Through encouragement of independent environmental conservation activities conducted by a variety of organizations

@The Environmental Policy Bureau carries out planning, drafting and promotion of basic policies related to environmental conservation, such as the Basic Environment Law, the Basic Environment Plan and environmental impact assessments. The bureau also handles general coordination of the affairs of related government bodies.

¡Basic Environment Plan

@The Basic Environment Plan gives an outline of comprehensive and long-term measures relating to environmental conservation for the entire government. The Cabinet approved the first plan in 1994, and the second in December 2000. Based on an interim report in healthy and resourse abundant July 2005, a third plan is being discussed at the Central Environment Council with an aim to formulate the plan by the end of fiscal year 2005.

¡Promotion of Environmental Education, @ Learning, and Conservation Activities

@To build a sustainable society, citizens must take environmental action with a very thorough understanding and high consciousness of the environment.
@In July 2003, the "Law for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting of Environmental Education" was enacted. In September 2004, the Cabinet approved the government's Basic Plan. On the basis of the law and the Basic Plan, the Ministry of the Environment will promote environmental education and learning in various places such as schools, local communities, workplaces, and homes.
@As the "United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) began in 2005, the Ministry of the Environment is also promoting environmental education from a comprehensive perspective, incorporating the environment, the economy, and society.

œImplementation of Environmental Education
@The Ministry of the Environment is supporting environmental conservation activities by children, primarily elementary school and junior high school students, in their local communities under the Junior Eco Club project. The Ministry is also providing information and educational material/contents for supporting the Eco-life program primarily for the family under the Eco-minister project.

œSupport for Human Resource Development
@The Ministry of the Environment is operating an "Environmental Counselors" program where the Ministry registers and introduces individuals with extensive knowledge and experience on the environment to offer advice on activities by various organizations. Also, this program provides a "Basic Training Course for Environmental Education Leaders," which aims at enabling schoolteachers and local community leaders to gain basic knowledge on the environment and engage in hands-on training.

œInformation Dissemination

EDatabase for environmental education and learning

EDatabase for human resources development for environmental education /
@personnel certification projects

¡Environmental White Paper
(Annual Report on the Environment)

@The Environmental White Paper is an annual report to inform citizens on the current state of the environment and environmental policy measures.
The Ministry of the Environment also draws up The Abridged and the Illustrated Environmental White Paper and Environmental White Paper for Children.

¡Integration of the Environment @@@@@and the Economy

@In order to respond to current environmental issues, it is necessary to create a society where the environment and the economy improve together. By creating a Òvirtuous cycle of the environment and the economy," the Ministry of the Environment aims to create a society where improving the environment leads to economic growth, and economic revitalization improves the environment.
In order for the people, businesses, and the government to exert efforts together to bring about integration of the environment and the economy, the Ministry of the Environment has formulated the ÒVision of a Virtuous Cycle of the Environment and Economy - HERB Concept," which envision what Japan will look like in 2025 when it will have become a calm, beautiful, and environmentally advanced country as a result of the virtuous cycle established between its environment and economy.

¡Promotion of Environmental Research and Technology

@To help us solve environmental problems, a wide range of environmental research and technological development is expected to play a significant role in areas such as low environmental impact technology and environmental pollution restoration technology.
As the measures to promote and disseminate environmental research and technological development, the Ministry of the Environment is offering grants for outstanding proposals on environmental research and technological development utilizing industrial, academic and governmental expertise. The ministry is also conducting demonstration experiments on state-of-the-art environmental technologies.
In addition, the Ministry of the Environment is promoting efforts by the ministryfs affiliated research institutes, such as the National Institute for Environmental Studies.

@Information on Promotion
@of Environmental Research and Technology:

¡Promotion of Environment-Friendly Activities by Corporations

@To promote voluntary and active environment-friendly activities by corporations, the Ministry of the Environment is actively encouraging corporations to adopt environmental management systems, including "ISO14001," "Eco Action 21," and gEnvironmental Accounting." The ministry is also encouraging corporations to draw up and disclose "Environmental Reports."

Information on Environment-Friendly Activities by Corporations:

¡Promotion of Green Purchasing

@Green Purchasing refers to preferring to purchase environmentally friendly products and services.
Starting from April 2001, based on the gLaw Concerning the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities" (Law on Promoting Green Purchasing), the Ministry of the Environment is promoting Green Purchasing by the public sector in Japan including the central government, to accelerate the shift in demand towards environmentally friendly products.
In order to reduce the burden placed on the environment by society as a whole, it is important for each and every citizen to exert efforts to purchase greener goods and services. The ministry manages a database designed to support Green Purchasing through environmental labeling, and also promotes the Eco Mark Program. These programs serve as aids for consumers participating in Green Purchasing,

Information on green purchasing: hozen/green/g-law/index.html

Information on database
for environmental labeling, etc: hozen/green/ecolabel/index.html

¡Studying the Possibility of Introducing the Environment Tax

@The Ministry of the Environment considers environmental taxation as an effective way to achieve the goal that has been imposed on Japan under the Kyoto Protocol (refer to the website for the Global Environment Bureau) for global warming prevention. The environment tax is a taxation scheme that involves all citizens, which is imposed on electricity, gas, gasoline etc that emit carbon dioxide, which causes global warming, and seeks broad-based burden-sharing depending on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. The introduction of the environment tax is expected to help reduce emission of greenhouse gases and promote reform of the socio-economic system and the industrial structure, which are both heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

¡Promotion of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

œEnvironmental impact assessment
@Environmental impact assessment means that before the commencement of large-scale development projects such as the construction of roads, airports, and power plants, project proponents must conduct preliminary surveys, forecasts, and evaluations on the potential environmental impact of the projects, and consult with local governments and citizens, etc. to obtain their opinions upon the assessment results. In order to ensure that due consideration is given to the environment, the Ministry of the Environment reviews environmental impact statements of development projects based on the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, and is exerting efforts to improve the system.
In addition, the Ministry of the Environment provides various information concerning EIA on the website, such as projects now inviting public opinion.


œStrategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
@Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an assessment of gPolicies, Plans and Programsh, which will provide the framework for each project. Ministry of the Environment is considering introduction and implementation of SEA.