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SEMINAR: Asian Studies Seminar

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Today's date is Saturday, January 23, 2021
Asian Studies Seminar : Japanese ENGOs in China: Co-optees in soft diplomacy, or the vanguard of a new environmental security campaign? Other events...
The beauty and diversity of China’s natural heritage, and the health and well-being of its citizens, are seriously threatened by environmental problems, many of which are man-made. These man-made environmental problems have elicited the concerted response of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within and outside Chinese society, as well as from government organisations. Of the several thousand environmental organisations operating in China, about 150 are Japanese NGOs, working in areas including desert greenification, dry land horticulture, environmental education, monitoring of water and air pollution, the protection of wild birds and animals, methods to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and providing support to China’s environmental NGOs. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japanese and international NGOs protested against the use of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) to finance environmentally degrading construction projects in Asian countries. This movement of ODA criticism helped to instigate the reallocation of more than 25% of Japan’s China-bound ODA to the area of ‘environmental aid’ in the 1995-1999 ODA round. Stagnation in the Japanese economy, rapid growth in China, and friction in the relationship between the two countries all influenced the decision to phase out Japanese ODA loans to China by 2008. The heavy reduction of overall ODA from Japan to China between 2001 and 2010 has come concurrently with official prioritisation of the overseas activities of Japan’s NGO’s, which are understood to convey a positive image of Japan to the Chinese communities with whom they interact. However, being consigned by their government to function as national good-will ambassadors is not uncomplicated for Japanese ENGOs, whose operations can involve opposition to harmful development projects, especially developments in which Japanese ODA and Foreign Direct Investment has a hand. Furthermore, ENGO members may be hesitant to overly commit their organisation to Japan’s diplomatic objectives. This seminar introduces preliminary work on my PhD project, which seeks to shed light on the role that Japan’s environmental NGOs play in the ‘environmental diplomacy’ between the two countries. I will examine the capacity for such NGOs to succeed in improving Chinese perceptions of Japan, and the effect of recent (post-2000) developments in environmental diplomacy on the way Japanese ENGOs conduct and promote their China-based operations.
Speaker(s) Kieran Golby
Location Seminar room G.25, Gr. Floor, Social Sciences Nth.
Contact Laura Dales <[email protected] > : 64882979
Start Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:30
End Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Wed, 09 Nov 2011 15:49
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