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2009 Vol.4
Proposed Solution Rooted in Japanese Civilization for Global Environmental Problems


The 21st century will probably see the eighth crisis for the Japanese as”people of the forest”, rice cultivators, and fishers. It isalready too late to stop the global dominance by civilization rooted in crop and livestock farming. Sandwiched between two superpowers with such civilization, namely, the United States in the West and China in the East, Japan may even face the risk of losing its national and ethnic identity. Or, it can be viewed that the loss of ethnic identity among the Japanese has already started with the fact that discussions on the Jomon period, which is the source of Japanese identity, have been eliminated from history textbooks for young students”殳he leaders of tomorrow. In the past, the ancient Japanese, who were rice cultivators and fishers, eradicated other indigenous ethnic groups and their culture. However, as people of the forest having their origin in the Jomon period and as rice cultivators and fishers whose tradition dates back to the Yayoi period, the Japanese are now going to find themselves on the losing side. Moreover, the destruction of culture currently seen in various parts of the world can also occur in Japan in the near future.
Japan has reached the point where serious rethinking is needed in order to find ways to continue as a nation with universal cultural principles that remain respected by the world in the 21st century. To realize such a nation, the Japanese must clearly identify their roots as people of the forest, rice cultivators, and fishers, side with civilization based on the forest and rice crop, draw a future image of the nation and its people with the principles of plant-based civilization at the core, and survive, building a forest-based, environmentally conscious country.
For this purpose, this article proposes seven national strategies: (1) the shifting of views on the globe, life, and history, including the history of civilizations, (2) the building of a forest-based, environmentally conscious nation with the links between the forest, sea, and human habitats at its foundation, (3) the protection of national territory centering on those links, (4) the training of”environmental protectors”and the education of Japanese-style environmental ethics, (5) the creation of society with a market mechanism suppressing greedy actions, (6) the promotion of international marriage and the concept of”Shangri-La living”, and (7) the development of civilization that honors life.