Environmental degradation is growing into a grave concern
in various parts of the world today. Countries especially
in developing regions are suffering from problems emanating
from a combination of factors including population growth,
concentration of population in cities, industrialization,
and poverty, resulting in urban air pollution, water
contamination, decline in sanitation, degradation of
forests and soil, loss of biodiversity, marine pollution,
etc. Moreover, pollutants released in countries around
the world are spreading across boundaries and transcending
generations to cause problems of a wide range, such
as climate change and acid deposition.
These problems are not only threatening human health
and living but also undermining the foundation of development
for future generations with the diminishment of environmental
In order to eliminate poverty and preserve the benefits
of the environment for the future, actions must be taken
to address environmental issues based on the concept
of sustainable development.
During its period of high economic growth, Japan experienced
heavy industrial pollution and other environmental problems.
Through all-out efforts by the national and local governments,
business corporations, and citizens' groups, pollution
has abated dramatically. In addition, the country has
achieved economic growth while improving efficiency
in use of resources and energy. Today, Japan is working
on the problems of waste disposal and other pollution
issues related to everyday living, global warming and
conservation of nature.
Backed by experiences and technologies developed through
such processes, Japan is cooperating with countries
around the world, particularly developing countries,
to deal with protection of the environment.