Trajectories of Japanese and South Korean Environmental Aid: A Comparative Historical Analysis

Aki Tonami, Anders Riel Müller

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Environmental aid has become a major component of development aid. We analyzed the contingent characters of environmental aid of Japan and South Korea using the definition of Williams, which regards aid policy as donor driven and autobiographical of the donor agencies and societies from which they sprang. Both Japan and South Korea consider environmental aid as an important tool of their diplomacy. A combination of a moral obligation and domestic, international, political, and economic interests underpin both countries’ environmental aid policy. Seen from the stated policies and practices, both countries use accounts of their past as once-developing countries trying to catch up in their aid narrative. In this manner, the environmental aid of Japan and South Korea is autobiographic, reflecting their interpretation of their own development history and position in global politics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environment & Development
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)191- 219
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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