Abashiri, Shiretoko, Tokyo Bay, Hiroshima, and Ishigaki, Japan

Japan: Five Communities Practicing Coastal Ecosystem Conservation

Abashiri, Shiretoko, Tokyo Bay, Hiroshima, and Ishigaki, Japan

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View the complete CCRN’s Japan Community Story as a PDF

Japan is an island country comprised of 4 large islands and thousands of smaller islands which stretch between Russia to the north and Taiwan and the Philippines to the South. Located in the middle latitudes in the northwestern Pacific, Japan is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Japan to the west. Due to ocean currents and climate conditions, Japan has wide-ranging marine ecosystems from sub-arctic to tropical. With a population of approximately 127 million, land and resources are of high value and protecting these areas are of high priority. Although known for its urban development, Japan is home to many coastal, rural communities which rely on primary resource production for their livelihoods. Differences in local culture dynamics can be linked to coastal ecosystem changes. In Tokyo bay, where the coastal ecosystem was almost totally destroyed, the objective of the conservation efforts was the revival of traditional lifestyle and culture. In Abashiri, as an opposite case, the coastal ecosystem has remained relatively unchanged, and the only objective/motivation for community conservation efforts is resource sustainability and productivity. The coastal ecosystem conservation activities conducted by the local communities have been studied as part of a comparative analysis of the social and ecological conditions that each community experiences, and their influence on the nature of community conservation.

See below for the Japanese language abstract for this community story, “網走、知床、東京湾、広島、石垣、日本:沿岸生態系の保全を実践ファイブコミュニティ.”