Sustainability Science: Japanese Perspectives
The purpose of this graduate course is to discuss Sustainability Science from Japanese perspectives showcasing various topics related to sustainability in Japan and other countries. Topics include natural disaster mitigation, aging society, biodiversity conservation, food security, pollution control, etc. Natural disasters, for example, are indispensable features to discuss human survival and sustainability, however, they are not fully elucidated in the context of Sustainability Science. Also, Japan is the first country in the 100,000 years of human history that is facing super-aging society. Japan’s experience in these fields should have great implications to disaster prone countries, rapidly aging countries and the emerging discipline of Sustainability Science.
The course will also endeavor to add new implications to relatively more established academic fields like nature conservation, food policy, and coastal engineering by elucidating Japanese cases to expand the discourses of sustainable development in general. Nature conservation, for example, is largely expanding its scope in line with the notions of biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development. To protect the biodiversity and to achieve sustainable society, conventional conservation approach is not enough, and we need to include “people” in the policy and planning of protected areas.
Understanding the diverse values towards sustainability is also a key component of this lecture course. Based on each local context, e.g. religion, culture, norms, history, geography, demography, polity, available resources and technology, possible solution and shape of governance would dramatically change. The students will be able to deepen the understanding of Sustainability Science by connecting this lecture course with the other compulsory lecture course “Proactive Environmental Studies I” which aims to teach the basics of Sustainability Science. In this course, the students will be evaluated by attendance, participation and final report.