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– HSM  is a sustainable welfare indicator adopting the Triple Bottom Line  (Society, Environment and Economy)

–  Social indicators from the perspective of sustainability

– As one of the early steps of developing HSM, weighting coefficients of the six categories were calculated using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method.

–  HSM Ver. 6 (including “democracy” as the No. 5 indicator)

– HSM of BRICS countries, BASIC countries, and Scandinavian countries

–  The reason why the Japanese HSM value is the lowest

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– Conclusion:

for the sustainability of future generations

None of all the current happiness indicators are yet considering the sustainability of future generations

Examples of indicators that express the sustainability of future generations:

– Children’s poverty index (under 18 years old)

– Unemployment rate of 15-24 years old, etc.

– The Japanese environment value is the lowest, with the largest overshoot among the 18 countries

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 10th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Dr. Terue Ohashi, Visiting Professor, Graduate Course in Strategic Environmental Science, Tohoku University, Japan.

Governance and Political Participation.

A Happy Society Includes Caring About Future Generations: That is Sustainable Governance.

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Key Contents of the Presentation:

–  Government, both central and local, has responsibility for the happiness of the people. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

– The happiness of future generations is of the same importance as the happiness of the present generation. That is sustainability or sustainable development.

–  Democracy is the indicator of sustainability:

– Comparison of Japanese and Swedish democracy.

– Many Sustainable Happiness Indicators are now in progress:

OECD well-being indicators, ESRI well-being indicators, GNH (Bhutan), ISEW/GPI, HSM (Human Satisfaction Measure), etc. The indicator of happiness should include the sustainability of future generations.

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as per – www.measuring-well-being.asia/pdf/terueohashi.pdf

some of the items listed in the Power Poins are:


–  Government, both central and local, has responsibility for the happiness of the people.

–  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) who suggested “The greatest happiness of the greatest number” wrote that government should owe responsibility for people’s happiness and parliamentary democracy can achieve it. (1822)

–  Many organizations try to develop Happiness Indicator and conduct research:

OECD (2011): OECD Well-Being Indicator

ESRI (2011): Well-Being Indicator

Deutsche Post (2011): The German Happiness Atlas

GNH (Gross National Happiness):

Bhutan attempted the 3rd GNH feasibility research in 2010

GAH (Gross Arakawa Happiness):

Arakawa Ward, Tokyo is trying to develop GAH

Nikkei developed the 3rd sustainable city research in 2011


–  The happiness of future generations is of the same importance as the happiness of the present generation.
That is sustainability or sustainable development.


–  Sustainable development is the key for governance: – The definition of sustainable development?

“There are hundreds of definitions about sustainable development.” (UNESCO)

The most recent definition of sustainable development:

Sustainability is not exclusively an environmental issue. It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the 7 billion of us here today, as well as for the billions more who will follow, for centuries to come. Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP (2011) (HDR 2011, Sustainability and Equity)


–  Sustainability should be measured using backcasting:  from Future generation -to – Present generation.

so the question is –  For the future generation, what shall we do now?

–  Forecasting is from Past to  Present  and is the  Usual thinking

–  Compared to the past, we think we are happier now than in the past

We need now a way of SUSTAINABLE THINKING.


–  Different definitions: How are future generation’s environmental rights guaranteed and assured in some countries?


–  Germany: The state is responsible for the environmental rights of future generations. (Chapter 20a of the      constitution, 1994)

– Sweden:   (a) Public institutions shall promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations. (The Instrument of Government Ch. 1)  ….   (b) Present and future generations are ensured to live a healthy life in a comfortable environment. (The Swedish Environmental Code Ch. 1, 1999)

–  Bhutan: Every Bhutanese is a trustee of the Kingdom’s natural resources and environment for the benefit of the present and future generations. (The Constitution of The Kingdom of Bhutan. Article 5, 1, 2005 version)

– Japan: Present and future generations must be able to enjoy the benefits from a healthy and rich environment. (Fundamental Law of Environment Ch. 3, 1993)

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–  Other important definitions of Sustainable Development:

The Triple Bottom Line (Society, Environment and Economy) should be audited.


–  Democracy is the indicator of sustainability.

–  “Democracy” is an important indicator for sustainability.

Acting as an axle, democracy is at the core of a happy and sustainable society. Consequently, I suggest democracy as another indicator for people’s happiness, and sustainability.


–  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), who suggested “The greatest happiness of the greatest number” said that parliamentary democracy can achieve it. (1822)

–  Amartya Sen – In a democratic country, big hunger will never occur. (1999)

– Frey & Stutzer – A democratic government can make people happier. (2002)

–  Comparison of democracy between Japan and Sweden

– Differences between Japan and Sweden in the response to the open-ended question in the “Ideal Society Part?” study. (Japan 2007, Sweden 2008)

Q: What type of society do you consider to be an ideal society with a high level of happiness and satisfaction?

Sweden: Democracy, equality and education

Japan: Society has no gap –  About the training to debate, 83.1% of Japanese respondents have not received any, while 68.0?% of
Swedish people have received the training to debate.

– Democracy is to debate, after getting correct, transparent and high quality information (OECD rule). In terms of the percentage of always, usually and often getting such information, Sweden scores higher than Japan.

– Japanese respondents are more likely than Swedish to think that the parliament does not represent their opinions and ideas.

– Sweden is an advanced country as a democratic society.

– Since the 1500s, the Swedish parliament has existed consisting of 4 social groups (aristocrats, priests, common people and farmers) and the 4 classes were equal.

(In the 1400s-1500s, Japan was in the Muromachi period (1392-1573). Feudal lords conquered each other, and there was no room for democratic debate as in the case of Sweden)

– In the 1800s, Sweden democracy was established.

– In 1809, The Instrument of Government that was oldest constitution in Europe was enacted.

– Political parties came into existence from 1866.

– In 1889 the Social Democratic Party was established.

– In 1928, the leader of the Social Democratic party P. A. Hansson became the prime minister, and described the future image of the country as “The people’s home” (folkhemmet).

– This ideology is the foundation for the building of the Swedish welfare state based on fairness, justice and the equality of democracy.

– In Japan, real democracy was introduced in 1945 after World War?by GHQ.

Small democratic movements also occurred:

– Jiyu Minken Undo (1874-1883)

– Taisho Democracy (1905-1925)

– Shyo Nippon Shugi by Tanzan Ishibashi (1910-1920)

– The Voting rate of Japan, Sweden and Bhutan Japan gives us reliance on the voting booth.


– Many Sustainable Happiness Indicators are now in progress. One of them is HSM (Human Satisfaction Measure)