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Is Ethical Consumption Going to Change Japan?
- Florian Kohlbacher
Social and ecological responsibility is of increasing importance for the economy and society on a global scale. Japan seems to have woken up to this challenge only recently, with a number of notable trends and initiatives. The triple disaster of March 11, 2011 seems to have further raised the awareness of sustainability issues, contribution to society and ethical consumerism.
This presentation focuses on ethical consumer behavior (i.e., taking into account environmental and social responsibility of products and their production during consumers’ decision-making processes), which has become known in Japan as sōsharu shōhi or more recently eshikaru shōhi. The presentation gives an overview of ethical consumption in Japan and analyzes various influencing factors determining ethical consumer behavior, as well as the specific cultural, social and economic background. Based on both primary and secondary data and various examples, the presentation discusses the implications of this consumer trend for the Japanese economy, business practice and public policy.