The purpose of this research is to indicate what is needed to make corporate environmental disclosure more meaningful by revealing the reality of ER published in Japan. We believe that our research has a unique meaning in the following points: It carefully examines the relevance of information disclosed in Japanese ER with the MOE Environmental Reporting Guidelines (2000), collect ER in a more comprehensive manner, investigates year-to-year changes and introduces new parameters such as the degree of reporting experience.
This paper is composed as follows: This chapter of introduction is followed by "2. Review of Prior Researches," a chapter which summarizes the researches which have been made by other researchers after Kokubu et al (2001). In Chapter 3 "Objects and Methodology of Analysis," we will explain the framework for analysis which has been used to create a database of information disclosed in each ER. Chapter 4 "Current Situation of Environmental Disclosure" will include: how many companies have published ER; what kinds of characteristics there are for each industrial sector or analysis topic; whether or not there are significant differences depending on company size; and what is different in disclosing content between companies with experience in publishing ER and first-time companies. In Chapter 5 "Analysis of the Influence of the MoE Environmental Reporting Guidelines (2000)," the guidelines' influence will be estimated by showing the difference between the ER published before and after the publication of the guidelines. In Chapter 6 "Conclusion," what points we have clarified and what issues remain to be tackled will be indicated.