorts have been undertaken in related ﬁelds, and those activities have been expanding rapidly. The term ‘IE’ itself, and its concept, tools and applications are also being disseminated. A textbook of IE has been translated into Japanese and published (Gotoh 1996). Japanese activities in this ﬁeld have been disseminated through international journals (Moriguchi 2000) and other publications. Industries and universities as well as national research institutes have been playing active roles. This chapter will brieﬂy review IE studies in Japan, then characterize Japanese material ﬂows based on international joint studies. BACKGROUND Japan experienced severe environmental pollution involving serious health damage from the 1960s to the 1970s, the era of rapid industrialization. End-of-pipe technologies for large point sources, such as desulfurization and denitriﬁcation, have successfully contributed to diminishing such traditional environmental pollution problems. Can we continue to rely on such end-of-pipe approaches to solve all of the emerging environmental problems at the end of the huge energy and material ﬂows of the industrialized economy? The answer seems to be rather negative. Many of the present environmental issues have their roots in the basic structure of industrialized society, characterized by massproduction, mass-consumption and mass-disposal. There is a need to transform production and consumption behavior to more sustainable patterns. Recognition of this is clearly stated in recent Japanese national...
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