Brief History

Japanese environmental sociology has roots that go back to the early 1960s, when it mainly focused its attention on the analysis of social mechanisms that produced pollution victims. This can be attributed mainly to the fact that Japan suffered from severe environmental disruptions (kōgai) in the 1960s and 1970s. A few examples of the disruptions are Minamata and Itai-Itai diseases, but the list continues endlessly. Researchers, therefore, conducted case studies occasionally accompanied by in-depth interviews, intending to understand subjective reactions of victims as well as their protest activities and to uncover the mechanisms of societal and environmental disruption in local communities. Sociologists of the time considered analyzing the structure of victimization as more urgent than the HEP-NEP paradigm change controversy. In the late 1980s, Japanese sociologists whose interests focused on environmental problems gathered at a symposium. They founded a small informal association in 1990, the predecessor of The Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology. The late Prof. IIJIMA Nobuko (1938-2001), a pioneer in Japanese environmental sociology, became the first president.

What is JAES?

The Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology (JAES) is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing the development of environmental sociology. JAES was founded in 1992 with 53 researchers taking part in its foundation. Now with 600 members (as of March 2013), JAES has become the largest environmental sociology association around the Globe. JAES members come from a wide range of backgrounds: researchers, teachers, students and practitioners in many fields. The Association holds semiannual seminars each spring and autumn and publishes the Journal of Environmental Sociology, the world’s first journal devoted especially to environmental sociology.

Semiannual Seminars and Other Activities

Reflecting the diversity of our members, the themes of recent seminars include: eco-tourism and regeneration of community, new wave of environmental movements, “commons” and the environment, citizen-participation in the environmental policy-making process, renewable energy, organic farming, Minamata disease, and forest conservation. The seminars held each spring are well-known for their excursion programs: each provides its members the opportunity to discuss on site, namely, at the actual place of environmental disruption. The seminars have been held in places such as Ashio copper mine, Lake Biwa, the World Heritage Shirakami Mountains, Minamata, Niigata, and a waste disposal site in Nagano.
JAES places emphasis on communicating with foreign researchers and associations abroad. JAES held the “International Symposium on Environmental Problems in Asian Societies” in 1993, and the Association supported “Kyoto Environmental Sociology Conference 2001” organized by Research Committee 24 of the International Sociological Association. The International Relations Committee was founded in 2002 to promote networking especially among Asian societies. To date, JAES hosted one international conference in Tokyo (2008) and collaborated two (Beijin in 2007; Hsinchu, Taiwan in 2009). Still another conference is scheduled in Korea in 2011.
JAES is also active in increasing interchanges with other fields of social sciences. Since 2000, JAES has co-hosted interdisciplinary symposium with two academic associations, the Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies and the Japan Association for Environmental Law and Policy.

The Journal of Environmental Sociology

The annual academic journal of JAES, the Journal of Environmental Sociology, was first published in 1995. The Journal covers a wide range of topics, just like the semiannual seminars, and each issue contains special feature articles (most of which are written in Japanese with English abstracts), as shown below:

No. 1 (1995) Perspectives of Environmental Sociology

No. 2 (1996) Fieldwork and Environmental Sociology

No. 3 (1997) Forests, River and Sea as Commons

No. 4 (1998) Environmental Movements and NPOs

No. 5 (1999) Sociological Study on Environmental Regeneration

No. 6 (2000) (1) Viewpoints on the Environmental Destruction

(2) The Significance of Waste Management Legislation and its Social Impacts

No. 7 (2001) Environmental Policy and Environmental Sociology

No. 8 (2002) Toward a Sociology of Renewable Energy

No. 9 (2003) Discourse toward Organic Farming and Vernacular Life Style

No. 10 (2004) New Developments in Environmental Sociology

No. 11 (2005) A Logic of Justice and Legitimacy about Environment

No. 12 (2006) World Heritage and Environmental Sociology

No. 13 (2007) “Civic Research”: Its Possibilities and Problems

No. 14 (2008) Rethinking the Coexistence with “Wildlife”

No. 15 (2009) (1) Environmental Sociology in the Age of Environmental Governance

(2) The Formation of Environmental Sociology in the East Asia

No. 16 (2010) Disasters Studies : New Perspectives in Environmental Sociology

No. 17 (2011) The Establishment of a Sound Material-Cycle Society and Environmental Sociology

No. 18 (2012) Environmental Sociology and the Concept of “Damage”

The Board of the JAES, 2015-2017


IKEDA Kanji (Hosei University)


HARAGUCHI Yayoi (Ibaraki University)

Editor-in-Chief, the Journal of Environmental Sociology:

KIKUCHI Naoki (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)

Managing Editor, the Journal of Environmental Sociology:

TSUCHIYA Yuichiro (Kyoto University of Education)

Chair, Research Committee:

ADACHI Shigekazu (Otemon Gakuin University)

Chair, International Relations Committee:

YUASA Youichi (Kanto-gakuin University)

Members (Executive Committee):
AOKI Sohko (Nagoya University)
CHINO Tsunehide (Shinsyu University)
FUJIMURA Miho (Saga University)
HORIKAWA Saburo (Hosei University)
MARUYAMA Yasushi (Nagoya University)
MIYAUCHI Taisuke (Hokkaido University)
SEKI Reiko (Rikkyo University)
UEDA Kyoko (Tohoku Gakuin University)

The Board of the JAES, 2015-2017

Office of the JAES
C/o University Coop Support Center
3-30-22 Wada, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, 166-8532, Japan
Telephone: +81 3 5307 1175
Facsimile: +81 3 5307 1196
E-mails: (Office) (International Relations Committee)


2007 Beijing International Conference on Environmental Sociology Call for Papers

Abstracts of the Journal of Environmental Sociology, Vol.11 (2005)

Environmental Sociology in Japan: Building a Public Sociology “Environmental Movement”
by Koichi HASEGAWA [Tohoku University] (pdf)

Environmental Sociology in Japan: A Brief Introduction to the Japanese Association of Environmental Sociology
by Saburo HORIKAWA [Hosei University] (pdf)