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The rise of green consumers and corporate social responsibility in Japan and China is examined against the backdrop of green developments observed worldwide. Special attention is given to consumers aiming at what is coined “Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability” or “LOHAS”. Among the firms examined are mostly textiles firms. It is asked which characteristics regarding sustainability issues consumers and firms of Japan and China share and in which fields they differ. In order to provide more information, a survey of Japanese and Chinese consumers was conducted by the author. A rather broad framework has been chosen for analyzing processes leading to higher environmental awareness of consumers and firms in the two countries. It includes their political and social systems, history and culture. As concern for sustainability is often linked to the level of economic development of a country, relations between economic growth, environmental degradation and concern for sustainability in Japan and China have been examined. Environmental concern was judged by looking into civic and consumer movements, reactions of politicians and bureaucrats as well as decisions of consumers and firms regarding green products and environmental responsibility.
As China’s present environmental problems are not so different from those that Japan experienced a few decades ago and the two countries share a few common characteristics regarding society and culture, the question is raised as to what extent China could follow Japan’s development path regarding sustainability issues.
keywordsconsumer behavior consumer survey corporate social responsibility ecological degradation green consumers life style consumers middle class sustainability textiles
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