The Final Coal Mine Closures in Japan: A Historical Overview Utilizing the Conceptual Perspective of Mine Closure Policy Implementation Studies



This chapter examines the last few coal mines (Ikeshima, Yubari, Takashima, Miike and Taiheyo) that were shut down in Japan, as case studies. The reason for this is threefold. First, to understand mine closure policy implementation in the most mature phase of the Japanese coal mining industry. The second reason is to contextualize coal mine closure against Japan’s national transition from manufacturing and heavy industries to service industries and hi-tech manufacturing/research industries, including the lucrative and profitable potential of the tourism industry. The third reason focuses on how such policies are implemented in an era and age where (late twentieth century and early twenty-first century) corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards the local community is emphasized in corporate culture.


Corporate Social Responsibility Coal Mine Coal Mining Great East Japan Earthquake Grassroots Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aoki, Kazuo, Esaki, Tetsuro, Kimura, Tsuyoshi, Kameda, Nobuhiro, and Nishida, Tadashi. 1988. Environmental Impacts of Coal Mining and Preventive Measures in Japan. Dated 28 December 1988 in the Reports of the Institute of Advanced Material Study Kyushu University. Japan: Kyushu University, pp. 231–240.Google Scholar
  2. Arao Sightseeing Information Site. The Manda Coal Mine. Dated 2011 in the Arao Sightseeing Information Site, Accessed 8 May 2012.
  3. Asahi, Shimbun. Workers Get the Shaft in Mitsui Coal Mine Closure. Dated 18 February 1997 in Asahi Shimbun, Accessed 8 May 2012.
  4. Chilean Copper Commission. 2002. Research on Mine Closure Policy. Dated January 2002 No. 44 Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development. Cochilco: International institute for Environment and Development and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.Google Scholar
  5. CNNGo. 8. Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (Japan). Undated in the CNNgo website, Accessed 9 May 2012.,1
  6. Fackler, Martin. As Oil Prices Rise, Nations Revive Coal Mining. Dated 22 May 2008 in the New York Times website, Accessed 7 May 2012.
  7. Gilman, Theodore J. 2001. No Miracles Here: Fighting Urban Decline in Japan and the United States. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hirao, Sachiko. Death of Domestic Coal Leaves Legacy for Future. Dated 3 January 2002 in Japan Times, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  9. Hoshino, Yoshiro, and Nobuko Iijima. Chapter-5 The Miike Coal-Mine Explosion. In the United Nations University website, Accessed 7 May 2012.
  10. International Commission on Mine Closure and International Society for Rock Mechanics. 2008. Mine Closure and Post-mining Management International State-of-the-art. International Commission on Mine Closure and International Society for Rock Mechanics.Google Scholar
  11. Japan Times. 2001. Japan’s Last Coal Mine Tells Union of Closure Plan. Dated 8 December 2001 in the Japan Times website. Japan: Japan Times, Accessed 7 May 2012.
  12. Japan Times. Union Conditionally Accepts Mine’s Closure. Dated 30 October 2001 in The Japan Times website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  13. Joint UNDP/World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP). 2004. Toward a Sustainable Coal Sector in China (UN/World Bank).Google Scholar
  14. Kusuhara, Naoki. Some Problems of Unemployed Laborers in Coal Mining Industry. In the Tohoku University Library website, Accessed 9 May 2012., pp. 105–116.
  15. Martin, Benjamin. Japanese Mining Labor: The Miike Strike. Dated February 1961 in Far Eastern Survey. US: Far Eastern Survey, pp. 26–30Google Scholar
  16. Mitsui Matsushima. Presentation for Business Results of the Second Quarter Ended September 2008. In the Mitsui Matsushima website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  17. Miyazami, Motonobu, and Hiroshi Une. 2001. Risk of Lung Cancer Among Japanese Coal Miners on Hazard Risk and Interaction Between Smoking and Coal Mining. Dated 2001 in the Journal of Occupational Health, 43. Japan: Japan Society for Occupational Health, pp. 225–230.Google Scholar
  18. New York Times/Reuters. 2012. Fading Japanese City Gambles on Young Outsider. Dated 27 April 2012 in the New York Times. NY: New York Times with Reuters, pp. 1 and 15.Google Scholar
  19. Onishi, Norimitsu. Tokyo Cuts Aid, and Hinterland Withers in Japan. Dated 27 January 2007 in the New York Times website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  20. SGI. SGI President Ikeda’s Essay on the Student Division Shining Stars of Hope for the Future. Dated 3 August 2007 in World Tribune SGI President’s Essays hosted by the SGI website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  21. Shimazaki, Naoko. Why Coal Mines, Now?—From Discharged Workers Survey to “Warship Island Sightseeing”. In the Yomiuri Opinion Government and Economy section. Accessed 8 May 2012.
  22. The Yomiuri Shimbun. New Buyer Found for Yubari Melon Castle. Dated 2 May 2012 in the Yomiuri Shimbun cited by the Japan Property Central website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  23. Tsujimura, Koichi. 2001. Nagasaki Island Coal Mine’s Closure Set to Leave Employees High and Dry. Dated 20 October 2001. Japan: Japan Times, Accessed
  24. Tsutsumi, Kenji. Panopticonization Towards Space and Society in Modern Japan: A Case of a Coal-Mining Region. In the Graduate School of Literature and Human Sciences Osaka City University website, Accessed 9 May 2012., pp. 135–142.
  25. Wada, Masatake. Japanese Regional Development System—the Case of Hokkaido. In the Teikyo University website, Accessed 9 May 2012.
  26. World Bank and International Finance Corporation. 2002. Global Mining It’s Not Over When It’s Over: Mine Closure Around the World. World Bank and International Finance Corporation.Google Scholar
  27. Yanagida, Ryozo. Yubari: Revitalization of Coal Mining City. In the Meiji Gakuin website, Accessed 8 May 2012., unpaginated
  28. Yoshimura, Yoshito. Closure of Japan’s Last Large-Scale Coal Mine. Dated 15 March 2002 in the Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST) website, Accessed 8 May 2012.
  29. Yoshizumi, Takuji. Annual Yubari Film Festival Will Promote Tohoku. Dated 8 February 2012 in Asahi Shimbun website, Accessed 9 May 2012.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UniSimSingapurSingapore

Personalised recommendations