IWATA Shuji and KOIZUMI Takeei initiated Japanese geoecology studies in the 1970s. The Colloquium of Cold Region Landform (Kanrei Chikei Danwakai) contributed significantly to Koizumi's studies. Early geoecological studies have been classified into two categories: analysis of landscape structure and research on phytogeography. The former is similar to the general system theory. This concept is a good method for understanding the natural landscape and for resolving regional issues. The latter relates to systematic geography. These studies are mainly conducted in mountain areas. While studies on natural environments in mountain areas have advanced, Japanese geoecological studies seem to have focused on special areas.
Furthermore, research trends of Japanese geoecological studies were analyzed by examining competitive funding practices. The results illustrate that there have been three types of study since the 1980s: (1) phytogeographical studies and analysis of the landscape structure in cold regions such as polar and high mountain areas; (2) comprehensive geographical overseas studies; and, (3) problem-solving research on regional issues such as resource management and countermeasures for natural disasters. Currently, phytogeographical studies and problem-solving research are advancing. However, Japanese geoecological studies have not appealed to researchers in different fields until now. The future development of geoecological research requires interdisciplinary research.