Primatology, Green Criminology, and the Impacts of Science on the Non-Human World: A Debate from Japan


Primatology was initiated in Japan in 1948 by Kinji Imanishi and his colleagues. A distinctive feature of Japanese primatology is adopting the technique of ‘anthropomorphising’ non-human primates and establishing friendly relationships with them through feeding and other means. Following the anthropomorphic stance of primatology in Japan, yielding many scientific findings, succeeding generations turned to ‘biocentrism’, which holds that all life, including humans, has equal value. While biocentric values emerged, researchers were also faced with the conflict of having to euthanise wild hybrids per legal mandates to maintain the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) ecosystem. This article analyses the ethical conflicts in Japanese primatology throughout history.

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Published: 2022-03-01
Pages:44 to 57
Section:Special Issue: Green Criminological Dialogues
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How to Cite
Hirose, K. . (2022) “Primatology, Green Criminology, and the Impacts of Science on the Non-Human World: A Debate from Japan”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(1), pp. 44-57. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2016.

Author Biography


Kazutaka Hirose is a reporter at the Kyoto Shimbun newspaper. He is a licensed medical doctor and specializes in science and medicine as a reporter. He is the author of the book “Kyoto University and the Nobel Prize” (Kyotodai to noberusho, Kawadeshobosinsha, 2019). Additionally, he is also studying bioethics in the doctoral program of the Department of Medical Bioethics at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine.