Japan: Raum- und Ressourcen-Probleme unter Aspekten von Geopolitik, Anpassungsmaßnahmen und Landesentwicklung

Flüchter, Winfried GND

Japan is an outstanding example of a country that has achieved rapid economic development in spite of an extreme scarcity of natural resources and limitations of space. The first main part of this article addresses the imperialistic policy and territorial expansion of Japan until 1945 from the viewpoint of geopolitics and geodeterminism. Thereafter, post-war adjustment policies and country development aimed at overcoming natural disadvantages are analyzed. Rejecting the teachings of Haushofer, the famous exponent of prewar German geopolitics, the author concludes that first, the economic success of postwar Japan took place not in spite, but because of the scarcity of space and natural resources by focusing on heavy, resource-intensive, and space-intensive industries. Second, Japanese modernization, country development, and improvement of living standards are not due to spatial conditions but to the ,,human factor”. In the final part, some further conclusions are drawn and aspects concerning the scar city of natural resources are discussed: the absurdity of geodeterminism, the acceptance of ecological problems and natural hazards by the Japanese development policy, the importance of a global economic commitment for pan, and postmodernism as a means for solving problems of resource scarcity.

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