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National Implementation of Agenda 21



Information Provided by the Government of Japan to the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
Fifth Session
7-25 April 1997
New York

United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development

Division for Sustainable Development

The Information contained in this Country Profile is also available on the World Wide Web, as follows:


This country profile has been provided by:

Name of Ministry/Office: Ministries and agencies concerned with the implementation of Agenda 21


Submitted by:

Mailing address:




Note from the Secretariat: An effort has been made to present all country profiles within a common format, with an equal number of pages. However, where Governments have not provided information for the tables appended to Chapters 4 and 17, those tables have been omitted entirely in order to reduce the overall length of the profile and save paper. Consequently, there may be some minor inconsistencies among the formats of the different country profiles.

All statistics are rendered as provided by the respective Governments.


2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
23-32. Major groups
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms
40. Information for decision-making


APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level
CFC chlorofluorocarbon
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CILSS Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ECA Economic Commission for Africa
ECE Economic Commission for Europe
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
ELCI Environmental Liaison Centre International
EMINWA environmentally sound management of inland water
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEMS Global Environmental Monitoring System (UNEP)
GEMS/WATER Global Water Quality Monitoring Programme
GESAMP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIPME Global Investigation of Pollution in Marine Environment (UNESCO)
GIS Geographical Information System
GLOBE Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment
GOS Global Observing System (WMO/WWW)
GRID Global Resource Information Database
GSP generalized system of preferences
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBSRAM International Board of Soil Resources and Management
ICCA International Council of Chemical Associations
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPIC International Cleaner Production Information Clearing House
ICSC International Civil Service Commission
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IEEA Integrated environmental and economic accounting
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IGADD Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (ICSU)
IGBP/START International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IMO International Maritime Organization
INFOTERRA International Environment Information system (UNEP)
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety
IPM integrated pest management
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
ITC International Tin Council
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PGRFA plant genetic resources for agriculture
PIC prior informed consent procedure
SADCC South African Development Co-ordination Conference
SARD sustainable agriculture and rural development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDRO Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNU United Nations University
WCP World Climate Programme (WMO/UNEP/ICSU/UNESCO)
WFC World Food Council
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (also called World Wildlife Fund)
WWW World Weather Watch (WMO)
National Acronyms used in this Country Profile
FY Fiscal Year


1. Introduction

Japan's efforts for the implementation of Agenda 21, as outlined below, are principally based on two action plans, namely, the National Agenda 21 Action Plan and the Basic Environment Plan, which were formulated in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Japan has been promoting and will further develop various measures in accordance with the provisions of these plans.

2. Progress in the Implementation of Agenda 21

2.1 Institutional and legal framework

In the areas of institutional and legal framework, in November 1993 Japan enacted the Basic Environment Law, which serves as a basis for Japan's environmental policy. The Law articulates basic principles of environmental policies, which are (1) enjoyment and succession of environmental blessings; (2) creating a sustainable society which imposes less burdens on the environment; and (3) international cooperation for the conservation of the global environment.

The Law also provides for the roles of the national and local governments, and those of the private sector and citizens.

In June 1996, the Japan Council for Sustainable Development was established. The Council, consisting of representatives from the government, industry and NGOs, aims at facilitating dialogues among the members concerning the issues of sustainable development.

2.2 National Policies and Strategies

Following-up on the steady implementation of Agenda 21, the National Agenda 21 Action Plan was complied in December 1993. The Plan lists various policy measures which need to be taken, consistent with the programme areas as provided in Agenda 21.

In accordance with the provisions of the Basic Environment Law, the Basic Environment Plan was formulated and adopted by the Cabinet in December 1994. The plan prescribes four long term objectives, namely, environmentally sound material cycle,harmonious coexistence,participationand international activities, with a view to (1) building a socio-economic system fostering environmentally sound material cycles, where environmental load by human activities are minimized; (2) securing a harmonious coexistence between humankind and diverse wildlife and natural environment; (3) ensuring participation of all the members of society in environmental conservation activities; and (4) enhancing their international activities. The Plan also identifies outlines of the policies, the roles of each entity of the society, and the use of various policy instruments to achieve the objectives.

Further, in October 1995, the National Strategy on Biological Diversity was adopted. The Strategy identifies basic principles and policy directions, aiming at the protection and sustainable use of biological diversity in a comprehensive manner.

2.3 Ongoing Important National Programmes and Projects

In addition to the above mentioned initiatives, in June 1995, the Cabinet adopted the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations. The Plan requires the greening of Government operations, by such means as use of recycled paper or energy saving equipment, introduction of lower emission vehicles, and reduction of CO2 emissions.

In the area of acid deposition, the Environment Agency of Japan has proposed the creation of an Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia, in order to prevent environmental impacts of acid deposition in the area, and has organized three expert meetings since 1993.

2.4 Linkage with Regional Programmes and Projects

Japan actively participates and promotes regional programmes and projects in areas such as global warming, biological diversity, acid deposition and 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 intergovernmental meeting, held in Tokyo, 20-21 November, 1996.

3. Important Issues in the Implementation of Agenda 21

With a view to securing its steady implementation, the Basic Environment Plan prescribes that the Central Environment Council, which is an advisory body to the Government on environmental issues, is mandated to follow up on the progress of measures taken under the Plan every year. The Council undertook the first review in June 1996, and identified areas which require further improvement. In the area of global warming, it called for further effective measures to meet the targets set; in the field of waste management and recycling, activities of the line ministries and other entities should be effectively linked with a socio-economic system; and concerning nature conservation, comprehensive and programmatic measures are necessary taking also into account endowments of the nearby natural environment.

4. Tasks in the Future

Turning our eyes on our future tasks, Japan will continue to actively implement the National Agenda 21 Action Plan and the Basic Environment Plan, etc., placing a great importance, among others, on the following:

4.1 Priority Future Programmes and Projects for Sustainable Development

Japan will host the third session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Kyoto, in December 1997. At the session, Parties will adopt a protocol or another legal instrument on quantified limitation or reduction of greenhouse gases by developed countries after the year 2000. Japan will make every effort for a successful conclusion of the session. At the same time, Japan will further enhance and strengthen its measures to achieve the targets that were adopted in Japan's Action Programme to Arrest Global Warming.

Further, Japan is firmly determined that it should strengthen its efforts in addressing global warming, following up on outcomes that the COP3 of next year is expected to bring about.

4.2 Financial and Technical Assistance

At first, in the field of financial assistance, at UNCED in 1992, Japan announced that it would substantially expand its environmental-related ODA from about 900 billion to 1 trillion yen in the five-year period starting in FY 1992. Japan actually achieved the goal during the four fiscal years, amounting to about 980 billion yen. Through effective use of its ODA programme, Japan will continue to support developing regions as they pursue self efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Secondly, in the field of technological assistance, Japan has actively supported developing countries in their capacity-building efforts, for example, it has offered environment-related training in Japan and dispatched experts overseas. Japan intends to expand this type of assistance in the future.

Finally, last year Japan established the Japan Programme for Activities Implemented Jointly. On the basis of the programme, Japan will also continue to implement projects which will promote transfer of resources, technologies and know-how to the developing countries.


(Fact Sheet)


1. Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s)/Council(s).

(a) Japan Council for Sustainable Development

(b)Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation

Contact point (Name, Title, Office):

(a)Ms. Miwako Kurosaka, Environmental Partnership Office (b)Mr. Kazuyoshi OKAZAWA, Director, Planning Division, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency


(a) +81-3-3406-5180; (b)+81-3-3580-1375 Fax:(a)+81-3-3406-5190; (b)+81-3-3504-1634 e-mail: (a); (b)

Mailing address: (a) Cosmos Aoyama Building, 5-53-67 Jingu-Mae, Shibuya-ku, TOKYO 150

(b)1-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, TOKYO 100

2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson

(a) The council is consisted of the members from Government, Industry sector, Non-profit organization and JTUC-Rengo.

2a. List of ministries and agencies involved:

(b) Prime Minister (Chairperson) and other designated Ministers concerned with global environment conservation.

2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participation of academic and private sectors:

(b) None.

2c. Names of non-governmental organizations:

(b) None.

3. Mandate role of above mechanism/council:

(a) To promote the work for sustainable development by facilitating communication among the government, business sector and

non-profit organizations.

(b) To promote effective and comprehensive measures for global environment conservation by ensuring close contact of relevant ministries and agencies.

4. If available, attach a diagram (organization chart) showing national coordination structure and linkages between ministries:

(a)(b) Not available

Submitted by

(Name): Mr. Kazuyoshi OKAZAWA Signature:

Title: Director
Date: 1996

Ministry/Office: Planning Division, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency

Telephone: +81-3-3580-1375
Fax: +81-3-3504-1634 e-mail:


STATUS REPORT: 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 in the OECD and the WTO. Japan notes with appreciation that the CSD chairmans' report 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 mutually supportive relationship between trade and environment policies.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: In August 1971, Japan implemented the preferential tariff system as a ten-year measure for developing countries' trade. In April 1980 tariffs were removed for agricultural, fishery, mining and manufacturing products under the preferencial tariff system originating from least developed countries. Furthermore, in April 1981 and April 1991 Japan extended for ten years the period in which these treatments were to be applied. In April 1990, in addition to removing tariffs from more than 1,000 mining and manufacturing products, Japan made efforts to lower tariffs on major products, and the tariff rates in Japan generally stand at as low level as those in other major developed countries. Japan also actively participates in almost all commodity agreements and study groups, and has made positive contributions in forming agreements in the negotiations of such international commodity agreements as those for cocoa, coffee, sugar and tropical timber.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: In June 1993, Japan established the "Funds for Development" Initiative according to which over the next five years, Japan will implement official financial cooperation to developing countries through both its Fifth Medium-Term Target for ODA, amounting to approximately $70-75 billion (net disbursement base), and non-ODA untied funds, amounting to $50 billion (commitment base), including untied loans from Export-Import Bank of Japan, trade and investment insurance and other forms of assistance.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan will continue to play a positive role in activities such as the creation of international rules and guidelines of trade and environment in multilateral fora, including the OECD and the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.




Focus of national strategy

At the national level, poverty is not an issue of major concern in Japan. As for international cooperation, Japan promotes Official Development Assistance to combat poverty in developing countries, taking into account the results of relevant major United Nations conferences and summits such as the World Summit for Social Development.

Highlight activities aimed at the poor and linkages to the environment

In the field of Forest Conservation and Combating Desertification, Japan conducts afforestation projects with the participation of local authorities and relieves the poverty of the local population in Nepal, Thailand, Tanzania, Senegal, and Kenya.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: Japan attaches importance to networks of NGOs between developing countries and Japan in combating poverty as well as to the active participation of poverty-stricken people and women in this process.

4. Finance: Japan recognizes that the relief of poverty in developing countries is an important task. Assistance to fulfill the basic human needs of poverty-stricken people accounted for 73.8% ($2,015 million) of Japan's grant aid in 1995.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan has provided assistance through international organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Latest 1995
Unemployment (%)
Population living in absolute poverty
Public spending on social sector %
Other data



National policy objectives/focus

Japan has initiated all activities described in Chapter 4 of Agenda 21. Japan is giving particular attention to the use of economic instruments as a means of reflecting environmental costs in the trading prices of goods and services, and it is promoting surveys and research in this area through the Basic Environment Law and the Basic Environment Plan. In particular, these instruments are expected to be effective in reducing the amount of waste, in promoting recycling, and in saving energy. Japan has stated that the issue is so important that it would have to consider the possibility of accepting a lower level of living standards if it fails to bring about the necessary reform.

National targets

Among the many activities foreseen in this area, Japan attaches importance to the implementation of the following: (1) in the area of government procurement, Japan is moving to switch over to recycled paper, where possible, and to promote the adoption of low-emission vehicles, including electric cars, for government use; (2) while studying international trends, Japan is developing methods to estimate the environmental load in the various processes from collecting raw materials to disposing of products throughout the life cycle; (3) Japan is surveying and monitoring public opinion with a view to understanding consumer trends; and it is actively promoting environmental education, for example, on recycling and the application of economic measures, including awareness raising among businesses; and (4), through the Japanese Eco-Mark System, etc., Japan will further improve its system of providing information on environmentally-friendly products.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Various ministries and agencies work on this issue. The Government has so far established the following legislation related to changing consumption patterns:

- The Law concerning the Rational Use of Energy (revised in 1993);

- The Law concerning the Promotion of the Development and Introduction of Alternative Energy (revised in 1993);

- The Law concerning the Utilization of Recyclable Resources (established in 1991);

- The Law of Temporary Measures to Promote Business Activities for the Rational Use of Energy and the Utilization of Recyclable Resources (established in 1993).

- Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook (1994),

- Goal for oil alternative energy supply (1994)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Japan uses a number of indicators for consumption and production. Among them are annual statistics on Japan's energy, electricity, gas industry, petroleum industry and waste management supply and demand.

3. Major Groups: Local authorities, corporations and the general public should be more involved in this issue.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The Government has been involved in the work of the following organizations regarding changing consumption patterns: OECD, IEA, APEC, SPEC (Symposium on Pacific Energy Cooperation).

Latest 1995
GDP per capita (current US$) 11,282 24,273 29,982 41,045
Real GDP growth (%) 4.4 5.1 1.0 1.4
Annual energy consumption per capita (Kg. of oil equivalent per capita) 2,998 3,502 3,644 3,856(1994)
Motor vehicles in use per 1000 inhabitants 398.5 489.4 518.3 544.7(1994)
Other data

Government policies affecting consumption and production.

1. Goals and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with a (X) those agents which your Governments policies are meant most to influence.





Civil society
Material efficiency X X X
Energy efficiency:
Transport X X X X X
Housing X X
Other X
Reduce X X X
Reuse X X
Recycle X X


2. Means & Measures and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with an (R) those agents who assume primary responsibility for any of the policy measures indicated; indicate with an (I) the agents for which the impact is expected to be especially significant.


Means & Measures






Improving understanding and analysis
Information and education (e.g., radio/TV/press) I R R I I
Research I R I
Evaluating environmental claims R R
Form partnerships R R R R
Applying tools for modifying behaviour
Community based strategies
Social incentives/disincentives (e.g., ecolabelling) I R I I
Regulatory instruments I R R I I
Economic incentives/disincentives I R R I I
Voluntary agreements of producer responsibility for

aspects of product life cycle

Provision of enabling facilities and infrastructure

(e.g., transportation alternatives, recycling)

Procurement policy R R
Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing performance
Action campaign I R R I
Other (specify)



STATUS REPORT: The population in Japan has remained the same since 1994, at 125 million. There is no formal National Population Policy, there are some national programs in which population and environment are linked. There has been a national debate on population/environment linkages both in parliament and at government level. Among the activities that Japan attaches importance to in this area are the following: (1) promotion of the settlement of population in rural areas through the development of those areas; and (2) continued research in the relationship between demographic trends and socio-economic conditions in the region of Asia and the Pacific.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is the body most directly concerned with demographic issues. The Government provided information for the Population Conference in Cairo.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: Women, local communities and the media participate in public debates regarding this topic. Japan places considerable emphasis on making use of NGOs in its assistance programmes in this area, because they are able to work directly with local people at the grass-roots level.

4. Finance: See below (5).

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Population and HIV/AIDS is one of the areas where Japan and the U.S. have jointly taken initiatives under the Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective within the context of the U.S.-Japan Framework for a new Economic Partnership.

In 1993, Japan started research on the effect that changes in population and social and economic development in developing countries have on environmental problems.

In February 1994, Japan, as the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA), announced its "Global Issues Initiative on Population and AIDS", which will positively affect cooperation for developing countries in the sum of approximately US$3 billion during the seven-year period from FY 1994 to FY 2000.

Latest 1995
Population (Thousands) mid-year estimates
Annual rate of increase (1990-1993) 0.33 0.25 0.43
Surface area (Km2) 377,737 377,737 372,826
Population density (people/Km2) 332 335 337
Other data


STATUS REPORT: With brisk industrial and commercial activities in urban areas, there is concern over the deterioration of various aspects of the living environment, including the air and water, which accompany concentrations in population. Japan is therefore currently devising a variety of pollution prevention and clean-up measures to promote public health. Epidemiological research is conducted on the effect of nitrogen oxides on health, and long-term monitoring is carried out on air pollution and its affects on health. Measures are also being implemented to control production of ozone depleting substances. In addition, Japan is making an effort to compensate sufferers of pollution-related health damage.

In the rural areas, to compensate for the lack of sufficient medical institutions, Japan has established Rural Medical Examination Centers. Japan continues to promote measures to deal with contagious diseases and protection of vulnerable groups. For example, long-term strategies have been developed to address the public health issues of both the aged and persons with disabilities. In addition, since 1993, Japan has carried out the technological development of vaccines corresponding to the Children's Vaccines Initiative (CVI).

Japan has greatly increased its budget for dealing with the issues of AIDS, in order to cope with social demand for appropriate treatment of persons with AIDS, to promote social enlightenment on the nature of AIDS and to promote AIDS counseling, research on AIDS and international co-operation. In the area of international cooperation, Japan announced "Global Issues Initiatives on Population and AIDS" (GII) in February 1994 for cooperation to developing countries by allocating US$ 3 billion within ODA programmes during the 7 year period from FY 1994 to FY 2000. (see "Cross-Sectoral Issues, 5. Regional / International Cooperation")

Japan has been actively cooperating with WHO with a view to achieving the goal of eradicating polio from the earth by the year 2000. There has been salient progress going on in the Western Pacific and in Southeast Asian regions.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Japanese legislation concerning the protection and the promotion of human health consists of the following laws:

- The Communicable Diseases Prevention Law;

- The Preventive Vaccination Law;

- The Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention Law,

- Tuberculosis Prevention Law,

- AIDS Prevention Law,

- The Law Concerning Compensation and Prevention of Pollution-Related Health Damage;

- The Air Pollution Control Law;

- The Water Pollution Control Law;

- The Automobile NOx Reduction Law;

- The Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Law;

- The Noise Regulation Law.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (continued)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: See status report.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan has provided technical and financial cooperation, through multilateral as well as bilateral cooperation, for the eradication of Poliomyelitis, the Expanded Programme on Immunization, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases and the Diarrheal Disease Control Programme, which are conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO). As for HIV/AIDS, Japan continues supporting the activities of UNAIDS, which are combating HIV/AIDS and related problems, and seeking collaboration with Japan's Global Issues Initiative (GII) on Population and AIDS.

Under the Japan-US framework talks called "The US-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective", they agreed to collaborate together in the 26 fields, which included the measures for controlling emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS. It should be noted that Japan's GII was launched in the course of Common Agenda discussion, GII has covered multilateral and bilateral cooperation since its initiation in FY 1994 and has achieved US$ 1 billion in the first years of FY 1994 and FY 1995, Japan's GII has been progressing satisfactorily.

Regarding the Japanese multilateral cooperation, Japan has provided technical and financial assistance in several fields, such as the eradication of poliomyelitis, control of tuberculosis, control of acute respiratory infections and improvement of environmental health, which are mainly carried out by the World Health Organization.

Regarding the Japanese bilateral cooperation, Japan has dispatched experts, provided training courses, such as "International Seminar for Administrators on AIDS Programme Management", the "Communicable Diseases Control Course for the Overseas Experts", the "Water Supply Management Seminar" and the "Training Course on Solid Waste Management".

Life expectancy at birth









Infant mortality (per 1000 live births)
Maternal mortality rate (per 100000 live births)
Population served by water supply (% of population) 91.5 94.7 95.5
Access to sanitation services (% of population)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Japan has established "The 7th Housing Construction Five-Year Program" as a measure for dealing with housing-related problems. Many of the targets are concerned with more environmentally-sound housing, taking into account energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies, water circulation, and waste recycling. In addition, programmes address improvements on the environment surrounding the houses, such as, the Blighted Residential Area Renewal Project, the overall Community Living Environment Improvement Project, the Street Improvement Project, and the Small Community Area Improvement Project. All of these projects are conducted with the assistance of the Government.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: The Government, local authorities and private organizations cooperate to contribute to the stabilization of peoples's living standards and the enhancement of social welfare.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: As regards international cooperation in the area of shelter, Japan has conducted various activities based on the "Policy for Long-Term Action in the Area of Shelter (Decided by the Board for the Promotion of the 1988 International Year of Shelter for the Homeless)". In order to further contribute to the alleviation of the severe shelter-related problems confronting developing countries, Japan has improved the level of its cooperation with the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat), and will also promote such activities as international seminars on human settlement policy and study missions on shelter.

Urban population in % of total population
Annual rate of growth of urban population (%)
Largest city population (in % of total population)
Other data


(See pages vii and viii at the beginning of the profile)

STATUS REPORT: Policy planning and effective management, effective legal framework and economic instruments as well as market and other incentives were used by Japan in order to integrate environment and development in the decision-making process. In order to promote environmentally sound land-use, Japan has successively formulated the National Land Use Plans (National Plans). As the basic policy for economic management, the "Social and Economic Plan for Structural Reforms - Towards a Vital Economy and Secure Life" which contains various measures for the resolution of global environmental problems, was prepared. Considerations have been given to the environment in such areas as regional development, based on the provisions in Article 17 of the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control, and Article 5 of the Nature Conservation Law. Article 19 of the Basic Environmental Law states that the State shall consider environmental conservation when formulating and implementing measures which may influence the environment.

Japan will continue to promote the development and improvement of an indicator system in which environmental factors are appropriately evaluated, and to coordinate this work with the indicators of sustainable development developed under the auspices of the Commission on Sustainable Development. In addition, Japan has developed a System of National Accounts (SNA) that includes the Satellite System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA), drawing upon the standards contained in the SNA Handbook on Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting of the United Nations. Particular importance is being given to quantitative and qualitative changes in Japan's forest and agricultural resources in this regard.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure (please also refer to the fact sheet): Environmental impact assessments on projects have been carried out in accordance with individual laws, administrative guidance, local authorities' ordinances and guidelines, since the Cabinet approved in 1972 "On the Environmental Conservation Measures Relating to Public Works." Furthermore, in 1984 the Cabinet took a decision "On the Implementation of Environment Impact Assessment" and thereby established the "General Guidelines for the Implementation of Environment Impact Assessment."

Since the mid-1960's environmental measures have been promoted under a legal system which had two pillars: the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control (1967), and the Nature Conservation Law (1972). In November 1993, Japan established the Basic Environment Law.

In addition to establishing environmental quality standards regarding air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and noise, Japan has devised measures including regulations for the discharge of substances which cause environmental pollution as well as regulations on land-use for the sake of conserving the natural environment, based on individual laws such as the Air Pollution Control Law, the Water Pollution Control Law and the Nature Conservation Law.

As regards disputes concerning pollution, the Pollution Coordination Committee conducts mediation, arbitration, and intervention, and also rules on such matters, based on the Law Concerning the Settlement of Pollution Disputes. Based on the Law concerning Compensation and Prevention of Pollution-related Health Damage, Japan takes necessary measures including compensation for damage related to injury to human health, relating to such cases as Minamata disease and asthma.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.



The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments

Montreal Protocol (1987) signed in 1988, September 30

London Amendment (1990) signed in 1991, September 4

Copenhagen Amendment (1992) signed in 1994, December 20.

The latest report(s) to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 19--

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UNFCCC was signed in 1993, May 28.

The latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat was submitted in 1994, September 20.

In July 1996, COP2 of UNFCCC decided COP3 will be held at Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, where new international framework after 2000 on climate change will be agreed.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

In addition to promoting observations, surveys and research on the protection of the atmosphere, Japan has established the "Comprehensive Promotion Program for Global Environmental Research, Monitoring and Development" and the "Basic Plan for Research and Development on Earth Science and Technology."

In October 1990, Japan established the "Action Program to Arrest Global Warming". This programme attempts to reduce global warming caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, deforestation, inefficient use and consumption of energy, transportation, industrial development and stratospheric ozone depletion.

In addition, Japan is promoting the development and utilization of nuclear energy, under the condition that safety is assured, and the development of technology for energy conservation, for new and recyclable energy, and for next generation energy in its "New Sunshine Project."

In the transport sector, Japan has established targets for fuel consumption efficiency for gasoline-fueled vehicles and is promoting to improve efficiency of freight transportation. Public transportation is also being promoted for passengers. The fourth Comprehensive National Development Plan seeks to prevent traffic pollution and secure safe and smooth transportation, while giving due consideration to the improvement of the regional environments.

Following the decision at COP1 of UNFCCC to establish a pilot phase for Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ), Government of Japan established the "Japanese Programme for AIJ under the Pilot Phase (The AIJ Japan Programme)" in November 1995, and identified 11 projects as potentially promising AIJ projects in July 1996.

Sixty-seven percent of Japan's land is covered with forests. Forests have multi-faceted environmental conservation functions, including the prevention of pollution, and the maintenance of biological diversity. Their function to absorb and fix carbon dioxide have a great effect in the prevention of global warming. Based on the "Basic Plan for Forest Resources" and the "National Forest Plan", etc., Japan is promoting a variety of measures in order to continuously maintain the functions of forests, through the appropriate management of forestry.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Based on the Air Pollution Control Law and in order to reduce air pollution by such hazardous substances as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, Japan has established measures to regulate emissions.

In September 1988, Japan acceded to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. In May 1988, Japan established the Law concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures (the Ozone Layer Protection Law) to ensure observance of control measures based on the Montreal Protocol, and amended it in March 1991.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (continued)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: At present, Japan is increasing its efforts by amending the following laws: the Rational Use of Energy, the Promotion of the Development and Introduction of Alternative Energy, the "Law on Special Accounts for Coal, Petroleum and Oil-Alternative Energy" (Currently, the Law on Special Accounts for Coal, Petroleum and the More Sophisticated Structure of Demand and Supply of Energy). Based on the New Earth 21 program, Japan is making systematic improvements to give shape to the innovative Environment and Energy Technological Development Project.

Based on the Automobile NOx Reduction Law of May 1992 regarding nitrogen oxides, Japan is continuing to tighten already existing regulations on individual automobiles.

Based on the provisions of the Nature Conservation Law and Natural Parks Law, Japan has designated 5.43 million ha, or 14.4% of its total land area, as nature conservation areas or natural parks. In addition to appropriately enforcing regulations on land use, Japan will continue to conserve regional forests, ocean areas and other ecosystems.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: In addition to providing assistance for activities conducted by such international organizations as UNEP and WMO, as well as IPCC, Japan has been consistently exchanging information obtained from observations, bilateral surveys and research, as well as conducting joint research. Japan also actively participates in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

Japan cooperates with developing countries in reducing the amount of automobile emissions by improving inspection systems, the transfer of related inspection technology, the adoption of more energy-efficient means of public transportation, and the drawing up of a master plan for achieving efficiency in the distribution of goods. Japan also actively cooperates with developing countries in enforcing comprehensive measures regarding traffic pollution.

As regards assistance to developing countries, Japan disseminates scientific knowledge and technology transfer for the protection of the ozone layer, by contributing to Multilateral Funds for the protection of the ozone layer and by providing technological cooperation through international bodies and using the system for group training by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

In view of the fact that it is necessary for each country to promote air pollution control measures, Japan has provided assistance to developing countries, including countries in East Asia, by dispatching experts and receiving trainees to and from these countries. Japan has actively participated in regional cooperation efforts, such as in the ESCAP Conference on Regional Environments and has hosted the NorthEast Asian Conference on Environmental Cooperation.

In order to exchange information, experiences and views on climate change among countries of the Asia-Pacific region and facilitate the steps to address the climate change problem in the region, the Asia Pacific seminar on climate change is held with participation of countries in the region.

In view of the importance of forests' function of carbon sequestration, Japan has been implementing various forestry and conservation projects through JICA in order to promote sustainable forest management and re-afforest / rehabilitate degraded lands. In addition, a research project, entitled "Study on Carbon-Sink Forest Management technology", has been supported by the forestry agency to evaluate carbon dynamics of tropical forest ecosystems.

Latest 1994
CO2 emissions (eq. million tons) 1173 1258
SOx " 1.28 0.88(1989)
NOx " 1.89 1.92(1993)
CH4 " 1.38 1.32(1993)
Consumption of ozone depleting substances (Tons) 120,074.20 20,245.90
Expenditure on air pollution abatement in million yen 160,109 154,231 322,031a
a 1995


STATUS REPORT: As a part of a comprehensive and basic national plan for the management of land resources, Japan has established successively the Comprehensive National Development Plan, which determines the use of land, water and other natural resources and the proper locations for industry, as well as the National Land Use Plan, which determines the basic framework for national land use. In addition to regulations concerning the prevention of pollution, conservation of the natural environment, protection of the historical environment, environmental impact assessment, and the relocation of industries, the Plan also addresses prevention of traffic pollution, the quality of water in lakes and marshes, and the creation of comfortable urban environments.

The Land Use Master Plans are established by prefectural governors and cover matters dealing with the designation of five areas (urban, agricultural, forest, natural park and nature conservation areas), and the coordination of competitive land uses. These plans function as a means of comprehensive intra-administration coordination.

In addition to these and the Pollution Control Plan, Japan has also established land use plans for specific sectors, such as forests and water.

Remote sensing data on land use are regularly collected by satellite, and this information is maintained, in graphic form, and updated through a Project to Construct National Land Information System. In addition, a geographical information system called "ISLAND" manages related numerical information.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The National Land Agency is the agency primarily responsible for the integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources. The Agency is a member of the National Coordination mechanisms for Sustainable Development. The relevant national legislation includes the Comprehensive National Land Development Act (26 May 1950) and the National Land Use Planning Act (25 June 1974).

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No additional information

3. Major Groups: Local authorities (prefectural governors) are responsible for developing and implementing the Land Use Master Plans. Local authorities also conduct systematic improvements in the collection, analysis and evaluation of a wide range of environment-related information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Within the framework of its bilateral or multilateral initiatives, the Japanese Government has been involved in an intergovernmental project "MAB of UNESCO", under which the effects of human activities and land-use on the eco-system were studied.


STATUS REPORT:The forests with total area of 25 million ha are equivalent to 67% of land area in Japan and play very important roles for conservation of land, water and environment as well as wood supply under the severe natural conditions such

as steep terrain and heavy precipitation, and high industrial activities.

To allow forests to fulfill synthetically their multiple functions, the Government devises a Basic Plan for Japan Forest Resources in accordance with the provision of the Forestry Fundamental Law. In the Plan, desirable features of forest resources for playing functions and forest area for improvement to each function are shown. The functions are : (1) conservation of water source, (2) disaster prevention in hilly area, (3)conservation of environment, (4) timber production forest, and (5) health and cultural activities.

Areas especially desired to fulfill their public functions are designated as Protection Forest in accordance with the provision of the Forest Law, and their management practice is restricted so as to maintain the functions. In Protection forest, forest owners are obliged to regenerate their forests after harvesting.

National Forests which are equivalent to 30% of country's total forest area play various and important roles in producing wood, promoting functions for the public benefits such as conservation of land and water resources and providing natural environment.

As for forest development, Japan promotes afforestation and forest road network-building in a well-planned manner based on the Forest Improvement Operation Plan, as well as land conservation works based on the 5-years Conservation Plan. The following actions have been taken to improve forest productivity and tolerance to environmental stress: tree breeding, seed technology, seed procurement networks, gene banks project.

After Rio, the Government has addressed almost all specific issues described in Chapter 11 of Agenda 21. Japan has actively participated in the Montreal Process with a view to facilitating an international collaboration for the implementation of the Forest Principles. In line with this international endeavor, Japan has supported the work of ITTO which has played an important role for promoting both utilization and conservation of tropical forests with the principle of sustainable development. And it has also contributed to sustainable forest management in developing countries through both multilateral and bilateral schemes.

Japan sponsored the Integrated Application of Sustainable Forest Management Practices International Workshop held in Kochi Japan, Nov. 22-25, 1996 in collaboration with Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, FAO and ITTO. The Workshop was attended by more than 150 experts from 36 countries, and a number of international and non-governmental organization. The report featuring The New Culture on Research and Land use planningwas adopted by consensus and submitted to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forest.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Forestry Agency is primarily responsible for this sector and is a member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development. Forestry legislation consists of the following laws and plans: Forest Law (26 June, 1951), Forestry Basic Law (9 July, 1964), Basic Plan for Forest Resources (29 November, 1996), Nation-wide Forest Plan (December, 1996). In April 1991, the Forest Law was revised, and the Forest Planning System was improved, in order to establish a "Forest Management System Based on River Basin."

In 1992, the Forest Improvement Operation Plan was established, and an investment plan for afforestation and construction of forest roads was set up within this Plan. Implementation of forest management and other measures are taken through subsidiaries such as regional forest offices and district forest offices and local authorities. Their efforts are reported to the Forestry Agency.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: In the 1995 FY, the Forest Training Institute of the Forestry Agency trained approximately 1,500 professional staff of national government, prefectural governments, private companies and also developing countries in 59 training courses such as Forest Management, Wildlife Conservation and Forest and Forestry Education.

3. Major Groups: Implementation of forest management is taken through individual forest owners, local authorities as well as subsidiaries such as regional forest offices and district forest officers for National Forests. Forest Owners' Cooperative Associations (groups of forest owners) are playing an important role in forest practices, especially in silviculture. The number of people, such as city dwellers and fishermen who participate in forest improvement through Profit- Sharing reforestation and Profit-Sharing silviculture has been increasing with the recognition of the various functions of forests.

4. Finance: The share of budget allocation to the forestry sector in the National General Account grew from 1.08% in 1985 to 1.10% in 1993. 2.5 billion yen are available for low-interest loans to private owners of forests for the revitalization of forest improvement activities, under the Temporary Fund Law for the Improvement of the Forestry Management Framework. A new 'Law for the Promotion of Forest Improvement via Use of the Green Fund' was established in 1995 for the purpose to help voluntary forest improvement activities.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan has actively participated in activities related to the "Montreal Process" to develop an international cooperation to implement the "Forest Principles". In addition, the Government has also supported the work of ITTO. For example, in 1993, it contributed US$15.6 million to ITTO projects.

Japan has carried out twenty technical cooperation projects in this area, of which eight have been implemented since 1992 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as its main bilateral cooperation activity.

Latest 1995
Forest Area (Km2)
Protection forest area (Km2) 79,286 82,240 85,124
Roundwood production (solid volume of roundwood without bark in mill m3)
Deforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Reforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Other data



The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification

Particularly in Africa was signed on 14 October 1994 but not yet ratified

Each party shall file reports on implementation with the Conference of Parties, as often and in the form to be determined. Parties are to report on development of national action programmes. The Conference shall assist affected developing countries to make reports.

The latest report to the Secretariat of the Convention was prepared in 1994.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

There are no deserts or areas in danger of becoming deserts in Japan.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Not applicable.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Not applicable.

3. Major Groups: Not applicable.

4. Finance: Not applicable.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Not applicable.

Land affected by desertification (Km2)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: A great portion of the land of Japan consists of mountains, much of which are covered by forests. Consequently, much of the discussion included under Chapter 11, on forests, is also relevant here.

In addition, given the superb ecosystems in mountain areas, Japan is studying the adoption of eco-tourism which will both conserve the ecosystems and promote a positive economic spillover to regional communities. Japan is also establishing recreational forests within National Forests in the mountains and promote their use for the recuperation of health. "Eco-roads" are being built in the mountains to provide sufficient roads in harmony with the environment.

Forests which are particularly expected to maintain their functions, such as headwater conservation and soil run-off prevention, are designated as Protection Forests. On these forests, limited tree cutting, restriction of land exploitation and obligatory tree replanting after cutting are imposed.

The number of hazardous spots of mountainous disasters due to slope failure, landslide, debris flow and land creep increased from 131,000 in 1978, to 205,000 in 1992. Floods, avalanches, landslides and earthquakes are serious problems for Japan.

Japan carries out continuous surveys and research on mountain areas in order to manage and conserve the various ecosystems.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Environment Agency, the Nature Conservation Bureau and the Forest Agency are the institutions primarily responsible for sustainable development of mountain areas. National mountain land-use plans and surveys include:

- The National Land Use Planning Act (25 June 1974);

- Basic Plan for Forest Resources (24 July 1987);

- Nation-wide Forest Plan (9 August 1991);

- Wilderness Areas and Nature Conservation Areas;

- Protection Forests;

- Protected Forests of National Forests;

- Natural Parks;

- Protection Areas for Birds and Mammals;

- Natural Habitats Conservation Areas;

- National Survey on the Natural Environment.

These plans and surveys do not specifically cover mountain areas, but they are closely related because many valuable protected ecosystems exist in mountain areas.

The national legislation related to mountain areas consists of the following specific laws and acts:

- The Mountainous Villages Development Act;

- Forest Law;

- Forestry Basic Law;

- Natural Parks Law;

- Nature Conservation Law;

- Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law;

- Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora;

- Sabo Law (erosion control law).

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Coverage by monitoring stations for air quality and for hydrology is good. Coverage by physical monitoring stations for soils, forests, crops and biological resources is adequate.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: Information on Chapter 11, on Forests, applies.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Information on Chapter 11, on Forests, applies.



STATUS REPORT: Agriculture provides both food and social and economic development. At the same time, in recent years, Japan has become a net importer of agricultural products, both because of the logic of international trade and because of a decreasing number of agricultural workers, due to a combination of urbanization and an aging population. For example, the agricultural population decreased from 18.3% in 1980 to 12.0% in 1995, and the agriculture sector output as a percentage of GNP decreased from 2.4% in 1980 to 1.6% in 1994.

Recognizing this situation as well as the potential impact of global warming, deforestation and desertification on agriculture, in June 1992 Japan developed a "New Direction of Food, Agriculture and Rural Policy" as a long-term vision of agricultural policy for the 21st century. Among the activities included in the policy are many directly related to the environment, such as development of environmentally-friendly technology, reduction of dependence on chemicals, recycling of agricultural wastes, including livestock manure, and application of integrated pest management.

Japan regularly surveys land, vegetation and various ecosystems. It is also carrying out surveys and research to assess the effects of increasing ultraviolet radiation on crops and on living organisms that feed on plants (herbivores). Japan has also developed indicators for sustainable agriculture.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is primarily responsible for agriculture and rural development in Japan. The national legislation covering agriculture and rural development consists of the following laws:

- Agricultural Basic Law (12 June 1961);

- The Law concerning Establishment of Agricultural Promotion Areas (1 July 1969);

- Land Improvement Law (6 June 1949);

- The Law for the Improvement of the Basis of Farm Management (28 May 1980);

- The Law concerning the promotion of the improvement of basic conditions of agriculture, forestry and other

businesses in hilly and mountainous areas (16 June 1993);

- Land Improvement Long Term Plan (The first plan was made in March 1966).

These laws have been reviewed and modified to meet the requirements for sustainable development. In April 1993, a Cabinet meeting approved amendments for the Fourth Land Improvement Long Term Plan. In June 1994, the Parliament approved amendments for the Agricultural Land Use Promotion Law. The amendments cover a coherent national policy framework for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (continued)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Considerable attention is being given to the development of environmentally-friendly technologies and techniques for agriculture.

3. Major Groups: In April 1994, the National Council for Sustainable Agriculture was formed by JA (a national organization of agricultural cooperatives) in cooperation with Nisseikyo (a national body of consumer cooperatives) to promote various actions to achieve the targets of Sustainable Agriculture. The members of the Council are farmers, consumers and distributors. Japan is also working to improve conditions so that women, who play an important role in farming, mountain and fishing villages, will be able to sufficiently demonstrate their abilities.

4. Finance: Since FY 1996, the budget allocation for promotion of Sustainable Agriculture has been increased to 13.3 billion yen over 11.0 billion for the previous fiscal year.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: As part of bilateral or multilateral initiatives in this sector the Government has been involved in the following programs: (1) Improvement of efficiency and environment impact of nitrogen fertilizers through their effective management in Asia with a budget of $320,000 (FY 1994); and (2) Development assistance on genetic resources preservation in developing countries (19931995) which has been strengthened to the collaborative research project on genetic resources in developing countries with a budget of 22 million yen (FY 1996).

Agricultural land (Km2)
Agricultural land as % of total land area
Agricultural land per capita
Agricultural population

- population of farmers ranchers

- % of total population
Agriculture sector output (% of GNP)
Consumption of fertilizers (Kg/Km2 of agricultural land)
Other data



The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed and ratified in 1993.

Parties are to develop national strategies, plans and programmes for sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and integrate them into general development plans.

Parties shall identify, monitor and maintain data on components of biodiversity.

Parties shall introduce appropriate procedures requiring EIAs for projects likely to have significant adverse effects on biological diversity.

Parties shall submit reports on measures which it has taken for the implementation of the Convention, at intervals to be determined.

Latest report submitted in 19--.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Parties to take appropriate measures to enforce regulatory provisions and prohibit trade in specimens in violation thereof. Convention also governs treatment of animals in shipment.

Each party to prepare periodic reports on its implementation of the convention and to prepare: (a) an annual report listing export permits issued and species involved, and (b) a biennial report on legislative, regulatory and administrative measures taken.

Convention ratified 23 August, 1980.

Latest report submitted in 1994

Additional comments relevant to this chapter Japan adopted the National Strategy on Biological Diversity by the decision of the Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation on 31 October 1995. Japan has a Basic Policy for the Conservation of the Natural Environment which is intended to systematically conserve diversified nature; manage natural areas appropriately; apply environmental impact assessment; strengthen research and survey programmes; enhance public awareness; and coordinate outdoor recreation policies. In addition, National Guidelines for the Conservation of Endangered Species have been adopted, both to protect and conserve endangered species and to carry out breeding programmes. National Surveys on the Natural Environment as well as National Biodiversity Surveys are carried out approximately every five years. Biodiversity loss has been the result primarily of habitat destruction, over harvesting and the inappropriate introduction of animals.

Both in situ and ex situ conservation activities are carried out. Examples of the former include designation of protected areas, protection forests, protected forests of National Forests and Natural Monuments, development of new legislation for conservation of endangered species, and strengthening of management of protected areas. Ex situ activities include R&D of artificial breeding of endangered species and their artificial propagation. Japan also works to enhance ecosystem functions through restoration of endangered species habitats and damaged valuable plant communities and eradication of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish for restoration of coral reef ecosystems.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Environment Agency (for Biodiversity), several ministries and other agencies are primarily responsible for biodiversity and genetic resources. Among them is the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity which was established in January 1994 under the chairmanship of Director-General of the Nature Conservation Bureau of the Environment Agency. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) assists in the conservation of genetic resources in order to conserve biological diversity. Its major fields of work include conservation and use of animal genetic resources in Asia and the Pacific Region; the international programs and conference for plant genetic resources; and the development assistance on genetic resources preservation in developing countries (1993-1995) which has been strengthened to the collaborative research project on genetic resources in developing countries (1996-). Existing legislation, including the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law, the Aquatic Resources Protection Law, and the Law for the Protection of Cultural Property covers the obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and there is therefore no need to have new legislation.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (continued)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Capacity-building for the assessment, study and systematic observation and evaluation of national biodiversity has been done through the National Survey on the Natural Environment that has been carried out since 1973. Several training courses have been organized by the Environment Agency. Training courses have been organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency at both regional and international levels.

3. Major Groups: Local communities have been an essential element to the success of the conservation of biological and genetic resources. Among other activities, they have organized public hearings in the process of designating protected areas in accordance with the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law and the Law for Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Their views were collected through mail and fax for preparations of the National Agenda 21 and the Basic Environmental Plan. Local community participation in conservation activities is promoted through public awareness activities and financial and other support to local NGOs, including funding by the Japan Fund for Global Environment. According to the Public Opinion Survey of the Prime Minister's Office undertaken in 1991, 49% of people surveyed had experience in taking part in nature conservation activities such as cleaning up and tree planting.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Regarding bilateral or multilateral initiatives, the government has been involved in the following projects, funded largely through ODA and the Global Environment Research Program Budget:

(1) Japan-US Joint Project for Conservation of Biodiversity in Indonesia, (2) The Environment Agency's Support for Development of Asian Red Data Book in cooperation with Birdlife International, (3) The Environment Agency's Cooperative Projects for Conservation of Biodiversity, Wetland, Migratory Birds, Natural Heritage and Coral Reef, (4) Bilateral Treaties for Conservation of Migratory Birds with USA, Australia, China and Russia, (5) The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) launched "Research Cooperation Projects on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity"

Japan has also joined the CITES, the Ramsar Convention and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, all of which are related to the conservation of biological diversity. Japan is also cooperating in the Man and the Biosphere Program, UNESCO, which is conducted as an intergovernmental project.

Japan has hosted the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, under the International Convention for The Regulation of Whaling, and is also conducting research on mink whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.

Through a bilateral project between Japan and China, China has contributed significantly to research and development of artificial breeding of an endangered bird species (Japanese Crested Ibis), since only China has natural abitats for this species.

Latest 1996
Protected area as % of total land area 14.4 14.4
Latest 1991
Number of threatened species


Other data



In order to increase the availability of food, feed and renewable raw material, Japan has been applying biotechnology in the following areas: (1) 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; (2) for livestock, Japan is working to improve quality through breed improvement and the practical application of breeding technology; (3) 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; (4) for aquatic products, Japan is working to enhance the productivity of superior seeds and seedlings by means of breeding technology; and (5) 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 does not cause pollution or imposes 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.

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

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Among the official 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 the bioremediation appropriately is under consideration (EA). For information on Guidelines adopted by Japan, please refer to the section on "Status."

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Please refer to the section on "Status." 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 MIIC-Pure Line in Mini-Pigs for elucidation of the physiological defense mechanisms of domestic animals.

3. Major Groups: 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.

4. Finance: 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.

- 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.

5. Regional/International 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.




The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed on 7 February 1983 and ratified on 20 June 1996.

See also the attached tables on the next pages.

As one of the developed marine states, Japan has contributed much to the conservation of the seashore areas, marine environment, marine living resources, and improvements of sewage systems. According to the Fourth Comprehensive National Development Plan, adopted by the Government in 1987, comprehensive seashore-utilization plans are prepared at the initiative of the local authorities with the assistance of the Government. Japan conducts surveys on coastal areas as part of basic research for the protection of the natural environment. Since 1984, as part of the Project to Construct a National Land Information System, Japan has been making improvements in information regarding coastal areas.

Japan has established environmental quality standards and drainage standards for nitrogen and phosphorus. Japan has also devised measures for stricter regulations for water quality, and the conservation of natural ocean beaches, particularly in the Seto Inland Sea. In the area of the prevention of marine pollution caused by dumping of waste at sea, Japan strictly observes the regulations of the MARPOL and London Conventions and participates actively in the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including in the control of gas emissions from ships. Japan concluded the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990 (OPRC Convention in 1995).

Japan is taking appropriate regulatory measures for the management of resources in the seas, in the context, inter alia, of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It considers that cooperation for the management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory species, as well as other ocean resource issues, should be developed within regional fisheries organizations and will make efforts to improve such organizations where they exist, or to develop them through mutual regional cooperation, where they do not yet exist.

During the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Subic, Philippine, Japan proposed to enhance cooperation for marine environment protection among APEC member economies through the utilization of earth observation satellites and preservation of coral reefs.

In order to address uncertainties about the adverse effects of climate change on the marine environment, Japan is presently providing data obtained through observations regarding the marine environment to the network made up of such systems as the International Oceanographic Data and the Information Exchange System (IODE) and the Integrated Global Ocean Services System (IGOSS). To address the role of oceans in climate change and the effects on oceans from the depletion of the ozone layer, and with due consideration to the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming, the Comprehensive Promotion Programme for Global Environment Research, Monitoring and Technology Department, and the Basic Plans for R&D on Earth Science and Technology, Japan continues to promote scientific surveys and research, observation and monitoring, including those for clarifying the conditions of the circulation of carbon in oceans and the assessment of the effects on marine ecosystems of increases in ultraviolet radiation.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Legislation regarding this sector includes: the Basic Environment Law, the Water Pollution Control Law, the Law for Special Measures for the Conservation of the Environment of the Seto Inland Sea, the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster and Sewerage Law.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: In addition to promoting information for the safe navigation of ships and other issues related to reducing the risk of pollution, Japan supports R&D both for new tankers, for technology to clean up gas emissions from ships, and for the improvement of facilities for the treatment of waste oil and wastes at ports. It cooperates in the marine environmental surveys of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO (IOC) and the Pacific International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (PICES). Japan will also develop technology for measures to deal with red tide and oil leakage. Please refer to other research issues discussed under "Status."

3. Major Groups: Local authorities are directly involved in the design and implementation of the relevant laws and regulations.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan is presently cooperating with such international organizations as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Japan has been playing a main role for the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), especially in East Asian Sea. It is working for an early conclusion of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Japan participates in the North West Pacific Action Plan, which is being promoted by UNEP, for the prevention of marine pollution in the northwest Pacific Ocean. In addition, it promotes the OSPAR Plan for improving activities to deal with oil spills in the waters around the ASEAN countries. In order to enhance compensation for damage caused by oil leakage, Japan concluded the revised Protocol 92 for the two so-called "Leak Conventions", i.e., the CLC and the FC in 1994. As an example of bilateral cooperation, it is working with Brazil to attack pollution in Guanbara Bay, Brazil. Finally, as an island country, Japan has been involved in cooperation for the sustainable development of small islands and positively contributed to the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States held in 1994.

Latest 1993
Catches of marine species (metric tons) 10,433,997 10,146,116
Population in coastal areas
Population served by waste water treatment (% of country's

total population)

30.0 44.1 50.1
Discharges of oil into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of phosphate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of nitrate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Other data

Chapter 17 (Oceans) Continued:

Check the boxes in the column below left: Check the boxes in the column below right:
For level of importance use: For level of implementation use:
*** = very important *** = fully covered
** = important ** = well covered- gaps being addressed
* = not important * = poorly covered
N = not relevant O = not covered; N = not relevant




*** a. Preparation and implementation of land and water use and siting policies. ***
*** b. Implementation of integrated coastal and marine management and sustainable development plans and programmes at appropriate levels. **
*** c. Preparation of coastal profiles identifying critical areas including eroded zones, physical processes, development patterns, user conflicts and specific priorities for management. **
*** d. Prior environmental impact assessment, systematic observation and follow-up of major projects, including systematic incorporation of results in decision-making. **
*** e. Contingency plans for human induced and natural disasters. **
*** f. Improvement of coastal human settlements, especially in housing, drinking water and treatment and disposal of sewage, solid wastes and industrial effluents. **
*** g. Periodic assessment of the impacts of external factors and phenomena to ensure that the objectives of integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and marine environment are met. *
*** h. Conservation and restoration of altered critical habitats. *
*** I. Integration of sectoral programmes on sustainable development for settlements, agriculture, tourism, fishing, ports and industries affecting the coastal areas. O
*** J. Infrastructure adaptation and alternative employment. ***
** K. Human resource development and training. **
** L. Public education, awareness and information programmes. *
** M. Promoting environmentally sound technology and sustainable practices. *
** N. Development and simultaneous implementation of environmental quality criteria. **




*** A. Apply preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment, as well as to reduce the risk of long-term or irreversible adverse effects upon it. *
*** B. Ensure prior assessment of activities that may have significant adverse impacts upon the marine environment. **
*** C. Integrate protection of the marine environment into relevant general environmental, social and economic development policies. *
*** D. Develop economic incentives, where appropriate, to apply clean technologies and other means consistent with the internalization of environmental costs, such as the polluter pays principle, so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment. *
** E. Improve the living standards of coastal populations, particularly in developing countries, so as to contribute to reducing the degradation of the coastal and marine environment. O
** F. Effective monitoring and surveillance within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of fish harvesting and transportation of toxic and other hazardous materials. **



*** A. Sewage related problems are considered when formulating or reviewing coastal development plans, including human development plans. ***
*** B. Sewage treatment facilities are built in accordance with national policies. ***
*** C. Coastal outfalls are located so as to maintain acceptable level of environmental quality and to avoid exposing shell fisheries, water intakes and bathing areas to pathogens. ***
*** D. The Government promotes primary treatment of municipal sewage discharged to rivers, estuaries and the sea, or other solutions appropriate to specific sites. ***
*** E. The Government supports the establishment and improvement of local, national, subregional and regional, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control effluent discharge. Minimum sewage effluent guidelines and water quality criteria are in use. ***




*** A. Established or improved upon, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control emissions, including recycling technologies. ***
*** B. Promoted risk and environmental impact assessments to help ensure an acceptable level of environmental quality. **
** C. Promoted assessment and cooperation at the regional level, where appropriate, with respect to the input of point source pollutants from the marine environment. **
*** D. Taken steps to eliminate emissions or discharges of organohalogen compounds from the marine environment. **
** E. Taken steps to eliminate/reduce emissions or discharges or other synthetic organic compounds from the marine environment. **
*** F. Promoted controls over anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen and phosphorous that enter coastal waters where such problems as eutrophication threaten the marine environment or its resources. ***
*** G. Taken steps to develop and implement environmentally sound land-use techniques and practices to reduce run-off to water courses and estuaries which would cause pollution or degradation of the marine environment. **
*** H. Promoted the use of environmentally less harmful pesticides and fertilizers and alternative methods for pest control, and considered the prohibition of those found to be environmentally unsound. **
*** I. Adopted new initiatives at national, subregional and regional levels for controlling the input of non-point source pollutants which require broad changes in sewage and waste management, agricultural practices, mining, construction and transportation. **
** J. Taken steps to control and prevent coastal erosion and siltation due to anthropogenic factors related to, inter alia, land-use and construction techniques and practices. **




*** A. Coordinating national and regional observation programmes for coastal and near-shore phenomena related to climate change and for research parameters essential for marine and coastal management in all regions. ***
*** B. Providing improved forecasts of marine conditions for the safety of inhabitants of coastal areas and for the efficiency of marine operations. ***
*** C. Adopting special measures to cope with and adapt to potential climate change and sea-level rise. ***
** D. Participating in coastal vulnerability assessment, modelling and response strategies particularly for priority areas, such as small islands and low-lying and critical coastal areas. O
** E. Identifying ongoing and planned programmes as systematic observation of the marine environment, with a view to integrating activities and establishing priorities to address critical uncertainties for oceans and all seas. *
** F. Research to determine the marine biological effects of increased levels of ultraviolet rays due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. O
** G. Carrying out analysis, assessments and systematic observation of the role of oceans as a carbon sink. **


STATUS REPORT: The precipitation in Japan greatly differs from year to year, season to season, and region to region, with floods and water shortages occurring in many areas. It is expected that the demand for water will continue to increase. At the same time, the time involved in construction of dams and other water resource infrastructure tends to be prolonged, and there are problems of over-pumping of ground water. Conserving the quality of drinking water is also a growing challenge.

Japan has established a National Integrated Water Resources Plan (Water Plan 2000) whose objective is the improvement of the water supply system. It has also adopted a Basic Plan for Water Resources Development, to be realized by the year 2000, concerning seven river systems, including that of the Tone River.

Concerning about water quality, Japan establishes Environment Quality Standards based on the Basic Environment Law. In order to achieve these standards, Japan enforces effluent limitations and regularly conducts observations of both ground and surface water quality based on the Water Pollution Control Law.

Japan continues to improve sewerage and to promote construction of community plants, or "Gappei-Shori Johkasou" and rural sewerage in farming areas.

Japan also continues to promote measures for the conservation of the quality of water in lakes based on the Basic Policy for the Conservation of Water Quality in Lakes and Reservoirs and the Law for Special Measures for Conservation of Lake Water Quality.

About preservation of drinking water sources, in 1994, Japan enacted the Law to take Special Measures for the Preservation of Water Quality in Headwaters Areas for the Purpose of Preventing Specific Trouble in the Drinking Water Supply.

In March 1995, the distribution percentage of waterworks in Japan nationwide was 95.5%. In order to further improve the quality of water, Japan established "Long-Term Objectives for the Improvement of Waterworks as We Approach the 21st Century," a basic policy, and revised Quality Standards of Drinking Water, based on the Water Works Law to provide water works to ensure a safe and stable supply of water to all citizens.

As regards the management of water quality for agriculture and rural areas, Japan enforces regulations on agricultural chemicals in accordance with the Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Law. It is also involved in the promotion of the creation of soil which does not excessively depend on fertilizers.

As freshwater areas are important for the production of fishery resources, and in order to build on the natural environment, Japan carries out work for the creation of spawning grounds and places for raising juvenile fish, the installation of artificial reefs, and the installation of fishways.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Japan has adopted a National Integrated Water Resources Plan (Water Plan 2000), a Basic Plan for Water Resources Development, the Basic Environment Law, a Water Pollution Control Law, the Law for Special Measures for the Conservation of Lake Water Quality, the Law to Take Special Measures for the Preservation of Water Quality in Headwaters Areas for the Purpose of Preventing Specific Trouble in the Drinking Water Supply, the Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Law, the Water Works Law and the "Long-Term Objectives for the Improvement of Waterworks as We Approach the 21st Century."

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Japan actively promotes awareness among the general public concerning water, by conducting water-related events.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: As regards the rationalized development and management of water resources, as well as conservation of these resources, Japan participates in the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO. Japan promotes international scientific surveys and research, observation and monitoring, including those for assessing the effects of global warming on water balance.

Concerning assistance to developing countries, Japan cooperates with developing countries by improving water supply and sanitation system, providing dispatching experts and receiving trainees to and from their countries. Such projects account for a majority of environmental ODA by the Japanese government.

Fresh water availability (total domestic/external in million m3)
Annual withdrawal of freshwater as % of available water
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Japan has followed the Agenda 21 recommendations, is implementing obligations referring to chemicals and participates in a number of international programmes in this area.

Pursuant to OECD regulations, it has had a plan of action since 1991 for mutual checking of the safety of existing chemicals of a high production volume (HPV) (10,000 tons or more for manufactured chemicals, or 1,000 tons or more for chemicals manufactured in two or more countries). Through the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) of UNEP, ILO, WHO and FAO, Japan participates in activities for chemical risk management. In connection with the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC), it cooperates in collecting information and in conducting research on chemicals.

Toxic chemicals are classified and labeled in Japan in accordance with such laws as the Law concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture of Chemical Substances, the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law and Industrial Safety and Health Law. Under these Laws, Japan conducts examination of safety-related measures, including the potential for biodegradability, bioaccumulation, and the toxicity of chemicals. Based on its findings, it regulates the manufacture, import and use of such chemicals. Japan also supports worldwide harmonization in the classification and labeling of dangerous and toxic chemicals.

Japan supports the London Guidelines for the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade as well as the extension of the Guidelines to require the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure. In conformity with the London Guidelines, Japan has amended the Export Trade Control Order to establish a system for management of exports of toxic chemicals which are prohibited or strictly restricted in Japan or internationally.

The Basic Environment Law, Air Pollution Control Law and Water Pollution control Law all control the discharge of chemicals into the environment. In May 1996, Japan amended Air Pollution Control Law for the purpose of preventing human health damage caused by long-term exposure to hazardous air pollutants. The Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Law prohibits the sale of unregistered agricultural chemicals. Standards have also been developed for the registration of agricultural chemicals with respect to their residue in crops and water pollution. Japan conducts systematic environmental surveys and monitoring to measure the state of chemical residue in the environment, and acts accordingly.

Based on the recommendation in February 1996 by OECD on the introduction of the PRTR system, the implementation of the Pilot Project in local areas in 1997 is under discussion.

Japanese industries started voluntary emission control measures of some hazardous air pollutants with pledge and review system.

The Japan Chemical Industries Association started to implement the pollutants release survey through "Responsible Care".

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Toxic chemicals are managed in accordance with the following laws: Law on the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture, etc. of Chemical Substances; the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law; the Basic Environment Law, the Air Pollution Control Law; the Water Pollution Control Law; the Export Trade Control Order; the Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Law and Industrial Safety and Health Law. Japan prohibits the sales of unregistered agricultural chemicals. (See discussion under "Status.")

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Japan has established basic management procedures for the import, use and export of chemicals.

3. Major Groups: Local authorities and business groups are involved in the decision-making and implementation of activities in this area.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan participates in related programmes of the OECD, in the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) of UNEP, ILO, WHO and FAO, and in the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC), and it supports the London Guidelines and the PIC procedure. (Please refer also to "Status.")




The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed and ratified in 1993.

Parties shall cooperate to disseminate information on transboundary movement of hazardous wastes. Parties shall cooperate to promote environmentally sound low-waste technologies, to transfer technology and cooperate in developing codes of practice. Parties to assist developing countries.

Parties shall immediately inform affected parties as to accidents. Prior to the end of each calendar year, parties shall provide the following information on the preceding calendar year: (a) the authorities handling Convention matters; (b) information regarding the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes; measures adopted to implement convention; (d) available statistics on human health and environmental effects of generation, transport and disposal of hazardous wastes; (e) information on agreements entered into; (f) information on accidents; (g) information on disposal options; and (h) information on development of waste-reduction technologies;

The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1994.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

Japan promotes the prevention and minimization of hazardous waste by continuing to provide technological and financial assistance to prefectural governments which enforce the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law, and by strengthening institutional capacities in hazardous waste management. In accordance with the October 1991 amendments of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law, each of the individual prefectures has the power to designate a waste treatment public center for disposing of specially controlled wastes.

Japan strictly enforces the Basel Convention by means of proper implementation of the relevant domestic laws and regulations, including, in particular, the Law on the Control of Export, Import and Management of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes which was enacted specifically for this purpose. A penalty regime has been established against illegal transactions of wastes.

Japan presently permits the import and export of recyclable wastes as a resource with the United States and Southeast Asian countries.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law, which is Japan's general law for the management of waste, was broadly amended in October 1991 as the basis for ensuring proper disposal and reduction of waste, as well as the construction of disposal facilities. In July 1992, these amendments were put into effect.

In May 1992, Japan established the Law Regarding the Promotion of the Construction of Specified Facilities for the Disposal of Industrial Waste to give due consideration to the importance of maintaining waste disposal facilities for environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes.

Japan also strictly enforces the Basel Convention by means of proper implementation of the relevant domestic laws and regulations including, in particular, the Law on the Control of Export, Import and Management of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes which has specifically been enacted for the purpose of implementing the Basel Convention.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: Local authorities represented by prefectural governors and mayors of cities, towns and villages have been given the power to instruct businesses, which generate a large amount of wastes, to draw up plans for waste reduction. For example, each of the individual prefectures has the power to designate a waste treatment public center for disposing of specially controlled waste.

4. Finance: To promote the spread of waste disposal facilities, Japan is adopting measures concerning taxation and finances.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan promotes close international cooperation and works with the secretariat of the Basel Convention, UNEP, and the Regional Economic Commissions. In addition, Japan is promoting and strengthening international cooperation in the management of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.

Latest 199-
Generation of hazardous waste (t)
Import of hazardous wastes (t)
Export of hazardous wastes (t)
Area of land contaminated by hazardous waste (km2)
Expenditure on hazardous waste treatment (US$)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: With the wide-ranging amendments of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law in 1992, the basic policy is to promote the planned disposal of wastes, and Japan is enforcing measures to reduce wastes, including the promotion of appropriate packaging for goods, packaging reuse, composting and the segregation and separate collection of recyclable waste.

In order to construct a socio-economic system with reduced environmental load, Japan is reducing waste amounts by promoting the recycling of resources as well as limiting the generation of wastes. In 1991, with a view to enhancing public awareness, ministries and government agencies declared October of each year as the month for the promotion of recycling. In addition to promoting the improvement of sewerage, Japan will also promote the improvement of community plants and Gappei-shori johkasou (domestic waste water treatment system) in towns and villages.

According to a waste collection plan, in 1993 the percentage of the total population which receives collection service for general waste had reached 100%. However, when looking at the conditions of disposal, the amount accounted for by direct reclamation was equal to 14.4% of the total amount of waste generated. The amount of household disposal by household was equal to 2.0% of the total. At present, the population ratio of domestic waste water treatment is 51.6%. Improvement of sewerage is slow in small and medium-sized municipalities. In accordance with the Five-Year Plan for the 8th Stage of Waste Treatment Facilities Improvement started in 1990, local authorities have decided to reduce the disposal amount of garbage to 91% of the present amount, by means of incineration, segregation, and composting.

In 1995, "the Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection, and Recycling of Containers and Packaging" which is intended to encourage the establishment of new recycling and packaging systems under the each responsibility of consumers, local governments and producers.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The disposal of waste is conducted in accordance with the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law. In September 1992, in order to promote the reduction of waste, a National Conference for the Promotion of the Reduction in the Amount of Garbage was established. Also relevant are the October 1991, Law for Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resources, the Law on Temporary Measures to Promote Business Activities for the Rational Use of Energy and the Utilization of Recycling Resources, and the amended 1991 Waste Management Law. The 1990 Guidelines that were developed from the report of the Subcommittee for Industrial Structure on measures to address waste disposal and recycling of resources are applied and reviewed on an annual basis. In 1991 a Council for the Promotion of Recycling was established to bring together industrial and consumer organizations in this field.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Japan promote public awareness of appropriate waste disposal, environmental education and assists voluntary activities among the private sector, through the national government and local authorities, to encourage companies to develop waste reduction and reuse policies.

3. Major Groups: Japan conducts reduction of waste and recycling activities with the cooperation of local authorities, citizens and corporations.

4. Finance: As measures for assistance regarding recyclable waste, Japan has adopted measures for special tax redemptions in regards to facilities for recycling waste, as well as financial measures for low-interest financing through governmental financial agencies.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Japan promotes international cooperation in this area.

Generation of industrial and municipal waste (thousand tonne) 335,800 445,370 447,300
Waste disposed (Kg/capita) 0.79
Expenditure on waste collection and treatment (US$)
Waste recycling rates (%) 35.4
Municipal waste disposal (Kg/capita) 0.12
Waste reduction rates per unit of GDP (t/year)
Other data


STATUS REPORT: Japan considers that in addition to promoting the reduction of radioactive wastes, it is necessary to take measures for their appropriate treatment and disposal. In this regard, and based on the Long-Term Program for Research Development and Utilization of Nuclear Energy, Japan promotes various measures including those for ensuring financial resources, promoting research and development, and strengthening international cooperation. Japan is also in favor of an early completion of the Convention on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (tentative name).

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Legislation concerning the safe management of radioactive wastes includes such laws as the Law for the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors and the Law concerning Prevention from Radiation Hazards due to Radio-Isotopes, etc.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Regarding measures for the treatment and disposal of radioactive wastes, Japan abides by such international arrangements as Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Dumping of Wastes and other Matter. Japan will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).



The role of major groups are also covered under the various chapters of Agenda 21. The following is a summary of main objectives outlined in Agenda 21. Please check the appropriate boxes and describe briefly any important steps or obstacles.



The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed on 17 July 1980

and ratified on 25 June 1985.

24.b Increasing the proportion of women decision makers.

From 1992 to 1994, the proportion of women in government increased from 0.7% to 0.9%. The proportion in women in parliament increased from 6.5% in 1992 to 7.6% in 1996 and at the local government level it increased from 2.1% to 2.6%.

24.2.e assessing, reviewing, revising and implementing curricula and other educational material with a view to promoting dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge.

Curricula and educational material already promote gender relevant knowledge.

24.2.f and 24.2.c formulating and implementing policies, guidelines, strategies and plans for achievement of equality in all aspects of society including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development.

Policies/strategies etc. are being drawn up.

24.2.d establishing mechanisms by 1995 to assess implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women

Mechanisms are in place.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Based on the New National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000 (formulated in 1987 and revised in 1991), formulated to integrate the "Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women to the year 2000" into domestic policy, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Japan attaches importance to the implementation of the following activities: (1) Activities related to environmental education of the general public, environmental learning, the eco-mark system as regards environmentally friendly products with an active and joint participation of men and women, while utilizing the knowledge and experience of women; (2) Promotion of women's participation in the policy and decision making process in all fields; (3) Public relations and public awareness activities to review institutions, customs and practices in all fields of society; (4) International cooperation by women, as well as international cooperation to assist women's participation, including in the field of environmental conservation; (5) Dissemination of accurate knowledge about gender issues among people, beginning from their adolescence, and the preparation of the system of fine-tuned consultation and guidance in every stage of a woman's life; (6) Integration of women's knowledge and experience in environment-related surveys and research.


25.4 establishing processes that promote dialogue between the youth and government at all levels and mechanisms that permit youth access to information and opportunity to present their views on implementing A21.

Name relevant youth fora (3-4 most important):





Describe their role in the national process:

25.6 reducing youth unemployment

Youth unemployment 1992: 8.2%(15-19 years old) 1996:________

25.5 ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training.

The goal set in Agenda 21 has been reached.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

The report states the implementation of the following activities as important:

(1) In addition to making efforts to enhance events concerning environmental conservation in which children and youth participate, Japan will further improve environmental education in schools, homes and regions, and environmental education through direct contact with nature.

(2) The Government is making an effort to provide children and youth with social education facilities, such as public halls with a variety of opportunities for courses and lectures.

(3) The Government will promote the development and dissemination of such programs as environmental surveys and will try to provide assistance to private organizations for projects which supply children and youth with opportunities to express their opinions about environmental conservation.


26.3.a establishing a process to empower indigenous people and their communities -- through policies and legal instruments:

26.3.b strengthening arrangements for active participation in national policies

26.3.c involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at the national and local level.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Japan can not answer the above questions, because the term "Indigenous People" has never been clearly defined either internationally or domestically. However, Japan has been contributing to the United Nations Voluntary Fund concerning Indigenous Populations in order to promote the protection of the human rights of indigenous people in the world and to conserve their living environment.


27.5 developing mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively.

27.6 reviewing formal procedures and mechanisms to involve NGOs in decision making and implementation.

27.8 promoting and allowing NGOs to participate in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review A21 implementation.

These mechanisms exist already and NGO inputs are at an ad hoc basis.

27.7 establishing a mutually productive dialogue by 1995 at the national level between NGOs and governments.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Due to the lack of finance, human resources and information, NGOs' activities are rather limited. In order to change the present situation, comprehensive assistance should be provided to NGOs. Japan attaches importance to providing assistance for activities in developing countries, based on the Subsidy System for NGO projects, small-scale grants assistance, the Voluntary Deposit for International Aid System, and NGO's International Construction Development Assistance Program. In addition, based on regional environmental protection funds established by prefectural governments, Japan will continue to provide assistance for environmental conservation activities at the grass-roots level in different regions in Japan.

In 1993, the Japan Fund for Global Environment was established, based on contributions from the Government, as well as the private sectors. Japan extends assistance through this fund to NGOs' activities for global environmental conservation in developing countries as well as in Japan.

The Japan Council for Sustainable Development was established in 1996 to facilitate mutual dialogue between the government, the business sector and NGOs.

In 1996, the Global Environment Information Centre was established jointly by the Environment Agency and United Nations University, which aims to provide information and opportunity to exchange for private organizations and NGOs.


28.2.d encouraging local authorities to implement and monitor programmes that aim to ensure participation of women and youth in local decision making.

There are at least 28 local agenda 21s out of 47 prefectures and 12 designated metropolitan cities. -----% involve representation of women and/or youth

They involve about 73% of population

The Government supports local agenda 21 initiatives.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): Regarding conservation of the environment, local authorities are directly involved in the implementation of laws, regulations and guidelines, and in the observation, measurement and control of pollution, etc. They also carry out various antipollution and nature conservation projects. Many local authorities play an important role in global environmental protection as well. Local authorities have been involved in international cooperation for the promotion of sustainable development through the World City Forum, which was held in connection with the Earth Summit.

Taking into account the above, the Government provides assistance to the local authorities for voluntary and independent environmental activities by them; for instance for the establishment of "Local Agenda 21s"; and for international cooperation at the local authorities level.


29.2 full participation of workers in implementation and evaluation of A21.

29.3 a to e (By year 2000, (a) promoting ratification of ILO conventions; (b) establishing bipartite and tripartite mechanism on safety, health and sustainable development; increasing number of environmental collective agreements; (d) reducing occupational accidents and injuries; (e) increasing workers' education and training efforts.

The ILO Conventions No.87 and No.98 have been ratified. Workers take some part in National Agenda 21 discussions/implementation.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): Japanese trade union have contributed to environmental conservation and recycling. Some trade unions have been involved in international cooperation activities, including participation in the NGOs '92 Global Forum' held in conjunction with the Earth Summit.

Trade unions have participated in advisory councils and worked with local authorities. In addition, they conduct activities in the work place and regional communities for legislation, such as the Basic Environment Law, the promotion of waste reduction, recycling and tree-planting. Industrial federations of trade unions participate in environment-related industrial activities. Enterprise unions are involved in observation of enterprise and environment-related activities.

In conjunction with the above-mentioned information, the Government promotes the active participation by workers and trade unions in decision-making regarding environment and development as well as through talks with trade union representatives; and endeavors to improve the environmental education of workers.


30.6 increasing the efficiency of resource use, including reuse, recycling, and reduction of waste per unit of economic output.

There are governmental policies encouraging the above objective.

30.18.a encouraging the concept of stewardship in management and use of natural resources by entrepreneurs.

List any actions taken in this area:

No information.

30.18.b increasing number of enterprises that subscribe to and implement sustainable development policies.

No information.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): Business and industry deal not only with traditional types of industrial pollution concerning air and water, but also with a wide range of environmental problems, including those of global warming and waste. They play a major role in economic activities, and are expected to play a bigger role in regards to the construction of a sustainable socio-economic system with reduced environmental load.

In addition to the measures adopted thus far, Japan also: provides economic and institutional assistance to the private sector for the development of technology, facilities and equipment, which contribute to the rationalized use of energy in manufacturing processes; promotes various measures in accordance with the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming, the Law concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer, and the Automobile NOx Reduction Law; develops a system to stimulate the Project for Innovation and Development of Environment and Energy Technologies, which is based on The New Earth 21 program; promotes the transfer of technology which contributes to environmental conservation and the creation of a new framework by which recycling can permeate into the existing socio-economic system; participates actively in the creation of internationally harmonized standards of an environmental audit; promotes the development of methods for the objective assessment of the environmental burden imposed on business and industry by environmentally friendly production processes and products.

In addition to the governmental efforts mentioned above, 'Environment Appeal' was enacted in July 1996 to embody the concept of KEIDANREN Global Environment Charter adopted in April of 1991. Its main objectives include measures for global warming mitigation and the establishment of a circulative economic society.


31.3.b improving exchange of knowledge and concerns between s&t community and the general public.

The scientific community has already established ways in which to address the general public and deal with sustainable development.

31.9 developing, improving and promoting international acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and its role in reconciling environment and development.

Brief comments on this chapter not already described in chapter 35 (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The scientific and technological community plays a major role in the movement toward sustainable development. Of particular significance is its role in the development of environmentally-friendly technology and the establishment of information systems. Japan supports the scientific and technological community domestically through its Council for Science and Technology, chaired by the Prime Minister, and internationally, through the Association for Science Cooperation in Asia (ASCA).


32.5.c promoting and encouraging sustainable farming practices and technologies.

32.5.e developing a policy framework that provides incentives and motivation among farmers for sustainable and efficient farming practices.

32.5.f enhancing participation of organizations of farmers in design and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

The role played by farmers is of great significance to sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Farmers created an independent Agricultural Cooperation, which decided at its 1991 Conference to promote environmentally-friendly agriculture. In this regard, it has undertaken a campaign to develop appropriate agricultural methods and to reduce the use of chemicals and fertilizers.


Financial resources and mechanisms are also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national financial policies, domestic and external (including ODA)

STATUS REPORT: Japan expanded its bilateral and multilateral ODA in the field of the environment from 900 billion yen to 1 trillion yen (from 7 to 7.7 billion US$) during the 5-year period starting from fiscal year 1992. During the four fiscal years from 1992 through 1995, total amount of ODA in the field of the environment was about 980 billion yen. In addition, it established the "Funds for Development" Initiative which provides untied official financial cooperation to developing countries for an amount of approximately 120 billion yen over a five-year period. Japan also committed 415 million US$ to replenish the GEF core fund, and 2.6 billion SDR over a three year period (1993-1996) for the International Development Association (IDA), which accounts for 20% of the total amount of the (IDA) tenth replenishment. Japan highly values the roles played by UNEP, UNDP and UNU, in particular, and provides financial support to these organizations accordingly.

With respect to debt relief, Japan initiated the Financial Recycling Scheme for a five-year period in 1987 and extended it beyond 1992 for two countries. Japan has also implemented measures for grant aid for debt relief and non-project grant assistance for low-income countries, and it provides debt assistance through both the Paris Club System and the Enhanced Toronto Terms, which is a measure to substantially reduce debts by 50% for lower- and middle-income countries.

Japan also recognizes that private funding is important, including 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.


Since 1992, the Government has provided new and additional grant funds for sustainable development for a total of US$ eq. 1,115.6 million not specifically earmarked for the sectoral chapters under review in 1995. After 1992, the Government provided new and additional loans totalling US$ eq. 3,309.3 million. Among the new and additional funding (grants, loans) mentioned above, the following grant amounts have been provided specifically for the following activities: US$ eq. 0.5 million - Integrated planning and management of land resources (Chapter 10); US$ eq. 99.1 million - Combating deforestation (Chapter 11); US$ eq. 10.9 million - Combating desertification and drought (Chapter 12); US$ eq. 6.7 million - Sustainable mountain development (Chapter 13); US$ eq. 47.9 million - Sustainable agriculture and rural development (Chapter 14); US$ eq. 15.5 million - Conservation of biological diversity (Chapter 15); US$ eq. 4.9 million - Environmentally sound management of biotechnology (Chapter 16); US$ eq. 74.7 million - Information for decision making (Chapter 40); US$ eq. 0.3 - (Other Chapters). In addition, loan amount of US$ eq. 205.3 million was provided for Combating deforestation (Chapter 11).



ODA policy issues

Japan is a donor country.

ODA funding provided (Total US$million) 2210 2050 1920 2940
Average for 92-93
Average for 94-96
Net flow of external capital from all sources as % of GDP
Other data

Total amount of environmental-related ODA is 9.12 billion US$.


Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building is also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national policies and actions relating to chapter 34.


The spread of environmentally sound technology is considered to be essential for achieving sustainable development particularly in developing countries. 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.

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.

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

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: 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.

Describe any work being undertaken at the national or local level regarding efforts to promote clean production processes and/or the concepts of eco-efficiency. These processes may include training, preferential financial arrangements, information dissemination and changes in legal or regulatory frameworks.

Provide information on the adoption of environmental management systems. National reaction to environmental management system standards such as the ISO 14000 Series and others. Please note efforts made at the national level to promote their adoption and the creation of certification infrastructure in order to facilitate access to these standards to local industry.

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

List and describe programs or work under way to facilitate the transfer of ESTs to small and medium sized enterprises. Please note efforts to facilitate access to financial resources and other transfer strategies.



The Science and Technology Basic Law was established in 1995. Its objectives are to achieve a higher standard of science and technology ("S&T"), to contribute to the development of the economy and society in Japan and to the improvement of the welfare of the nation, as well as to contribute to the progress of S&T in the world and the sustainable development of human society, through prescribing the basic policy requirements for the promotion of S&T and comprehensively and systematically promoting policies for the progress of S&T.

The Science and Technology Basic Plan was established in 1996 to promote S&T policies comprehensively, systematically and positively from a new view point with the aim of S&T system reforms, and also to provide concrete science and technology promotion policies for 5 years from the 1996 fiscal year to the 2000 fiscal year which contain projections for the next 10 years.

The Science and Technology Agency, the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry are the institutions primarily responsible for Natural and Social Sciences and related legislation and policies. Both, representatives of the science sector (Natural and Social Sciences) and some individual scientists are represented in the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development.

Having experienced serious pollution in the past, Japan has actively promoted scientific research to address the problems of domestic pollution. Japan also works to improve public awareness of policies related to sustainable development and to transfer scientific knowledge to developing countries. It actively participates in worldwide research projects, including the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Charge Program (HDP), as well as in such scientific assessment activities as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It also carries out related, interdiscipilinary, research. Furthermore, Japan contributes to regional development, including the construction of a research network for the promotion of effective research in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan carries out long-term assessments of the state of the environment in a socio-economic context, and assists efforts to improve the capacity-building in developing countries, through various means, including official development assistance.


The following national legislation has been established, reviewed and modified to meet the requirements for sustainable development as described in chapter 35 of Agenda 21:

- The Science and Technology Basic Law (15 November 1995)

- The Science and Technology Basic Plan (2 July 1996)

- The Basic Plans for Research and Development on Earth Science and Technology (20 August 1990);

- The Comprehensive Promotion Program for Global Environment Research, Monitoring and Technology Development (13 Sep. 1994).

The most important post Rio projects related to natural, social, and engineering sciences are:

- The New Sunshine Project, initiated by the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology in June 1992,

- Studies for the Production of a Fundamental Dataset for Earth Science and Technology Researches, Global Research Network System initiated by the Science and Technology Agency,

- Toward the Realization of Global Change Prediction (9 July, 1996)

- Special Collaboration Study with Developing Countries, Global Environmental Research Program initiated by the Environmental Agency.

The most important multilateral or bilateral programmes addressing Science for Sustainable Development are (1) the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme with a budget of US$ 1 million; (2) the World Climate Research Programme; and (3) the Technology Renaissance for Environment and Energy with a budget of US$ 0.5 million.

The Government is also involved in the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research to provide necessary governmental support to the scientific process of reducing uncertainties related to global change; and activities related to various bilateral environment or science and technology agreements. ( As of November 1996, there are 4 bilateral environmental cooperation agreements and 17 bilateral science and technology agreements).

Number of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research and experimental development 673,400

(in research)

Total expenditure for research and experimental development (billion yen) 14,408

(for research)

Other data



a) Reorientation of education towards sustainable development

In order to promote the voluntary involvement of the general public and of the business community, it is necessary to promote environmental education. To this end, Japan will undertake the following activities: 1) Development of an information base conducive to environmental education and the provision of this information through various kinds of media. Human resources for the promotion of environmental conservation will also be fostered; 2) Efforts will be undertaken to promote environmental education directly in contact with nature in national parks for example; 3) School curriculum on environmental education have been prepared for every level of schooling. Education will be further promoted through the drafting and distributing of teaching materials, holding of education symposia and conferences aimed at improving the teaching abilities of educators; 4) Education provided by NGOs will continue to be supported; 5) The Junior Eco Club project, which has been promoted since 1995 by the Environment Agency, will be continued with a view to promoting environmental education and/or activities of children aged from 7 to 15.

b) Increasing public awareness

Japan will promote the following activities to increase public awareness: 1) providing information through various media from television video and pamphlets to posters and commemorative stamps; 2) creating opportunities for the general public to take part in events such as an environment month, campaigns for contact with nature and the recognition of persons who undertake meritorious activities in environmental conservation; 3) measures for the promotion of eco-tourism, both in Japan and abroad, will be studied; 4) campaigns for conservation of resources and energy throughout the country mostly during Energy Conservation Month and Recycling Month; 5) improvement in the network among local authorities in order to strengthen the work done in the regions. In this context World Environment Day (June 5) will be used to promote a series of activities by both the national government and local authorities.

c) Promoting training

So as to strengthen human resources in this area Japan will undertake the following activities:

1) training in administration and technology for authorities at the local and national levels; this knowledge will then be promoted through international cooperation by training people from developing countries; 2) the national government, local authorities and relevant NGOs will cooperate to conduct training for instructors to lead activities promoting environmental knowledge among the general public.

ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS: No information.


Adult literacy rate (%) Male
Adult literacy rate (%) Female
% of primary school children reaching grade 5 (1986-97) 99.98 99.99 99.99
Mean number of years of schooling
% of GNP spent on education
Females per 100 males in secondary school
Women per 100 men in the labour force 63.1 68.4
Other data

a = 1989


National capacity building is also covered under sectoral chapters.

Donors: You may wish to describe here how Agenda 21 has influenced your ODA policies in this area.

Developing countries: You may wish to describe any new national mechanisms for capacity building - and any changes in technical cooperation.

STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL ENDOGENOUS CAPACITY BUILDING: Based on its own experience in overcoming pollution while promoting economic growth, Japan is of the view that the development of human resources and the enhancement and diffusion of technology are the most important factors in developing countries' self-help efforts. It has incorporated this view into the Outline for ODA in which promotion of the capacity to conduct research and develop technology will be given as much importance as the development of human resources. Some of the steps taken to ensure strengthening this area are: 1) JICA is conducting environmental conservation training for researchers from developing countries; 2) in addition to establishing (grant aid) environmental research centers for dealing with pollution-related problems in Thailand, China and Indonesia, JICA is promoting technological cooperation projects for these centers. 3) technological cooperation is being promoted for projects aimed at preventing deforestation and the degradation of forests, as well as for the sustainable management of forests; 4) projects for cooperation in the field of biological diversity are being studied; 5) financial cooperation continues to be provided to UNDP particularly to support the Capacity 21 Plans; 6) assistance will continue to be provided to the training activities at the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (established in Japan) ; 7) Support will continue to be given to the various activities of the UNCRD, FAO, UNIDO, and the WMO.

In addition to these official technical cooperation activities, Japan will continue to implement measures (the Green Aid Plan) for the diffusion and enhancement of environment-related technology in developing countries including: the sending of experts to developing countries, the training of inexperienced professional from these countries, local training activities in these countries, and joint research and development activities and research cooperation for the purpose of transferring technology to developing countries including pollution-prevention technology which is owned by the private sector.


Ch. 38: Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state: For the UN system to efficiently and effectively deal with environmental problems, global and regional coordination and communication must be maintained. So as to effectively implement Agenda 21, sufficient utilization of the coordination functions of ECOSOC is necessary. While welcoming the establishment of the IACSD, Japan is of the view that the ACC should play a larger role in this area. Japan will continue to support UNEP as the coordinating organ of the system in the field of environment. The UN should also continue to conduct close exchanges with the international financial institutions including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Japan will continue to promote cooperation at the regional level through frameworks such as that of the ESCAP.

Japan is of the view that the involvement of NGOs is essential in the realization of sustainable development. In this context Japan reaffirms the importance of the continued participation of NGOs, the scientific community, the private sector as well as local groups.


Ch. 39: International Legal Instruments are covered under the relevant sectoral chapters. This is a listing of major agreements/conventions (not already covered) entered into and relevant to Agenda 21:

It is very significant that frameworks to deal with a wide spectrum of environment and development issues were the result of negotiation at UNCED over a relatively short period of time. In addition to implementing the existing legal frameworks, it will be important for the international community to study the possibility of establishing additional framework as necessary.

Japan will continue to positively participate in the formulation of related international law, as well as in the process of implementing such laws.

Japan is also of the view that the UN General Assembly and its 6th Committee should undertake studies for measures to prevent large-scale environmental destruction occurring not only during military conflicts but also during times of peace.

International cooperation for the safe management of nuclear energy should be enhanced and Japan takes great pleasure in noting that the Convention on Nuclear Safety finally entered into force last October, on the understanding that nuclear safety should primarily be the responsibility of countries with nuclear installations.

Given the relationship between the various environment-related conventions, and trade-related problems, it is anticipated that there will be many issues which will require resolution. In this connection, Japan is in favour of strengthening all mechanisms for the settlement of disputes.


This chapter is also covered under sectoral and other chapters of this profile. The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Some good
data but
many gaps
2. International cooperation and trade X
3. Combating poverty X
4. Changing consumption patterns X
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability X
6. Human health X
7. Human settlements X
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making X
9. Protection of the atmosphere X
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources X
11. Combating deforestation X
12. Combating desertification and drought X
13. Sustainable mountain development X
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development X
15. Conservation of biological diversity X
16. Biotechnology X
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources X
18. Freshwater resources X
19. Toxic chemicals X
20. Hazardous wastes X
21. Solid wastes X
22. Radioactive wastes X
24. Women in sustainable development X
25. Children and youth X
26. Indigenous people X
27. Non-governmental organizations X
28. Local authorities X
29. Workers and trade unions X
30. Business and industry X
31. Scientific and technological community X
32. Farmers X
33. Financial resources and mechanisms X
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building X
35. Science for sustainable development X
36. Education, public awareness and training X
37. International cooperation for capacity-building X
38. International institutional arrangements X
39. International legal instruments X
40. Information for decision-making X

Additional Comments

The Environment Agency, the National Institute for Environment Studies, and the Science and Technology Agency are the institutions primarily responsible for information for decision-making. National research institutes have been conducting studies to establish a methodological framework for the Japanese environmental accounting system in such areas as integration of macro-economic and environmental policy. The aforementioned work has been implemented by such institutions as the Environment Agency, the Economic Planning Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In addition, the Government has been involved in the following bilateral or multilateral initiatives:

- UNEP/GRID (United Nations Environment Programme/ Global Resource Information Database);

- CEOS (Committee of Earth Observation Satellite);

- GOIN (Japan-U.S. Global Observation Information Network);

- The Environment Research and Training Center Project implemented in Thailand, China and Indonesia aimed to technology transfer and capacity development to conduct monitoring survey and to establish database system;

- The UNEP International Environmental Technology Center, established in Japan by UNEP, is making a database in order to transfer environmentally sound technology to developing countries and countries with economy in transition;

- The International Center for Environment Technology Transfer which is creating a database of environmentally sound technologies which have already been introduced in industrial sector.

During the implementation of the abovementioned initiatives and projects, Japan experienced difficulties in sharing information electronically given that only a few computers were available with access to international telecommunications lines. Other than this, other obstacles to participating in electronic networks aside were inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, high cost of telecommunications, insufficient number of trained personnel. However, Japan has the capability to access remote sensing data.

In November 1993, Article 27 of the Basic Environment Law was reviewed and modified to meet the requirements for sustainable development as described in Chapter 40 of Agenda 21. Data concerning the standard of and measures for the domestic environment (pollution and natural environment) and global environment has been collected. All data bases are accessible to the public. Sustainable development information is available for all users described in Chapter 40 as well as all domestic sources of information related to sustainable development are represented.

Japan will promote the development of the indicator system for which environmental factors have been appropriately assessed, including the new System of National Accounts (SNA) which includes the Satellite System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting. It will also clarify the whole scope of environmental information through the development of the inventories of sources of environment-related information.

Japan also intends to improve and expand the data network of observation data from Earth observation satellites including the expansion of this network into the Asia-Pacific region. In order to promote the integration of environmental information and its use in decision-making, Japan will further support and improve the organizations which carry out the main functions of collection and analysis of environmental information.

The Geographical Survey Institute of the Ministry of Construction has arranged the establishment of the International Steering Committee on Global Mapping, whose aim is to coordinate harmonize the development of global geographic data for understanding global environmental problems, mitigating natural disasters and realizing economic growth within the context of sustainable development.

Latest 1994
Number of telephones in use per 100 inhabitants
Other data

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Last updated 1 November 1997