Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Japan

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN JAPAN

Click here to go to these sections:

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is responsible for decision making on international cooperation and assistance for sustainable development in coordination with other relevant ministries and agencies.  In formulating the ODA policy of the Government, MOFA consults closely with the ministries /agencies concerned, for example by holding coordination meetings with the relevant ministries and agencies to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the ODA in accordance with such policy.

Public authorities and local governments may engage in international cooperation by themselves independently from national government. In some cases, however, local governments may be supported or involved in national level cooperation.

Moreover, the Japanese Government has been making efforts to decentralize its authority by utilizing its diplomatic missions and local offices of ODA implementing agencies in such activities as drafting Japan's country assistance programs for respective countries. This measure is based on the fact that these local offices are in the best position to grasp the situations and needs of developing countries.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The principal law and policy documents are:

1)  ODA Charter, adopted in 1992;

2)  National Action Plan for Agenda 21, adopted in 1993;

3)  Basic Environment Law, established in 1993;

4)  Basic Environment Plan, established in 1994 and currently being revised;

5)  Initiative for Sustainable Development toward 21st century, adopted in 1997 in the occasion of UNGASS (see Annex I); and

6) Medium-term Policy on ODA, adopted in 1999.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Japan's environmental cooperation is based on the Initiative for Sustainable Development toward 21st Century (ISD), which was announced in 1997 with   the following principles:

(1) Human security: Environmental degradation threatens the human existence, and constitutes security issues in a broad sense;

(2) Ownership: Developing countries assume the primary responsibility and roles to address environmental issues. Donor countries assist such self-help efforts; and

(3) Sustainable Development: The objective of environmental cooperation should be to realize sustainable development, paying attention to the different economic and social situation of each country (for ISD please see Annex I.).

Japan announced the Medium-Term Policy on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in August 1999. It shows Japan's basic approach with regard to ODA, and identifies the issues, sectors, and regions having overall priority.

The Environment Agency of Japan has convened Environment Congress for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA) yearly since 1991. The objectives are: providing a forum for free and open exchange of views among environmental ministers in Asia and the Pacific region; and promoting environmental cooperation and achieving sustainable development in the region. The last session of the Congress, ECO ASIA 2000, was taken place in Kitakyushu City in Japan on 3 September 2000, on back to back basis with   the 4th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development convened by ESCAP, with the attendance of 40 countries including 23 environment ministers. The Congress discussed climate change issues and regional cooperation for sustainable development.

As the host country of the 4th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development convened by ESCAP in Kitakyushu in 2000, Japan actively participated in the discussions in the Conference itself and preparation process and contributed to its success with the tangible outcomes of: Ministerial Declaration; Regional Message towards "Rio+10"; Regional Action Plan for 2001-2005; and Kitakyushu Initiative for Clean Environment.

Japan has identified priority issues in "Japan's Medium-Term Policy on ODA" adopted in 1999, as follows;

1)  Support for poverty alleviation programmes and social development;

2)  Support for economic and social infrastructure;

3)  Human resources development and intellectual support;

4)  Responding to global issues;

5)  Support for overcoming the Asian currency and economic crisis and promotion of economic structural reform;

6)  Conflict, disaster, and development; and

7) Responding to Issues of Debt Relief.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

"Japan's Medium Term Policy on ODA" underlines the importance of cooperation with and participation of the private sector, local governments, NGOs, labor and management organizations in ODA activities. Based on this, the Government has been exchanging views with NGOs and other entities through such dialogues as "NGO-Ministry of Foreign Affairs Regular Consultation Meeting" which covers various issues on development cooperation including country assistance programs.

Some local authorities have their own activities or programmes regarding international environmental cooperation, mostly with their sister cities. Representative example is the activities of environmental cooperation between Kitakyushu-City in Japan and Dalian-City in China.

Efforts are being made to fully utilize the knowledge and know-how of the Japanese private sector, including active use of private-sector consultants and strengthening of their skills. Due attention is also paid to the effective coordination among the ODA, OOF and private sector funds, taking into account the respective roles of these funds.

In the environmental cooperation, there are some NGOs which involves in such international cooperation activities as afforestation, dispatch of environmental experts, and nature conservation.

Japan attaches high importance to "good governance" through the improvement of policy management capacities of developing countries. In this connection, it is important for developing countries to introduce and enhance the "participatory process", enabling the variety of actors' such as NGOs participation in the formulation of development plans.   In those situation, capacity building of NGOs and private sector is a major challenge.

Programmes and Projects 

Japan has taken a range of ODA programmes and activities for sustainable development through, for example, grant aid, grant aid for debt relief, emergency relief, and concessional loan aid, in accordance with "Japan's Medium Term Policy on ODA" and the ISD (See Annex I.). These aids include a large number of programmes and projects as shown in Annex I.

Typical examples of technical assistance programmes are as follows:

"A seminar on economic development policies" is held, in which participants can learn economic development policies through lectures, field trips, etc. with a particular emphasis on empirical aspects drawn from Japan's experiences.

"Seminar on taxation": The purposes of this seminar are to contribute to the improvement of tax administration of developing countries through transferring technical knowledge and skills of the Japanese tax system and its tax administration; to offer the opportunity to share the knowledge on Japanese tax administration system to the participants; and to promote the mutual understanding about tax administration among participating countries.

"Project on strengthening Sulawesi rural community development to support poverty alleviation programmes": This project is being implemented in the developing region of Southern Sulawesi in Indonesia. Its objectives include building local residents' capacities to identify issues and needs of the region, establishing an administrative structure that enables development projects to address such issues and needs, and providing training to the Rural Community Development Office personnel.

Status 

All of the following finical resources are outflows:

image17.gif (10293 bytes)

 

image18.gif (6955 bytes)

Challenges

Major challenges in building partnership is overcoming the various kinds of gaps between developed and developing countries, including those of perception of environmental issues, financial basis, priority area, availability of resources, information technologies, etc.  In building partnerships, it is vital for all stakeholders in developing countries to have the sense of ownership in promoting sustainable development.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

"Training on enhancing women's economic participation through scaling-up of micro enterprises to small-scale enterprise": Japan provides a third-country training programme at University Putra Malaysia for those engaged in activities that support the economic activities of women in Asia and the Pacific region. Lectures are provided to enhance knowledge needed to business, financial management and gender issues. The skills acquired during the training course are expected to help women who live in villages establish their own business.

Japan also provides training courses on corporate management, offering the opportunity for managers from companies in developing countries to learn know-how on management of Japanese companies.

"Training on enhancing women's economic participation through scaling-up of micro enterprises to small-scale enterprise": Japan provides a third-country training programme at University Putra Malaysia for those engaged in activities that support the economic activities of women in Asia and the Pacific region. Lectures are provided to enhance knowledge needed to business, financial management and gender issues. The skills acquired during the training course are expected to help women who live in villages establish their own business.

Japan also provides training courses on corporate management, offering the opportunity for managers from companies in developing countries to learn know-how on management of Japanese companies.

"Project on strengthening Sulawesi rural community development to support poverty alleviation programmes": This project is being implemented in the developing region of Southern Sulawesi in Indonesia. Its objectives include building local residents' capacities to identify issues and needs of the region, establishing an administrative structure that enables development projects to address such issues and needs, and providing training to the Rural Community Development Office personnel.

Various measures, such as TV programs, official magazines, symposiums etc. have been taken to promote public awareness. Some recent activities are described as follows:

Japan introduced its ODA citizen-monitor programme in 1999 as one of the steps to promote public awareness and improve ODA transparency. This programme  provides the Japanese public with the chance to visit ODA operation sites. The MOFA web site also provides the useful ODA information (http://www.mofa.go.jp/).

JICA has training courses for prospective JICA experts, which provide necessary basic knowledge and various skills in the field of international cooperation. In addition, MOFA and JICA have an internship system for graduate students, intended to give young people the chance to come into contact with real aid activities.

FASID (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development) and GRIPS (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies) also have international development programmes focussing on practical education for both Japanese and foreign graduate students.

The National Environmental Training Institute of the Environment Agency has been providing training in introductory international cooperation, training of environment experts, etc.  intended to mostly to local government employees.  Alongside, training is also given to engineers in the private sector by the Institute.

Japan places particular importance on the support pertaining to the formulation of various types of systems and policies, including the development of legal framework, as is mentioned in its Medium-term Policy on ODA.

Information 

Information and data on ODA are available in the annual report as publication and also on Web Site (http://www.mofa.go.jp/).

Detailed information on ODA loan is also available by JBIC (Japan Bank of International Cooperation) annual report and on its website (http://www.jbic.go.jp)

In the field of the environmental cooperation, information and data can be obtained at the web site on international environmental cooperation. The URL is "http://www.eic.or.jp/eanet/coop/coop/e_index.html"http://www.eic.or.jp/eanet/coop/coop/e_index.html".  

ODA annual report is distributed to libraries, universities, embassies in Japan and others. As 6 October is designated as the "Day of International Cooperation", International cooperation festival and related events have been held every October,  in order to raise awareness and share and exchange views about international cooperation.

Besides, a brochure entitled “ International Environment Cooperation Toward Sustainable Development” is distributed by the Environment Agency. Also, the Agency is providing a training course of international environmental cooperation for local government officials and others.

Research and Technologies 

In order to promote the effective transfer of technology from donor countries to recipient country, Japan thinks  it is essential that recipient countries improve enabling environment and ensure proper environmental regulation and its implementation.

Green Aid Plan is a cooperative program aiming at transferring and spreading energy conservation and pollution prevention technology based on Japan's experiences, and thereby supporting self efforts made by developing countries to protect their environment.

The examples of joint research, professional networking and other activities are as follows:

1)  Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) (http://www.iges.or.jp/) was established in 1997 to realize global-scale sustainable development, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, through the development of environmental strategies and drafting of innovative policy recommendations; and

2) Japan has been encouraging joint research, professional networking, or other activities in various areas related to sustainable development. Japan supports the activities of Asian Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) ("http://www.apn.gr.jp")which is one of three inter-governmental networks for the promotion of global change researches, each covering the following areas: Europe and Africa; North and South America; and Asia and the Pacific.

Financing 

In 1999, the proportion of GNP spent on ODA was 0.35 %. Sectoral breakdown of bilateral ODA is shown in Annex II.

The provision of ODA must be based on the fair understanding and support of tax payers and the general public. For this purpose, Japan will actively endeavor to increase national involvement in and visibility of Japanese aid and to promote better awareness of Japan's assistance programs in recipient countries.

Cooperation

Japan has organized, among others, seminars on investment promotion to train government officials from developing countries, and dispatched experts of relevant legal systems to those countries as advisers.

Japan also actively participates in and promotes regional programmes and projects in areas such as global warming, biological diversity, acid deposition and the marine environment. Based on the resolution of the Governing Council of UNEP, the Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) was adopted at the first intergovernmental meeting. Japan has actively participated in this work and hosted the second inter-governmental meeting in Tokyo on 20-21 November 1996.

Japan has been donating to international financial institutions, such as Global Environment Facility (GEF), Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, UNEP, UNDP and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Japan has ratified most multilateral agreements related to sustainable development and exerted its utmost to encourage their effective implementation at the sub-regional, regional and global levels.

Japan has been supporting various projects that are conductive to promoting Agenda 21 at the sub-regional, regional and global levels though financial and technical cooperation.

The Environment Agency has hosted various regional coordination and cooperation meetings, such as ECO ASIA (Please see Q7). Here two projects under the umbrella of ECO ASIA forum are shown. One is the ECO ASIA Long-Term Perspective Project. This project has been implemented since 1994 to study the future prospects of the environment in Asia and the Pacific region and recommend possible policy options. Currently the project is concentrating on formulating an action plan for achieving sustainable development in longer term in the region, with a view to be adopted at ECO ASIA 2001 to provide an input to Rio+10 in 2002. The other is Environmental Information Network in Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA NET). It has been implemented since 1995 to establish an environmental information network in the Region. A pilot web-site ("http://www.ecoasia.net") is available.

 

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 5th, 8th and 9th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 2000.

Annex I

 

The outline of the Initiatives for Sustainable Development (ISD) toward the 21st Century

 

I. The Philosophy of ISD

ˇ Human Security

Address the environmental degradation that threatens human existence and that constitutes a security issue in a broad sense.

ˇ Ownership

Developing countries assume the primary responsibility for environmental issues, with supporting countries giving assistance to such efforts.

ˇ Sustainable Development

The objective of assistance should be to realize sustainable development, with particular attention paid to the differing economic and social situation of each developing country.

 

II. Program of Action (Key Points) and Examples of Activities in FY1998

1. Air Pollution (Acid Rain), Water Pollution, and Waste Disposal

  i) Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia

    ˇ Monitoring of acid rain and development of technology (training courses)

  ii) Cooperation through Environmental Centers

    ˇ Indonesia, Chile, Mexico and Egypt (P)

  iii) Financial and Technical Cooperation

    ˇ China: Liuzhou Environmental Improvement Project III (O)

    ˇ China: Benxi Environmental Improvement Project II (O)

    ˇ Philippines: Local Government Units Support Credit Program (Two-Step Loan) (O)

    ˇ Philippines: Metro Manila Air Quality Sector Development Project (O)

    ˇ Sri Lanka: Environmentally Friendly Solution Fund (Two-Step Loan) (O)

    ˇ Indonesia: Plan for Training in Industrial Pollution Prevention Technology (O)

    ˇ Thailand: Automotive Fuel Research Project For Environmental Improvement (P)

2. Global Warming (The Kyoto Initiative)

  i) Cooperation for Human Resources Development

    ˇ Course on Global Warming (training course)

    ˇ Professional Energy Conservation Centers (China, Turkey, Argentina and Bulgaria) (P)

  ii) Most Concessional ODA Loans

    ˇ Thailand: MRTA System Project (Blue Line) (O)

    ˇ Malaysia: Port Dickson (Tuanku Jaafar) Power Rehabilitation Project (O)

    ˇ Viet Nam: Da Nhim Hydroelectric Powerplant Construction Project (O)

  iii) Other Projects (countermeasures for rising sea levels)

    ˇ Maldives: Project for Seawall Construction on Male's Island III (G)

3. Nature Conservation

  i) Biodiversity Conservation

    ˇ Indonesia: Biodiversity Conservation Project (P)

    ˇ "Parks in Peril" Program (Grant aid for a grassroots project)

  ii) Coral Reef Conservation Network

    ˇ Project for the Establishment of the Palau Coral Reef Conservation Center (G)

  iii) Promotion of Sustainable Forest Management and Strengthening of Cooperation against Desertification

    ˇ Laos: Project for Construction of Afforestation Center (G)

    ˇ Indonesia: The Forest Fire Prevention Management Project in the Republic of Indonesia (P)

    ˇ Malaysia: The Effective Wood Utilization Research Project in Sarawak in Malaysia (P)

    ˇ Thailand: Reforestation and Extension Project (P)

    ˇ Kenya: The Social Forestry Extension Model Development Project for Semi-Arid Areas in Kenya (P)

4. "Water" Issues

  ˇ Cambodia: Project for Improvement of Water Supply Facilities in Phnom Penh II (G)

  ˇ Niger: Plan for Clean Water Supply for Eradication of Guinea Worm (G)

  ˇ Mauritius: Sewage Treatment Facility Improvement Project (O)

  ˇ China: Shandong Yantai Water Supply and Water-Induced Disaster Management Project (O)

  ˇ Thailand: Technical Training Center for Sewage Works Project (P)

  ˇ Egypt: The Water Supply Training Improvement Project (P)

5. Development of Public and Government Awareness

  ˇ Active implementation of dialogue on policies for environmental cooperation

  ˇ Support for local conservation activities through the provision of grassroots grant aid (G): Grant aid, (O): ODA loans, (P): Project-type technical cooperation

Annex II

Sectoral Distribution of Bilateral ODA (1998)
(including aid for Part II, on a commitment basis; $ million, %)

 

Breakdown of Bilateral ODA (1998)

 

For information on International Cooperation in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.
||To access the International Cooperation Agency, click here: || For information on Japan's support to the Sustainable Growth of the World's Economy, click here:

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

For more than forty years, the Government of Japan has been committed to maintaining and strengthening a free and non-discriminatory and multilateral trading system under the framework of GATT/WTO. It has also participated actively in the multilateral trade negotiations such as the Uruguay Round and it has benefited to a great extent from such trading system.

Japan intends to promote  sustainable development amid the tide of globalization  through comprehensive trade and investment liberalization toward global economic development, as well as promoting environmental and social development.   It is considered necessary to further integrate developing countries into the WTO system. It is also considered that the strengthening of rules and disciplines are essential. In this connection, work should be undertaken on the disciplines on anti-dumping rules, multilateral rules on investment, electric commerce etc. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

The intensification of globalization offers both benefits and challenges. We recognize that the process of globalization have engendered various concerns in such areas as  crime prevention, social equity, and development. In order to cope with those concerns and to share the benefits of globalization, we have proceeded policies including technical assistances for enhanced capacity building in the framework of the WTO.Japan attaches high importance to "good governance" through the improvement of policy management capacities of developing countries. In this connection, it is important for developing countries to introduce and enhance the "participatory process", enabling the variety of actors' such as NGOs participation in the formulation of development plans.

Japan has participated actively in the multilateral trade negotiations, including the Kennedy Round, the Tokyo Round, and the Uruguay Round under the framework of GATT/WTO. In these process, Japan have endeavored to eliminate trade barriers. Japan on its part has contributed to the sustained growth of the world economy through its progressive liberalization and elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Japan supports the principle that environment and trade policies should be mutually supportive, as agreed upon in Agenda 21. Japan has been actively participating in and contributing to multilateral discussions on international rules and guidelines in the OECD and the WTO. Japan notes with appreciation that the Report of the Chair of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development at its fourth session made valuable input to the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). It believes that the CSD could play an important role in building upon common ground worked by the CTE to promote a relationship between trade and environment policies which is mutually supportive. 

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Japan actively participates in almost all commodity agreements and study groups and has made positive contributions to the formation of agreements in the negotiations of such international commodity agreements as those for cocoa, coffee, sugar and tropical timber.

 

* * *

 

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.. Last update: December 2000..

For information on International Cooperation in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.
||To access the International Cooperation Agency, click here: || For information on Japan's support to the Sustainable Growth of the World's Economy, click here:

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The responsible Government bodies dealing with aspects of sustainable consumption and production patterns are the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

At the local level, it is the Division in charge of this issue in prefectural and municipal governments.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Law for the Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resource

  • Based on the Law for the Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resourceswhich came into effect in October 1991,
  • the recycling of renewable resources in the paper manufucturuing and auto industries, as outlined in the ordinance,
  • has been promoted.

The Law for the Promotion of Sorted Colletion and the Recycling of Containers and Packaging

  • Containers and packaging account for a large part of general waste, and it is technically possible to utilize them as recyclable
  • resources. In order to establish a system to promote the sorted collection of these items by municipal governments as well as their re-commercialization by industry, the Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection and the Recycling of Containers and Packaging was enacted in June 1995 and came into force in April 1997

. Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law

  • The Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law was enacted in 1970 for the purpose of preserving the living
  • environment and public health through reducing the waste generation, ensuring appropriate waste management (e.g., sorting, storage, collection, transport, recycling, disposal) and conservation of a clean living environment.

Specific Household Appliance Recycling Act The Specific Household Appliance Recycling Act was enacted in June 1998 for the purpose of ensuring appropriate waste management and efficient material usage through obliging the retailers to collect and transport the specific household appliance (e.g., TV sets, refrigerators, air conditioner, electric washers) and the manufactures (including importers) to recycling them. The Act will be enforced by June 2001. Law concerning Special Measure for Promotion of Utilization of New Energy

  • The Law concerning Special Measure for Promotion of Utilization of New Energy was enacted to accelerate the introduction
  • of new energy for achieving the FY 2010 targets and prescribes for the following: (1) Formulation and announcement of basic policies on new energy use, and (2) Financial support measurement for businesses which use new energy.

There are, in addition, standards and regulations that apply. These include:

Environmental Activities Evaluation Program. This is a program that the Environment Agency has been promoting since 1996 in an effort to help various businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, understand and implement environmental activities. Simple techniques for environmental activities, including self-check of the environmental impacts and preparation of action plans, are provided in this program. This is a voluntary program worked out by the Environment Agency.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Section of the Council for Industrial Structure established guidelines by item (23 items at present) and industry (11 industries at present) in 1990, and has stimulated the industry sector to voluntarily engage in waste management and resource recovery.

In order to cope with the industrial waste management issues which have become increasingly serious, the Council for Industrial Structure issued a report in January 1997 on the future role of industrial waste management and the recycling system. According to the report, the Council set goals for the reduction and recycling of industrial waste, conducted the survey on the state of the purchase of recycled products by businesses, and developed the guideline for industrial waste disposal in July 1998.

Eco-Mark Program: It is a program designed to enhance consumers to choose a product that poses less load on the environment through provision of product information on environmental aspect. A product allowed to bear the Eco-Mark shall satisfy the qualification that the load on environment pased through each stage of manufacturing, using and disposing of this particular product is less compared to the other similar products. Working groups composed of experts establish criteria for qualification.

Guidelines for "green purchasing":The guidelines for green purchasing developed by the Green Purchasing Network (GPN) are open to the public via the Internet or goods. The GPN is a loose network of Japanese companies, local governments and consumers established to promote the purchasing of environmentally friendly goods and services. The guidelines are developed by working groups organized by members and are used as a guide of purchasing products. From the stand point of consumer policy, response to environmental problems including environmental labelling and green purchasing was decided as one of the present priority policies on the 30th Consumer Protection Council, which is a ministerial council chaired by the Prime Minister.

To suppress the increase in wastes generation, charging system for waste emission has gradually spread among local governments. Some brewing industry have voluntarily introduced a deposit system for some kinds of bottles.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Basic Environment Plan developed under the provisions of the Basic Environment Law reads that "things removed from the Earth, such as raw materials and energy, must pass cleanly through our socioeconomic system at every stage. Plans to suppress the generation of waste and to properly dispose of it are essential. This plan aims to create such a system." The Plan stipulates reducing amount of wastes generated and promoting recycling. It also identifies the roles of producers, retailers, consumers, and national and local governments.

Specific issues related to the Plan include:

  • increasing energy and material efficiency in production processes;
  • reducing wastes from production and promoting recycling;
  • promoting use of new and renewable sources of energy
  • using environmentally sound technologies for sustainable production;
  • reducing wasteful consumption;
  • increasing awareness for sustainable consumption.

Reducing wastes in production and promoting recycling: The Basic Environment Plan identifies the following directions. First, generation of waste should be reduced. Second, reuse of used products should be promoted. Third, waste should be recycled into raw materials. Where such recycling is technologically difficult or economically unfeasible, heat recovered from incineration of waste should be used as energy source, taking necessary measures to prevent adverse environmental effects. Waste that was finally generated should be disposed of in an appropriate manner.

Primary Report of the Central Environment Council on Comprehensive System of Waste Management and Recycling: In September 1997, the Central Environment Council reported to the Director-General of the Environment Agency the necessity to establish a Comprehensive System for Sound Material Cycle. The deliberation of the Council, including public review process, is now in the second phase aiming at establishing a basic concept of the Comprehensive System of waste management and recycling.

To accelerate the introduction of new energies involving less environmental load, the Government is going to strengthen the measures for developing and extending clean energy vehicles and photovoltaic power generation. It is also going to promote efforts by stakeholders such as business and local government.

The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations was established in 1995 based on the Basic Environment Plan. According to the plan ministries, agencies and other institutions of the Government should procure environmentally friendly products as much as possible. To promote implementation of this plan, the recommended List of Specifications and Quality of Goods that have minimal environmental impact were prepared in 1998. The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations program highlights environmental aspects of sustainable consumption and production.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Issues relating to sustainable consumption and production patterns have been discussed by various councils of the Government and the local authorities. These councils consists of the representatives of various groups of the society such as the academy, industries, etc. so as to opinions of various groups of the society are reflected to the policies.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

For the Trend of Primary Energy Supply per GDP, see Appendix 1. For changes in Industrial Water Use, see Appendix 2.

Appendix 1.

FY

'73

'74

'75

'76

'77

'78

'79

'80

'81

'82

'83

'84

Index

100.0

100.3

91.8

93.6

89.5

84.7

85.7

80.7

75.8

70.1

72.0

72.7

'85

'86

'87

'88

'89

'90

'91

'92

'93

'94

'95

'96

70.2

67.5

67.7

67.4

66.9

66.7

65.4

66.5

67.0

70.1

69.5

68.3

Source: Comprehensive Energy Statistics

Appendix 2.

Notes:
1. Based on "Census of Manufacurers" by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry
2. The data are on establishemnts with 30 employees or more.
3. Water used by public utilities is not included.

The Basic Environment Plan decided in 1994 by the Cabinet stipulates that a target for waste management and recycling should be developed promptly. For this purpose, a study on this subject has been conducted. By the Law for Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resources, designated industries are required to recycle more wastes and by-products in the manufacturing processes. Targets set for recycle of waste paper and cullet are fifty-six percent by 2000 and sixty-five percent by 2001 respectively.

In some public works plans national targets are set for items related to improvement of quality of life and so on. For example, the targets of sewerage construction are the increases in the percent of population served with sewer system up to sixty-six percent and in the number of population served with advanced waste water treatment up to fifteen million by the end of FY2002.

A group of twenty-five business organizations developed voluntary action plans. Strict follow-up on these plans has been carried out specifically on the progress of energy conservation and CO2 emission reduction measures. As for individual companies, obtaining certification of the ISO 14000 series has spread gradually. Some companies form "zero-emission" industrial complexes. The concept of "zero- emission" is to aim at the establishment of a new industrialized society where resources are circulated, by utilizing all wastes from a industry as raw materials for the others. These operations are voluntary.

To promote the concept of "zero-emission", the Ecotown Pilot Project is supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Challenges

It is essential for the governmental institutions to fully implement the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations to encourage other sectors to follow them, and finally to change their consumption pattern.

Technology In most cases, the cost of environmentally sound technologies is higher than existing technologies. Financial measures including subsidy, remission of tax, or reduction of interest of the loan for plant investment, are very effective means of diffusing such technologies. Exhibitions of clean and environmentally sound technologies give good opportunities to spread such technologies.

The Government has been promoting research and development on life-cycle assessment to find method to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product throughout its whole life, i.e. extraction of raw materials, manufacture, consumption and disposal of it. Reduction of wastes generation and the promotion of recycling is the most prioritized area to exert efforts. Improvement of energy efficiency is also an important area.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The Government, recognizing that it is itself a big consumer, established the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations to achieve sustainable consumption and production patterns. Based on the Plan, ministries, agencies and other institutions of the Government should procure environmentally friendly products as much as possible. Many local governments also established their own action plans for greening government operation. To encourage the implementation of the operation, a Recommended List of Specifications and Quality of Goods has been prepared. The Eco-Mark Program is operated to inform consumers of environmently-friendly goods. The following are examples of measures taken by the overnment to encourage industries to adopt production patterns that affect the environment less:

  1. Environmental Activities Evaluation Program: The Program has been promoted since 1996 in an effort to help various businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, understand and implement environmental activities. Simple techniques for environmental activities, including self-check of the environmental impacts and preparation of action plans, are provided in the program.
  2. To disseminate the design and construction method on thermally insulated buildings, public service corporations give short courses for carpenters: The industries develop an action plan for themselves to achieve sustainable production patterns. In June 1998, Japan's Federation of Housing Organizations drew up voluntary environmental action plans which contain target values of CO2 emission reduction from the housing construction industry. As a follow-up action, the organization has been making efforts to help its members to follow the action plan and take environment awareness into consideration when they act.

The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations was adopted to achieve sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Government encourages consumers to implement sustainable consumption patterns by offering a "household eco-account book."

The Government designated the 5th of June as Environment Day and June as Environment Month. During this period, the Government holds various events in cooperation with local governments and other sectors to raise public awareness to disseminate for sustainable consumption.

To raise public awareness for the promotion of recycling, October has been designated as "Month for Recycling." Many activities, including the Recycling Promotion Conference, are held during this period. In addition, the Government has been undertaking an awareness-raising campaign to promote sustainable consumption, for example, through newspapers, magazines, TV programs, and other various media. In 1998, the Recommended List of Specifications and Quality of Goods was developed to encourage the implementation of the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations.

Information 

The Recommended List of Specifications and Quality of Goods could be used as a reference for decision makers and industry managers in procuring products. The Environment Agency has prepared a list of consumer goods which includes data on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted when they are in use.

A study of comprehensive environmental indicators, including ones related to consumption and production patterns is in progress.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing 

The FY 1998 budget for the introduction of New Energy is 74.8 billion yen; in FY1999, the approximately budget request will increase to 87.5 billion yen.Budget for Introduction of New Energy

Most of the subsidies are financed by the national budgets. Remitted taxation is also used as effective means to supply economical merits.

Cooperation

The Government and local authorities support developing countries by introducing less environment-affecting techniques in production. For example: Japan is promoting the "Japan-China Environment Cooperation for the 21st Century", which includes measures aiming at the building of circulatory industrial and social systems in China.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 5th, 6th and 7th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 1998.

For information on Consumption and Production Patterns in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Japan has the Basic Environmental Law in which the government (i.e. Japan) is required to make efforts to take necessary measures, e.g. providing information to corporations, so that corporations can properly consider their conduct in their business activities (Article 35.2).  

In fiscal 1998, the Government of Japan decided to establish and expand special tax measures relating to the automobile acquisition tax, with the creation of special taxation criteria for high fuel efficiency vehicles/low fuel consumption vehicles and special lower tax rates on low-emission vehicles.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Japan recognizes that actions of the private sector are important, including funding, the transfer of technology, and development of human resources. In these areas, private businesses and NGOs play a major role. For this purpose, the Japan Fund for Global Environment, based on contributions from the national government and the private sector, was established to provide assistance for the activities of NGOs for global environmental conservation.

In addition, at the Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation in June 1997, the government of Japan agreed to continue its efforts to encourage further environmental consideration in businesses expanding overseas, given increasing investment by the private sector in developing countries. Moreover, the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) formulated the Keidanren Charter on the Global Environment in April 1991. The Keidanren Charter is a voluntary statement related to environment considerations that member companies should implement when they expand their businesses overseas.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

In September 1997, the government of Japan applied reduced interest rates to ODA loans for certain environmental projects dealing with pollution and global environmental problems. The interest rate was down to the most concessional terms internationally (0.75%) and had a repayment period of 40 years (including a ten-year grace period). In addition, Japan announced the "Kyoto Initiative" at the 3rd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC held in Kyoto in December 1997, which expanded the areas of application of the most concessional terms.

The following fields are among the main target areas to which these loans are applicable:

(a) Energy saving technologies

(b) New and renewable energy sources

(c) Forest conservation and afforestation

(d) Measures against air pollution

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The government is planning to have environmental guidelines for official export credit operations.

As part of the measures concerning Japanese direct investment abroad, the Japanese government has laid down activities guidelines (10 guidelines in total), which the government expects Japanese firms abroad to observe. "Awareness and diligence in tackling environmental problems" is defined in these guidelines.

Information 

Reports which are currently provided to other intergovernmental bodies or Secretariats on issues related to Financing Sustainable Development include:

DAC/OECD
Data of Official Development

Many financial measures for sustainable development are provided by various entities. Those entities provide related information to potential users by various ways, including official gazette, the mass media, info-shop, printed materials, as well as the Internet. For example, information on the Japan Fund for Global Environment for supporting NGOs' sustainable development activities is available at the following URL: http://www.jec.or.jp/

Since 1996, the Environment Agency has carried out a survey on trends in environmental considerations related to overseas activities of Japanese private companies in Southeast Asia. The purpose of the survey is to provide information on which can encourage Japanese companies to undertake appropriate environmental measures. 

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Japan expanded its bilateral and multilateral environment-related ODA to reach somewhere between 900 billion and one trillion yen in total over the five-year period beginning FY1992. The total amount of environment-related ODA totaled about 1.44 trillion yen during the five-year period from 1992 to 1996, more than 40% above the target amount. In addition, the "Funds for Development" Initiative was established, providing untied official financial cooperation to developing countries to the amount of approximately US$120 billion over a five-year period. Japan contributed US$415 million to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in the four-year period from July 1994 to June 1998, which amounted to 20.5% of GEF capital. Japan has pledged to contribute 20.0% of total GEF capital over the four-year period from July 1998 to June 2002. Japan also contributed 2.6 billion SDR over a three-year period (1993-1996) to the International Development Association (IDA), which accounts for 20% of the total amount of the IDA's tenth replenishment. Japan highly values the roles played by UNEP, UNDP and UNU in particular, and provides financial support to these organizations.

Japan has been contributing to debt relief through various measures. For example, over the past 21 years, Japan has provided grant aid, totaling approximately 340 billion yen (US$3 billion), to 27 countries in order to reduce their bilateral ODA debts. Furthermore Japan intends to play a leading role in the international community's efforts to implement the Cologne Debt Initiative, which will provide "faster, broader, and deeper" debt relief as a substantial contribution to the solution of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries' (HIPCs') debt problems. Japan will appropriate resources to allow 100% reduction of its bilateral ODA credits to HIPCs and believes that this will promote the goals of poverty alleviation, sustainable development and good governance.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 5th, 6th and 8th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 10 November 1999.

For information on Financing in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.
For information on Economic Instruments in Japan, click here.
For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:
For information about issues and projects in Asia and and the Pacific from the World Bank, click here:

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

TECHNOLOGY

Environmentally Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The spread of environmentally sound technology is considered to be essential for achieving sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. In Japan, the Basic Environment Law indicate that state shall promote science and technology with regard to environmental conservation (Article 30). In accordance with the law, the Basic Environment Plan identifies concrete measures.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

In addition to accepting trainees in environmental fields from developing countries, as well as dispatching experts to these countries, Japan has been active in the enhancement of public awareness for the development of environment-related technology, and has improved systems for the development of environment-related technology. However, problems such as lack of information networks, innovative mechanisms to finance the transfer and application of environmentally sound technologies, experiences of innovative technology transfer mechanisms, technical expertise, as well as inadequate telecommunication infrastructure still exist.

Information 

Among the organs which assess available sources of information and support inventories of environmentally sound technologies are the UNEP International Environmental Technology Center, established in Japan in October 1992, the Global Environment Center Foundation, the International Lake Environment Committee Foundation and International Center for Environmental Transfer of Technology. Local governments also play an important role in technology transfer, particularly in the area of pollution control technologies. The establishment of KITA (Kitakyushu International Techno-Cooperative Association) Environmental Cooperation Center is a significant example of a local initiative.

Research and Technologies 

In the field of telecommunications, Japan has established co-operative research on remote sensing with KMITL (King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang), Thailand.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

With regard to international transfer of ESTs, Japan promotes international cooperation based on "Initatives for Sustainable Development toward the 21st Century (ISD)" as well as "Global Remedy for the Environment and Energy Use Initiatives (GREEN Initiatives)", which were presented to the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly held in June 1997. The ISD presents our basic philosophy on environmental cooperation, and GREEN Initiatives shows action program aiming to support countermeasures to climate change issue among developing countries.

With respect to bilateral or multilateral initiatives, Japan has been assisting environmental research and training centers in Thailand, China, Indonesia, Chile and Mexico to help decrease environmental pollution and strengthen the capacity of developing countries for pollution control. In addition, "Green Aid Plan" projects between Japan and developing countries such as Thailand, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and India have been jointly implemented in the area of human resource development, research cooperation, survey, and demonstration of technologies such as desulfurization technology.

The private sector including research institutes (e.g. International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer) collaborate with the government to promote transfer of technology, administrative policy and Japanese accumulated experience concerning the pollution control through measures such as dispatch of experts and acceptance of trainees.

The government of Japan established the JIS-Q Series (Japanese name for the ISO 14000) on October 20, 1996, and held briefing conferences for local industry for one year.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 5th & 6th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last update:2 March 1998.

For information on Technology in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Among the official Japanese bodies established to deal with legal and policy issues related to environmentally sound management of biotechnology are: the Life Science Division of the Science and Technology Agency (STA); the Environmental Research and Technology Division of the Environment Agency (EA); the Research and Development Division and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Division of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW); the Innovative Technology Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF); and the Biochemical-Industry Division of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Main institutions involved in biotechnology research and development include the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research; the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES); the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources (NIAR); the Society for Techno-Innovation of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (STAFF); the National Institute of Bioscience and Human-Technology; and the Public Works Research Institute. A strategy to promote appropriate bioremediation is under consideration by the Environment Agency.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A number of guidelines have been adopted for the safe handling of biotechnology. These include Guidelines for: (1) Recombinant DNA Experiments (STA, MOE); (2) Manufacturing Drugs by Application of Recombinant DNA Technology (MHW); (3) the Application of Recombinant DNA Organisms in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Food Industry and Other Related Industries (MAFF); and (4) Industrial Application of Recombinant DNA Technology (MITI).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Business and research sectors are the dominant actors in the biotechnology industry. In addition, institutes and industries hold public meetings and issue press releases to inform the public of field tests and general releases of cultivation.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

In order to increase the availability of food, feed and renewable raw material, Japan has been applying biotechnology in the following areas:

  • in the area of crops, Japan is working to increase productivity by developing varieties which are highly productive or resistant to disease and pest, as well as to develop crops that are resistant to salinity, cold and drought. The nutritional composition of crops is also being improved;
  • for livestock, Japan is working to improve quality through breed improvement and the practical application of breeding technology;
  • for forest products, it is trying to improve various kinds of resistance by applying breeding technology to trees and non-wood forest products such as mushrooms;
  • for aquatic products, Japan is working to enhance the productivity of superior seeds and seedlings by means of breeding technology; and
  • for microorganisms, it is promoting the production of vaccines for human beings and livestock and materials like enzymes which are useful for the production of food.

Biotechnology is also used as an effective means of developing medical products, involving the clarification of the mechanisms of diseases, research and mass production of physiological activating substances, and development of various biotechnology-derived pharmaceuticals.

Finally, in the field of the environment, biotechnology is used in technology to reduce environmental pollutants which come from various sources, technology for cleaning up and removal of pollutants in the environment (environmental purification technology), technology for measuring and assessing conditions of environmental pollution (environmental measurement technology), and technology for products and manufacturing which do not cause pollution or which impose less environmental load (environmentally sound technologies). Biotechnology is being widely used in such areas of wastewater treatment, and there are new wastewater treatment systems in operation which make use of bioreactors of enzymes and microorganisms. In addition, R&D is being conducted on the fixation of carbon dioxide and biodegradable plastic as applications of biotechnology. Continuing attention is being given, inter alia, to the development and use of treatment technology for persistent chemical substances, including microorganisms; the development and use of technology for sound disposal and recycling of waste; and the development and use of production processes and products which impose less environmental load. In addition, among the most significant programmes recently implemented in this area are the following: (1) integrated research program for the use of biotechnological procedures for plant breeding; (2) development of technologies for the prevention and control of viral diseases in cultured fish through vaccines; and (3) development of a MIIC-Pure Line in Mini-Pigs for elucidation of the physiological defense mechanisms of domestic animals.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

The following financial resources were allocated to universities, technical schools and local research institutions to enhance biotechnology research and development:

  • In national universities, in 1993, the Ministry of Education (MOE) spent 57 million dollars for research of biotechnology; and
  • In the agricultural field, in 1995, prefectural research institutes spent 5 billion yen for research and development of biotechnology in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and the food industry, and they employed some 800 researchers working on biotechnology.

Cooperation

Japan is actively taking part in the discussions on biotechnology in the OECD, FAO, UNEP and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Among its bilateral initiatives in this sector are the following programs: Conservation and Use of Animal Genetic Resources in Asia and the Pacific Region; international programs and conferences for plant genetic resources, and development assistance on genetic resources preservation in developing countries, which has been strengthened to the collaborative research project on genetic resources in developing countries.

 

* * *

 

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For information on Biotechnology in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in Japan.

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

With regard to a national policy or strategy for ecologically sustainable industrial development, the Basic Environment Plan, which was adopted by the Cabinet in December 1994, identifies outlines of the roles of each entity of the society including industry in order to realize sustainable development. It describes eco-business as an essential ingredient for reaching a state of sustainable development with little environmental burden. Based on this Plan, the Action Plan for Economic Structure Reform was adopted in May 1997 in the form of a Cabinet decision. This Plan outlines concrete measures and the schedule, for the promotion of environmental industries. The targets in the Plan are supposed to be met by around 2001.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

Air pollution: An environmental quality standard(EQS) for SO2 is satisfied in almost areas of Japan. However, compliance with EQS for NO2 and SPM(Suspended Particulate Matters) is very low in urban areas. In addition, it is imperative to take measures of hazardous air pollutants such as benzene and Dioxins. Water pollution: EQSs for surface water (23 substances) are satisfied in most areas. However, it is imperative to take measures of other hazardous water pollutants.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

    * * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 6th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1998. Last update: 2 March 1998.

For information provided by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, click here:
For information provided by the Japan Federation of Economic Organizationsclick here:

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Construction. (both to be reorganized as the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from 6 January 2001.)

During the formulation process of a new law prepared by the government to be submitted to the Diet, coordination is made among relevant ministries and agencies.

Local governments are responsible for ensuring the minimum transport services for the citizens, regional development and the regional transport network, while the central government is responsible for the provision of national framework of transportation.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A number of laws, regulations or directives are established regarding the transportation and traffic system including Law for Road Transportation, Law for Road Transportation Vehicles, Law for Preventing Collisions at Sea, Maritime Traffic Safety Law, Port Regulations Law, Law for Preventing Marine Pollution and Marine Distress, Law for Railway Business Enterprise, Track Law, Aviation Law, Law for Road Act, Law for Act concerning Special Measures for Improvement of Roads and Law for Act for Construction of Arterial Motorways for National Land Development.

As for environmental aspects, the following laws are notable ones:

1)  Air Pollution Control Law stipulates that Environment Agency establishe the permissible limits on the amounts of motor vehicle exhaust emissions and that local governments monitor air pollution in heavy traffic areas. The Law was partially amended in April 1995, to require that Environment Agency set automotive fuel quality standards to prevent air pollution caused by motor vehicles.

2) Law concerning Special Measures for Total Emission Nitrogen Oxides from Automobile in Specified Areas was established in June 1992, in order to take measures in major urban areas where air pollution caused by nitrogen oxides is significant.

3) In accordance with the Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy, amended in June 1998, an improvement in fuel efficiency of passenger cars and gasoline fueled trucks of 15 % to more than 20 % in comparison with FY 1995 is targeted by the year 2010. 

As for automobiles, Environment Agency (EA) has set and tightened automotive emission standards for passenger cars, trucks and buses. Ministry of Transport (MOT) provides technical regulations of automobiles to ensure the effectiveness of these emission standards. EA has started to regulate motorcycles and will start to regulate off-road diesel vehicles from 2003. EA has also set and tightened automotive fuel quality standards. Besides, the automobile acquisition taxes of low emission vehicles (methanol cars, hybrid cars, compressed natural gas (CNG) cars and electric cars) are reduced. And the automobile acquisition tax of a vehicle that already meets the 2010 fuel consumption standard is also reduced.

As for trains, tax benefits such as special depreciation or tax deduction are granted when high efficiency railway equipment is introduced.

As for aircraft, the governmental funds are loaned and tax benefits are granted when airline companies introduce new and efficient models.

The procurement cost of low emission automobiles (methanol cars, hybrid cars, CNG  cars and electric cars) are partly subsidized under certain conditions and taxes of the low emission automobiles and fuel supply facilities for these automobiles are reduced.

A number of measures have been implemented to promote the use of public transportation, including the extended operation of railway service to another connected railway, introducing common pre-paid card systems among transport companies, and constructing bus lanes.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In order to formulate a effective multi-modal transport system, a nationwide transport infrastructure system will be developed with a view to attaining the effective connection between highways/roads network and other mode of transport such as aircraft, ships and railways.

The Comprehensive Program of Logistics Policies was established in 1998, which aims at addressing issues regarding logistics including energy issues and environmental issues and strengthening the comprehensive policies on logistics in close cooperation of ministries concerned.

The New 5­year Road Improvement and Management Program was established in 1998.Under this program, road improvement and management activities will be conducted with the goal of supporting economic structural reform, developing vibrant regional and urban communities, securing a better living environment, and enhancing the security and safety of society throughout Japan.

Long term goals:

  • Reducing the total land transport distance of container freight by 50 % from that in 1995  by developing container terminals in major ports,
  • Connecting five large cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka) with major local cities in about three hours by rail.
  • Connecting about 90 % of airports/ports with the nearest highway within ten minutes. Improving fuel efficiency of new gasoline cars by 21.4%, and diesel cars by 13.1% in accordance with The Law concerning the Rational Use of Energy.
  • Increasing the domestic freight transport by rail and ship up to 50 % of long distance general merchandise transport from 40 % at present.
  • Targets of investment according to the type of road based on "The New 5­year Road Improvement and Management Program", which is a cabinet decision, are as follows:

1)Arterial High­Standard Highways:1,360kilometers(newly extended.);

2) General Roads:13,800kilometers (newly constructed and rehabilitated); and

3) Toll Roads (excluding Arterial High­Standard Highways): 6,140 billion yen (total investment in 5­year).

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Representatives from various stakeholders including business groups, academic communities and consumer groups have participated in the councils that recommend required policies to the Ministry of Transport. When the Ministry formulates or amends legislation, it invites comments to the draft  from the general public by mail, fax or on the internet.

Programmes and Projects 

Major programmes have been undertaken with regards to the following:

-      Better meeting the commercial, private, and public needs for mobility in both urban and rural areas:

Improving the convenience of the public transport through barrier-free and seamless measures, as recommended in the report Basic transport policies in the early twenty-first century, by the Transport Policy Council. In the same time the report also recommends that private cars should play the major role of the rural transportation system, while the public transportation services should be maintained.

-            Promoting traffic efficiency, such as reduction of heavy traffic hours, provision of mass transport modes, etc.:

 Centralization of urban functions in and around terminals; formulating a transport axis along the central city route with bus lanes and other public transportation, as recommended in the report Basic transport policies in the early twenty-first century, by the Transport Policy Council. 

-            Improving efficiency in fuel consumption:

 The Law concerning the Rational Use of Energy and its amendments provide that the fuel efficiency of the average gasoline car should be improved by 21.4% by FY2010 and the average fuel efficiency of diesel cars should be improved by 13.1% by FY 2005, in comparison to FY1995. Business groups concerned have already set up voluntary plans to mitigate global warming, and their achievements are regularly reviewed.

            -             Reducing emissions from transportation, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds;

 The Basic Environment Plan, established by the Cabinet decision in 1994, proposes that the transportation industries and cargo owners should make efforts to introduce low emission vehicles and improve transportation efficiency.

The Basic Policy for NOx Reduction, in accordance with the provision of Law concerning Special Measures for Total Emission Nitrogen Oxides from Automobile in Specified Areas, incorporates various measures for reduction of NOx emitted from motor vehicles in major urban areas in Japan. In addition, long-term and short-term standards of automobile emissions have been established in accordance with the recommendation of the Central Environment Council.  

And in accordance with standards provided in ICAO Annex 16, the operation of an aircraft is banned in the case that emissions of CO, NOx, hydro-carbon or smoke from its turbo-jet or turbo-fan engine exceed a certain criteria.

            -                 Promoting non-motorized modes of transport, such as cycleways, footways, etc.

 The Basic Environment Plan, established by the Cabinet decision in 1994, proposes that consumers select environmentally friendly transportation mode such as walking, riding a bicycle or utilize public transportation.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

The Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is being developed. ITS premises the introduction of intelligent automobiles that analyses information collected from the road and provides a driver with various type of information including warning messages and the optimal routing. ITS is expected to reduce traffic accidents or excess emissions caused by congestion, and hence shorten the travel hour. Similar systems are being developed for railway, sea transport and aviation systems; and

Low-emission and high-efficiency gas turbine cargo ships are being developed that will improve the energy efficiency by more than 10% and reduce NOx emission by 1/10 in comparison with the present ships.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 2001. Last update: December 2000.

| Japan | All Countries | Home |

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

At the national level, the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Construction are responsible for sustainable tourism. At the local level, it is the Division in charge of nature conservation in prefectural government and the Division in charge of tourism in prefectural and municipal government which have responsibility.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Strategies and plans of relevance to sustainable tourism include the following:

  • The Basic Environment Plan, which describes the roles of developers/tourism industries, tourists, and central and local governments
  • in promoting eco-tourism;
  • The National Strategy on Biological Diversity, which identifies issues to be addressed in order to promote eco-tourism;
  • The Basic Plan on Forest Resources, which defines multiple-use of forests including the use for forest-based tourism as one of the most basic policy directions to be sought; and
  • The Seven-year Program for Coastal Protection and Management, which includes conservation of natural beauty and eco-system at seacoasts and promotion of recreation.

    The following organizations have been established to promote eco-tourism and nature-based tourism at national or local levels:

    • Japan Eco-tourism Society (national)
    • Iriomote Eco-tourism Association (local)
    • Whale Watching Association (local, in Ogasawara Islands and Kerama Islands)

Printed materials aimed at raising awareness on eco-tourism and nature-based tourism are produced and disseminated. These include an Eco-tourism Guidebook (in Iriomotejima Island, Yakushima Island, and "Hida Eco-passport", a guidebook to Hida region in Gifu Prefecture.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

There is a Natural Parks Law which seeks to sets aside specific areas or preserves for eco-tourism and nature-based tourism.

There are no governmental guidelines, but there are several guidelines developed by the private sector, such as the guidelines for whale-watching in Ogasawara Islands and Kerama Islands. They are voluntary.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Councils concerned with eco-tourism deliberate and give advice to the concerned Ministers in the making or revising of the Basic Plans, mentioned above. The Councils consist of representatives from NGOs, Local Authorities, Workers and Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Community and Farmers including women.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

The survey by the Ministry of Transport in 1994 shows the extended income effect of tourism as 24.5 trillion yen (GDP by tourism industry) and the extended employment effect, at 4.1 million persons.

On a more negative side, tourism also causes littering, and increase in environmental pollution load around tourists' spots caused by effluent and garbage discharged from facilities including tourist establishment located in tourism areas; traffic congestion, and nuisance to local communities in tourism areas.

The term "eco-tourism" covers sustainable tourism, eco-tourism and nature-based tourism. Since there is no clear distinction among those three terms in Japan, it is difficult to identify activities according to those three categories. The followings are some examples of activities conducted as eco-tourism:

  • Observation of mangrove forests in Iriomotejima Island
  • Whale watching in Ogasawara Islands and Kerama Islands
  • Benefits from the sale of "Hida Eco-passport", a guidebook to Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, is used to conserve nature and cultural resource conservation of the region.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

An Eco-tourism Guidebook has been prepared in Iriomotejima Island, Yakushima Island and Teurito Island.

Some travel agencies provide travel products related to eco-tourism. Probably, travel products like those tend to increase reflecting the change of tourists' consciousness and interests.

Information 

In Iriomotejima Island a map of natural and cultural resources was produced for guiding the eco-tourism activities.

The Environment Agency provides information on facilities and activities for nature interpretation provided by the national and local governments via the Internet. Its Web address is http://www.nats.jeef.or.jp/NATS. The Ministry of Transport is considering to build a database on tourism. And the Japan Eco-tourism Society provides information via the Internet at http://www.tabicom.com/eco.

Development of indicators related to sustainable tourism, eco-tourism and nature-based tourism is under consideration.

Research and Technologies 

Technology-related issues that need to be or are being addressed include (1) replacement of conventional vehicles in the traffic control areas in national parks with low-emission vehicles and (2) supply of electricity generated by the solar system.

Solar power generation is currently applied in hotels and other tourist establishments.

Financing 

Financing is provided as follows:

National Budget

  • Survey on Development of Infrastructure for Eco-tourism (ODA)
  • 5 million yen
  • Nature Conservation Bureau, Environment Agency

Total budget of the Tourism Department, Transport Policy Bureau, Ministry of Transport for FY1998

  • 3 trillion yen

Cooperation

A Model sustainable tourism destination at home is Iriomotejima Island. Many surveys on tourism resources in the island have been carried out. An economical benefit to the local community from the eco-tourism can be expected.

Abroad, Fiji is a model sustainable tourism destination. Assessment and management of tourism resources are easy. There is an economical benefit to the local community from the eco-tourism. And there exists development pressure on the natural environment. Consequently, preparation of conservation measures is urgently needed.

Local authorities develop a system to promote eco-tourism by conducting surveys of tourism resources, providing information to the public and preparing lectures as a style of study meeting. The private sector conducts eco-tours.

 

 

* * *

This information is based on Japan's submission to the 7th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 1998.

For information on Biotechnology in Japan's Agenda 21, click here.


| Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

| Japan | All Countries | Home |