In response to the OECD Recommendation, the Environment Agency of Japan (the present Ministry of the Environment) has accelerated the preparations for the introduction of a PRTR in Japan. In October 1996, the PRTR Technical Advisory Committee was established, chaired by Dr. Jiro Kondo, a professor emeritus at Tokyo University. The committee has investigated technical matters concerning PRTRs, and compiled the PRTR Technical Advisory Committee Report in May 1997. Within the framework of the report, the committee launched a pilot PRTR project, geared towards the introduction of a PRTR. At the same time, the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (the present Nippon Keidanren) and the Japan Chemical Industry Association encouraged the relevant industries to make voluntary efforts to estimate the amount of released and transferred chemical substances.
In July 1998, the Director-General of the Environment Agency of Japan consulted the Central Environmental Council about Japan's future measures against environmental risks from chemical substances. Responding to this, the Council conducted intensive deliberations on the introduction of a PRTR system in Japan. In November 1998, the Council completed the interim report on the basic concept. Based on this concept, the Environment Agency of Japan prepared A Bill on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof in collaboration with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. The bill was submitted to the Diet in March 1999, partially amended in the House of Representatives, approved in the House of Councilors on July 7, and finally promulgated on July 13.
Based on this Act, in 2001, the businesses subject to the Act started estimating the amount, etc., of the subject chemical substances that they released into the environment. The following year, they began to notify the data to the government, and the aggregate data has been published since the end of FY2002.