[Belonging・Position] Environment and Natural Resource Studies Group, Inter-disciplinary Studies Center ・Director,Senior Research Fellow
[Research Field] Sustainable environmental studies, environmental problems in China and East Asia, water/river basin/environmental governance
[email] Kenji_Otsuka E-mail
Profile Information (Research history, education, papers & publications)

Previous research

After joining the Institute of Developing Economies in 1993, I began researching environmental issues in China. I spent two years in Beijing (1997–1999) researching topics such as urban residents’ environmental awareness, urban communities, environmental NGOs and public participation, and environmental policy processes in cooperation with local research institutes and organizations. In 2004, I was involved in joint US–Japan–China research on basin governance in cooperation with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an American think tank, which led to international joint research on the governance of water-related environmental issues in China and Asia and resulted in the publication of several books. The results of a series of studies on China were published in my monograph, Collaborative Solutions to Environmental Problems in China: Perspectives on Dynamism in Governance (Koyo Shobo 2019).

Current research projects

My ongoing research focuses on environmental issues in China. I monitor the latest trends from the perspective of governance under environmental authoritarianism. In the area of water resources and environmental issues, I have recently started researching cross-border basin governance in the Mekong basin, which involves China and Southeast Asian countries. Also, with regard to regional environmental cooperation in East Asia, I am conducting research on governance that focuses on the role of non-state actors such as NGOs and research groups, as well as states, and I examine mainly issues involving environmental pollution and energy transition while considering the historical processes underlying the formation of related systems and recent trends in cooperative activities. I am also interested in ecological crises, which have tremendous impacts from the local to the global level, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.