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A Handbook of Industrial Ecology

Edited by Robert U. Ayres and Leslie W. Ayres

Industrial ecology is coming of age and this superb book brings together leading scholars to present a state-of-the-art overviews of the subject. Each part of the book comprehensively covers the following issues in a systematic style: the goals and achievements of industrial ecology and the history of the field; methodology, covering the main approaches to analysis and assessment; economics and industrial ecology; industrial ecology at the national/regional level; industrial ecology at the sectoral/materials level; and applications and policy implications.
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Chapter 24: Material flow analysis and industrial ecology studies in Japan

Yuichi Moriguchi


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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