Asbestos Industry Transplants from Japan to South Korea

  • Shinjiro Minami


The asbestos industry has been moving plants overseas (primarily to developing countries) to take advantage of locally inexpensive labor and weak regulatory frameworks for worker safety. Using the transplantation of the asbestos industry from Japan to South Korea, this chapter explores the “exportation” of the asbestos industry and associated asbestos hazards and harm.

The chapter first sheds light on the history of asbestos industry relations between Japan and South Korea, and drawing from three case studies of Japanese companies, then explores the transfer or “exportation” of the industry’s manufacturing processes and the accompanying health problems associated with asbestos exposure. Their decisions were motivated by the conclusion that overseas operations would be able to enjoy reduced operating and labor costs as long as the benefits of asbestos continued to win societal acceptance in Japan. They withdrew those operations once their basis for establishment had been lost, i.e., after the benefits of asbestos had been rejected by society, and the expected savings in operating costs, etc., were no longer available.


Korean Peninsula Industrial Park Japanese Firm Factory Operation Asbestos Mining 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research OrganizationRitsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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