Natural capital for nature’s contributions to people: the case of Japan

Junya Kumagai, Mihoko Wakamatsu, Shizuka Hashimoto, Osamu Saito, Takehito Yoshida, Takehisa Yamakita, Keiko Hori, Takanori Matsui, Michio Oguro, Masahiro Aiba, Rei Shibata, Tohru Nakashizuka, Shunsuke Managi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, natural capital has gained the attention of researchers and policymakers to promote sustainability. Previous studies have investigated the value of ecosystem services with respect to specific areas or species. Other studies have investigated the value of various types of ecosystem services and natural capital by integrating a number of findings using meta-analyses at the global level. Although these studies have provided information on either the global value of natural capital or the local value of specific subjects, there is little evidence on the country-specific values of natural capital in Japan, which will provide useful information for national environmental policies. We investigated the perceived values of terrestrial and marine natural capital in Japan using internet surveys and payment card methods. Data on various natural forms of capital were collected in a unified format and comparable manner. We found that some explanatory variables, such as perceived importance and visit frequency, as well as sociodemographic characteristics, are significant drivers of the willingness to pay (WTP), which maintains each aspect of natural capital. In addition, we conducted future predictions of terrestrial and marine natural capital using a scenario developed in a previous study. Our results indicate that Japan should follow a population-dispersed scenario for the sustainable management of natural capital up to 2050.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-954
Number of pages36
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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