About us


Message from the Director

Director, Social Systems Division

Welcome to Social Systems Division!

Environmental research is aimed at solving environmental problems. Although conducting environmental research requires investigating the dynamics of natural systems, it also requires studying societies and human behavior, because human activities cause most environmental problems, and at the same time, humans suffer the consequences of the resultant damage.

The Social Systems Division focuses on the relationship between the environment and society/human behavior, and it explores ways to build a sustainable society that attains a healthy environment and the well-being of people. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which have been widely acknowledged around the world, as well as the basic concept of sustainability, consist of three pillars: environmental conservation, economic development, and social stability. This vision is consistent with our standing position: we aim for a condition in which these three goals are met simultaneously. Our research themes include finding answers to the following questions: How can economic development continue while greenhouse gas emissions are reduced sufficiently to curb climate change? How can we evaluate technologies that connect energy, resources, waste treatment, and industry at a local level? What policy portfolio will allow environmental, economic, and societal goals to be achieved?

It is important also to consider the timeframe when answering these questions. Many environmental issues require a long-term perspective. As a result, a policy that could be expected to lead to the best solution as a whole in the long run might be perceived as economically burdensome in the short run. What manner of resource exploitation is consistent with the goal of intergenerational equity? We are open to discuss these questions raised above with all of you, for you are all members of a global society.

Toshihiko Masui
Director, Social Systems Division

NIES Social Systems Division Pamphlet

NIES Social Systems Division Logo Mark

In this logo mark, the “S” road, which stands for Society and Sustainability, is drawn across the earth extending toward the “house” that represents human society and the “trees” that represent the environment. The logo mark expresses how we are heading toward a bright future in which human activities and the environment are in harmony.