Laws :Environmental Policy

The Basic Environment Law_Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Basic Policies for Environmental Conservation

Section 1
Guidelines for Policy Formulation

Article 14
The formulation and implementation of the policies for environmental conservation set forth in this chapter shall be administered comprehensively and systematically, coordinating the various measures, pursuant to the basic principles and aiming at ensuring the following objectives.
  • (1) To maintain natural elements of the environment such as air, water and soil in good condition so as to protect human health, to conserve the living environment and to properly preserve the natural environment.
  • (2) To protect the biodiversity such as the diversity of ecosystems and wildlife species, and to orderly conserve the various features of natural environment such as in the forest, farmlands and waterside areas in accordance with the natural and social conditions of the area.
  • (3) To maintain rich and harmonious contacts between people and nature.

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Section 2
Basic Environment Plan

Article 15

1. The Government shall establish a basic plan with regard to environmental conservation (hereinafter referred to as the " Basic Environment Plan" ) in order to comprehensively and systematically promote the policies for environmental conservation.

2. The Basic Environment Plan shall stipulate the following matters.

  • (1) The outline of the comprehensive and long-term policies for environmental conservation
  • (2) Besides the preceding matter, the matters required to comprehensively and systematically promote the policies for environmental conservation

3. The Prime Minister shall formulate a draft of the Basic Environment Plan and ask the Cabinet for its decision, after hearing the opinion of the Central Environment Council.

4. The Prime Minister shall promulgate the Basic Environment Plan without delay when the Cabinet has made its decision in accordance with the preceding Paragraph.5. The preceding two Paragraphs shall apply mutatis mutandis to changes of the Basic Environment Plan.

5. The preceding two Paragraphs shall apply mutatis mutandis to changes of the Basic Environment Plan.


Section 3
Environmental Quality Standards

Article 16

1. With regard to the environmental conditions related to air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination and noise, the Government shall respectively establish environmental quality Standards, the maintenance of which is desirable for the protection of human health and the conservation of the living environment.

2. In the event that the standards referred to in the preceding Paragraph establish more than one category and stipulate that land or water areas to which those categories are to be applied should be designated, the Government may delegate to the prefectural governors concerned the authority to designate those land or water areas, in accordance with Cabinet Order.

3. With regard to the standards set forth in Paragraph 1, due scientific consideration shall always be given and such standards shall be revised whenever necessary.

4. The Government shall make efforts to attain the standard provided for in Paragraph 1 by comprehensively and effectively implementing policies concerning environmental pollution control which are set forth in this chapter (hereinafter referred to as the "environmental pollution control policies" ).


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Section 4
Environmental Pollution Control in Specific Areas

Article 17
(Formulation of Environmental Pollution Control Program)

1. The Prime Minister shall instruct the prefectural governors concerned to formulate programs on measures for environmental pollution control (hereinafter referred to as the "Environmental Pollution Control Program" ), concerning areas specified as either of the following categories, by presenting the basic directions of the environmental pollution control policies to be implemented in those areas.

  • (1) Areas where environmental pollution is currently serious and where it is recognized that it is very difficult to prevent environmental pollution unless the environmental pollution control policies are comprehensively implemented.
  • (2) Areas where environmental pollution is likely to become serious due to the rapidly increasing concentration of population, industry etc., and where it is recognized that it will be very difficult to prevent environmental pollution unless the environmental pollution control policies are comprehensively implemented.

2. The basic directions provided for in the preceding Paragraph shall be formulated on the basis of the Basic Environment Plan.

3. When the prefectural governor concerned has received the instruction provided for in Paragraph 1, he/she shall formulate an Environmental Pollution Control Program in accordance with the basic directions provided for in the same Paragraph and shall submit it to the Prime Minister for his/her approval.

4. Prior to issuing the instruction under Paragraph 1 or giving the approval required under the preceding Paragraph, the Prime Minister shall ask the Conference on Environmental Pollution Control for its decision.

5. Prior to issuing the instruction under Paragraph 1, the Prime Minister shall hear the opinions of the prefectural governors concerned.


Article 18
(Promotion of Attainment of Environmental Pollution Control Program)
The State and local governments shall make efforts to take measures necessary or the attainment of the Environmental Pollution Control Programs.
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