Japanese trading houses (sogo sosha), such as Mitsubishi Corporation, play a critical role in the future of tropical forests. So far, this role has been largely negative. Because of its major role in Japan’s tropical timber imports, Mitsubishi has been one of the target companies in a world-wide public tropical forest campaign “Ban Japan from the Rainforest”. The company undertook some steps, such as a reforestation project in Bintulu, but it continues to deny any responsibility for ecological and social disruption in the tropics. The steps undertaken so far are in fact merely ‘green image’ promotion activities, serving no one but Mitsubishi. This paper discusses the company’s involvement in Sarawak’s logging industry, which is unsustainable in respect to the tropical forest ecosystem, timber yields and people’s livelihoods. It is argued that if the company really aims to reduce the burden which their business place on the environment, it would immediately stop importing timbers from ecologically sensitive environments and native customary lands under legal dispute.
- Ecological and social impacts
- timber exploitation
- tropical forests
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Wakker, E. (1993). Mitsubishi’s unsustainable timber trade: Sarawak. In: Lieth, H., Lohmann, M. (eds) Restoration of Tropical Forest Ecosystems. Tasks for vegetation science, vol 30. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-2896-6_21
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