Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
Geographical Approach to Local Environmental Movements
A Case Study of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Problem in Tottori and Shimane Prefectures
Toshihisa ASANO
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2002 Volume 75 Issue 6 Pages 443-456


The aim of this paper is to discuss the geographical approach to local environmental movements through a case study of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation problem. It shows how the movement against the project has been dealt with in a TV program, in a local newspaper, and in a chronological document composed by a protest group leader.
For example, a TV program broadcast on NHK emphasized that the Nakaumi Land Reclamation problem had been caused by deficiencies in the Japanese administrative system. On the other hand, the program neglected the protest movement in its explanation of the problem.
A local newspaper misprinted the date of the direct petition to the prefectural governor of Shimane by local residents. Moving the date forward by one year weakens the cause and effect relation between the movement and the administrative decision to stop part of the project, which aimed to transform two brackish lakes into freshwater lakes.
These are good examples illustrating the status of social recognition of environmental movements in Japan. To understand environmental problems, however, it is necessary to recognize environmental movements that make political issues of proposed environmental changes.
This paper suggests three methods to approach the issue of environmental movements geographically: They are 1) to assess the effects of environmental movements on land use or landscaping, 2) to view them from various angles, especially from the viewpoint of environmental awareness of the individual participants in the movements, 3) to study them in the context of locality.

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