A little over a week before the triple disaster of 3/11 in 2011, Greenpeace Japan announced the results of a commissioned poll that found most Japanese people wanting seafood both to be sustainably sourced and for fish species to be clearly labelled in order to help the consumer make informed choices that would protect oceans.
An article filed some two months after 3/11 reinforces how sustainability has taken a front-row seat when it comes to what Japanese consumers will purchase now. The Wall Street Journal’s Anna Novick interviewed Tetsuya Honda, CEO of marketing and PR specialists Blue Current Japan Inc., regarding how having experienced restricted sales of goods immediately following the earthquake and tsunami had impacted consumer shopping habits. He felt that Japan had shifted from an “eco” trend focusing on saving money personally to consumption that promotes a sustainable environment.
In July 2012, National Geographic released its findings from a global analysis exploring the world of the green consumer in 17 countries. When it comes to being confident that their individual actions can help the environment, the Japanese consumers matched both the Americans and Canadians at 47%. Regarding feeling guilty about the impact they have on the environment, only the Japanese, Germans and Australian consumers reported lower levels of guilt than the Americans (just 21%).
Among the findings in Dentsu’s “Sustainable Lifestyle Report 2011” are whether countries choose products and services from a long-term perspective, rather than being swayed by new things and fleeting trends. Out of the 14 countries surveyed, Japan came out on top at 72.2%.
By David Umeda