Environmental Compensation Policies and Eco-Nationalism in Modern Japan (19th–20th centuries)

This presentation focuses on the emergence of concerns for the preservation of specific landscapes and environments (e.g. forests) in the context of industrialization. Indeed, the acceleration of industrial development in Japan in the second half of the 19th century was accompanied by a strong environmental impact. Under pressure from protest movements, the companies concerned (especially those in the mining sector) were sometimes forced to adopt measures to limit or compensate for their damage. Among the various types of degradation (air pollution, contamination of soil or waterways), the overexploitation of forests and their destruction by the fumes from factories or smelters are particularly visible. Reforestation policies were then put in place, based on long-standing practices in the archipelago. Through various case studies (including the Besshi mine, Ehime Prefecture), the aim is to study the relationship between the environmental consequences of industrialization and the preservation of certain natural types more than others, within the framework of the development of a national landscape aesthetic.