In Focus

The Eighth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Japan and Korea (TEMM) Held

December 21, 2006

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Minister of the Environment Wakabayashi (Center)

Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan attended the Eighth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Japan and Korea (TEMM) held at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, People's Republic of China, on December 2-3, 2006. At the meeting, ministers exchanged their views on the recent progress in each country regarding environmental policies, global environmental issues including climate change, and environmental problems in Northeast Asia such as dust and sandstorm and acid deposition. They also discussed roles the TEMM should play in the future. Minister Wakabayashi also shared his views with Minister Zhou Shengxian of the State Environmental Protection Administration of the People's Republic of China on climate change measures, water environment conservation and waste problems. They agreed to implement cooperative measures on some issues. At the meeting with Minister Lee Chi-Beom of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Minister Wakabayashi reaffirmed with the Minister that both countries, as OECD member countries, share common concerns and are making efforts towards solving them.

Highlights of the Joint Communiqué issued at the Eighth TEMM:

1 Climate change

  • Ministers reaffirmed that the global community should make joint efforts to address climate change.
  • Ministers expressed their appreciation for the outcome of the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the UNFCCC, and the second session of the Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP2) to the Kyoto Protocol, including the decision to carry out the second review of the Kyoto Protocol in 2008. They also recognized the need for further global efforts to tackle the issue of climate change.
  • Ministers expressed the willingness to support the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) as one that will complement but not replace the Kyoto Protocol.

2 Dust and sandstorms

  • Ministers agreed to work together to reduce the damage caused to human health and the environment.
  • Ministers recognized the necessity of capacity building and sharing monitoring data in order to promote a monitoring network.
  • Ministers also concurred in holding a director general level meeting to discuss concrete measures, including the establishment of a joint research group.

3 Marine litter

  • Ministers shared the recognition for the need to further collaborate on the issue of marine litter.

4 Water quality management

  • Ministers recognized the need for cooperation among the three countries in conserving and managing the water environment in the region.

5 Chemicals management

  • Ministers concurred that the three countries will promote information exchange on policies and regulations. To this end, a workshop will be held in Japan next year.

6 Others

  • Ministers agreed to cooperate on the following issues: establishment of a sound material-cycle society, measures against acid deposition, illegal transboundary movement of toxic and hazardous waste, biodiversity conservation, and chemicals management.
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Highlights of the Bilateral Environment Ministers Meeting between Japan and China:

1 Global warming measures

  • Minister Wakabayashi expressed the need for countries to make efforts, each according to their capacity, in fighting global warming. He pointed out that countries with high GHG emissions must make special efforts to reduce such emissions. Minister Zhou said that China is striving to achieve the targets set in the 11th5Year Plan and expressed China's intention to cooperate through CDM and APP.

2 Japan-China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation

  • Ministers agreed to reconvene the committee next year.

3 Water environment management

  • Ministers agreed to start the Japan-China joint research on this issue.

4 Waste and recycling policies

  • Ministers concurred in holding director general talks.

5 Marine litter

  • Despite the difficulty of identifying the exact causes of marine litter, either natural or anthropogenic, they agreed to actively make efforts to tackle the problem.

Highlights of the Bilateral Environment Ministers Meeting between Japan and Korea:

1 Dust and sandstorms

  • Minister Lee proposed to make further efforts in tackling the problem of dust and sandstorms. Japan confirmed that it will cooperate.

2 Global warming measures

  • Recognizing the importance of APP activities, Ministers confirmed that they will work closely together by way of information exchange, for example.

3 Establishment of a sound material-cycle society

  • Japan expressed its view in regard to the establishment of a sound material society. Recognizing that Japan and Korea import much resources and share common concerns as the result, Minister Wakabayashi reaffirmed that they have cooperated, and will further cooperate in the future, in drafting necessary legislations for example.

Appendix: Joint Communiqué
Link to the TEMM website: http://www.temm.org/

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