Climate Politics in Japan

Ken Sofer
May 20, 2016

Sasakawa USA Forum Issue No. 1

Climate Politics in Japan

The impacts of public opinion, bureaucratic rivalries, and interest groups on Japan’s environmental agenda

The 2015 Paris climate agreement was a significant achievement in international efforts against climate change, but the agreement’s success will depend heavily on the domestic politics of major emitters such as Japan and the United States. As the agreement enters the implementation phase, it is crucial for U.S. policymakers to understand the roles, interests, and relative power of the numerous political actors in Japan’s climate policy process. This report examines the role of public opinion, a bureaucratized decision-making process, and the balance of power between interest groups in the formulation of Japan’s climate and energy goals, and how these forces both complicate and provide opportunities for greater U.S.-Japanese collaboration to combat climate change.


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KenSofer_highRes_squareAbout the author

Ken Sofer is a Senior Policy Advisor with the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress and a John Parker Compton Memorial Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He would like to thank Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA for its generous support for this paper’s research.


About the Sasakawa USA Forum

This paper serves as Issue No. 1 of the Sasakawa USA Forum, a new platform for research and analysis related to Japan and U.S.-Japan relations in a bilateral, regional, and global context. In order to gain a more comprehensive view of U.S.-Japan relations, the Sasakawa USA Forum publishes research from experts outside of our organization. Click here for details on how to submit research for consideration.


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