Laws :Environmental Policy

The Basic Environment Law_Chapter 1

Chapter 1 General Provisions

Article 1
(Purpose)

The purpose of this law is to comprehensively and systematically promote policies for environmental conservation to ensure healthy and cultured living for both the present and future generations of the nation as well as to contribute to the welfare of mankind, through articulating the basic principles, clarifying the responsibilities of the State, local governments, corporations and citizens, and prescribing the basic policy considerations for environmental conservation.


Article 2
(Terminology)

1. For the purpose of this law, "environmental load" means any adverse effects on the environment generated by human activities which may cause interference with environmental conservation.

2. For the purpose of this law, "global environmental conservation" means environmental conservation regarding such phenomena as global warming the ozone layer depletion, marine pollution, decrease in wildlife species and others which are caused by human activities and affect the environment of the entire globe or a large part of it, which contributes to the welfare of mankind as well as to the healthy and cultured living of the people.

3. For the purpose of this law, "environmental pollution" ("Kogai" in Japanese) means, among interference with environmental conservation, air pollution, water pollution (including a deterioration of water's unadulterated state other than the water quality and the quality of the bottom. The same shall apply hereinafter except for Article I6 Paragraph 1.), soil contamination, noise, vibration, ground subsidence (excluding subsidence caused from land excavation for mineral exploitation. The same shall apply hereinafter.) and offensive odors affecting an extensive area as a result of business and other human activities, which cause damage to human health or the living environment (including property closely related to human life, as well as fauna and flora closely related to human life and their living environment. The same shall apply hereinafter.).


Article 3
(Enjoyment and Future Success of Environmental Blessings)

Environmental conservation shall be conducted appropriately to ensure that the present and future generations of human beings can enjoy the blessings of a healthy and productive environment and that the environment as the foundation of human survival can be preserved into the future, in consideration that preserving the healthy and productive environment is indispensable for healthy and cultured living for the people, and that the environment is maintained by a delicate balance of the ecosystem and forms the foundation of human survival, which is finite in its carrying capacity and presently at risk of being damaged by the environmental load generated by human activities.


Article 4
(Creation of A Society Ensuring Sustainable Development with Reduced Environmental Load)

Environmental conservation shall be promoted so that a society can be formulated where the healthy and productive environment is conserved and sustainable development is ensured by fostering sound economic development with reduced environmental load, through practices on environmental conservation such as reducing as much as possible the environmental load generated by socio-economic and other activities, which are voluntarily and positively pursued by all the people sharing fair burden; and so that interference with environmental conservation can be anticipatively prevented through enhancing scientific knowledge.


Article 5
(Active Promotion of Global Environmental Conservation through International Cooperation)

Global environmental conservation shall be actively promoted in cooperation with other countries, utilizing Japan's capacities and resources, and in accordance with Japan's standing in the international community, in consideration of the fact that global environmental conservation is a common concern of mankind as well as a requirement in ensuring healthy and cultured living of the people into the future, and that the Japanese economy and society is closely interdependent with the international community.


Article 6
(Responsibility of the State)

The State is responsible for formulating and implementing fundamental and comprehensive policies with regard to environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles on environmental conservation prescribed in the three articles preceding (hereinafter referred to as the "basic principles").


Article 7
(Responsibility of Local Governments)

The local governments are responsible for formulating and implementing policies with regard to environmental conservation corresponding to national policies and other policies in accordance with the natural and social conditions of the local governments' jurisdiction, pursuant to the basic principles.


Article 8
(Responsibility of Corporations)

1. In conducting business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures to prevent environmental pollution, such as the treatment of smoke and soot, polluted water and wastes, etc. resulting from their activities, and to properly conserve the natural environment, pursuant to the basic principles.

2. In manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures for ensuring proper disposal of the wastes generated from products and other goods related to their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.

3. Besides the responsibilities prescribed in the preceding tao Paragraphs, in manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for making efforts to reduce the environmental loads resulting from the use or disposal of the products and other goods related to their activities; and for making effort to use recyclable resources and other materials and services which contribute to reducing the environmental loads in their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.

4. Besides the responsibilities prescribed in the preceding three Paragraphs, corporations are responsible for making voluntary efforts to conserve the environment such as reduction of the environmental loads in the course of their business activities; and for cooperating with the policies implemented by the State or local governments with regard to environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.


Article 9
(Responsibility of Citizens)

1. Citizens shall make efforts to reduce the environmental loads associated with their daily lives so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.

2. Besides the responsibility prescribed in the preceding Paragraph, citizens are responsible for making efforts to conserve the environment and for cooperating with the policies implemented by the State or local governments with regard to environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.


Article 10
(Environment Day)

1. In order to promote awareness and understanding of environmental conservation among corporations and the people, and to encourage willingness to pursue activities related to environmental conservation, there shall be designated the Environment Day.

2. The Environment Day shall be June 5th.

3. The State and local governments shall make efforts to carry out events which support the spirit and objective of the Environment Day.


Article 11
(Legislative Measures etc.)

The Government shall take legislative, financial and other measures required to implement the policies with regard to environmental conservation.


Article 12
(Annual Report)

1. The Government shall submit annually to the Diet a report on the state of the environment and the policies implemented with regard to environmental conservation.

2. The Government shall make and submit annually to the Diet a document explaining the policies the Government is going to implement considering the State of the environment as described in the report in the preceding Paragraph.


Article 13
(Prevention of Air Pollution and the like by Radioactive Substances)

The measures to prevent air pollution, water pollution and soil contamination caused by radioactive substances shall be implemented under the Atomic Energy Basic Law (Law No.186 of 1955) and other related legislation.


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