Overview Article

Sustainability Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 85-93

First online:

Environmental restoration of Minamata: new thinking brings new advances

  • Fumikazu YoshidaAffiliated withSchool of Public Policy, Hokkaido University Email author 

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This paper discusses the idea of environmental restoration and the creation of sustainable cities of industry and culture by spotlighting how the city of Minamata, Japan, which was severely affected by environmental damage, is rejuvenating itself by means of a unique strategy based on a new way of thinking and the fostering of human resources. Taking its lead from the concept of environmental capacity building, this paper focuses on environmental restoration as (1) a mending process for the social environment and human relationships, (2) a strategy of actor participation, particularly citizen participation, in environmental restoration, and (3) a role for human resource development.


Minamata Environmental restoration Sustainable city