Environmental Policy

The Basic Environment Plan - Foreword


Humankind can enjoy healthy and cultured living, depending on the abundant blessings of the Earth's environment. Recently, however, it is becoming a common recognition that the global environment, the very basis of humankind's continued existence, is at risk of being damaged. There is a growing need to reconsider our values placing too much emphasis on the pursuit of material wealth, and the prevailing socioeconomic activities and lifestyles marked by mass-production, mass-consumption, and mass-disposal. It is the present generation's obligation to pass on to the future generations a well conserved and healthy environment, both globally and domestically. This obligation applies to all humankind. As for Japan, we must change our society to a sustainable one that generates little burden on the environment, while at the same time promoting international activities for conserving the global environment.

Based on these considerations, the Government hereby establishes the Basic Environment Plan, in accordance with the provision of Article 15 of the Basic Environmental Law (Law No. 91, 1993).

The Basic Environment Plan prescribes four long-term objectives. These are 1) to build a socioeconomic system fostering environmentally sound material cycle, where environmental load by human activities are minimized, 2) to secure a harmonious coexistence between humankind and diverse wildlife and natural environment, 3) to enhance participation of all the members of society in environmental conservation activities, and 4) to enhance their international activities. The Plan also provides for the outline of policies, roles of each sector of society, and the direction for implementing various policy instruments, toward the achievement of these objectives.1

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