Environmental Policy

The Basic Environment Plan - Part III-Chapter 5

Chapter 5. Promoting International Activities

  • Section 1.Promoting International Cooperation for Global Conservation
    • 1. Securing international coordination of policy
    • 2.Conserving the environment in developing regions
      • 2.1. Policy discussion
      • 2.2.Effective assistance
        • Reference 15. Japanese statement at the UNCED on official development assistance, June 1992:
      • 2.3. Technology transfer
      • 2.4. Research in developing regions
      • 2.5. Selecting and evaluating projects
    • 3. Conserving internationally valuable environments
    • 4.Strengthening the domestic foundation to promote cooperation
  • Section 2. International Cooperation in Research, Observation and Monitoring
  • Section 3. Encouraging Activities by Local Governments and Private Sector
  • Section 4. Environmental Consideration in International Cooperation
  • Section 5.Efforts Based on International Agreements
    • 1. Preventing global warming
    • 2. Protecting the ozone layer
    • 3. Preventing acid rain
    • 4. Preventing marine pollution
    • 5. Regulating transboundary movements of hazardous waste
    • 6. Conserving forests
    • 7. Conserving biodiversity
    • 8. Preventing desertification


  • Chapter 1. Building a Socioeconomic System Fostering Environmentally Sound Material Cycle
  • Chapter 2. Harmonious Coexistence Between Nature and Humankind
  • Chapter 3. Participation by All Sectors of Society Sharing Fair Burden
  • Chapter 4. Measures Forming the Basis of Environmental Policy

Basic Direction

Global conservation is a problem common to all of humanity and it cannot be resolved by one country acting alone. Japan must contribute to this international effort in a manner suitable to its position in the international community.

Accordingly, the government must ensure internationally cooperative measures. It must promote cooperation toward conserving the environments of developing regions and internationally valuable ones. To promote international cooperation, the Government must prepare the domestic basis. It must guarantee international cooperation in research, observation and monitoring and it must encourage activities by local governments and private organizations. Furthermore, even when enacting measures for international cooperation, the government must remember to show deference to the environment.

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Section 1. Promoting International Cooperation for Global Conservation

1. Securing International Coordination of Policy

To conserve the global environment, it is essential to coordinate international measures in addition to implementing them domestically.

The government shall abide by environmental treaties and other bilateral and international agreements. It shall, likewise, play an active role in creating new policy frameworks.
To implement the UNCED resolutions, the government shall support the environmental activities of the United Nations. It shall actively participate in discussions on matters of global importance for example, developmental assistance and the environment, innovative technology development, monetary mechanisms, global change research, trade and the environment and evaluating economic measures.
International organizations play an important role in providing financial support to promote world conservation. As such, these organizations should confirm that development projects are giving sufficient consideration to the environment. They should also verify that global environmental conservation projects are provided with adequate funding. The government shall promote active participation in ensuring that the Global Environment Facility ("GEF"), which is a major fund established to tackle global problems is managed effectively and efficiently.
Japan shall work with other countries and international organizations to save the global environment. In particular, Japan shall play a leading role in promoting cohesive measures and their implementation in the Asian-Pacific since Japan has both historical and geographical ties to the region. This region is expected to experience phenomenal growth. Consequently, this implies that the area will inflict tremendous burdens on the environment. Japan shall strive to control these burdens by promoting conservation measures.

2. Conserving the Environment in Developing Regions

Conservation in developing countries is an international problem. Both developed and developing nations must get involved. It is necessary for developed countries to promote international assistance to developing countries in the areas of population, resources, development and environmental problems. Japan shall help developing countries help themselves in securing a safe balance between the environment and development. Likewise, Japan shall promote international cooperation in environmental conservation.

2.1. Policy Discussion

The international community uniformly believes that sustainable growth must be achieved and that developed countries must join the effort to conserve the environment. To ensure coordination in these endeavors, close policy discussions shall be promoted.

2.2. Effective Assistance

The government shall coordinate and regulate foreign assistance in a manner thought best suited to achieve designated results. Types shall range from loans and grants, to technical assistance. Likewise, official development assistance ("ODA") for environmental efforts shall be expanded in accordance with UNCED declarations and the Outline of Basic Principles and Ideas of Official Development Assistance. The government shall offer ODA in a flexible manner to encourage developing countries to establish a safe balance between the economy and environment. It shall strive to coordinate its efforts with those of other developed countries, the United Nations, international financial organizations, local governments and private organizations.


Japanese statement at the UNCED on official development assistance, June 1992:

Japan shall seek to expand bilateral and multilateral official development assistance from 900 billion to 1 trillion yen by for 5 fiscal years from 1992.

2.3. Technology Transfer

Japan developed many new technologies and know-how in the process of overcoming the severe pollution problems of the past. Japan must make the most of these experiences by using them to help developing countries facing similar problems to clean and conserve their environments. Experts shall be dispatched, foreign researchers shall be received and joint research shall be promoted to pass on the fruits of these experiences. The government shall strive to improve transfers of environmental technology and know-how. This transfer assistance shall be tailored to the particular country's stage of development in a manner that will allow them to utilize their own technologies and know-how. The technology of the public and private sectors shall be fully utilized as well. Furthermore, the government shall support voluntary technological cooperation between Japanese civic organizations and those of developing countries.

2.4. Research in Developing Regions

Research, policy studies and ODA effectiveness evaluations shall be promoted in developing countries. Environmentally oriented ODA shall be distributed to regions and countries in a manner suitable to the results of these studies.

2.5. Selecting and Evaluating Projects

Extensive investigations and full cooperation are needed to ensure that proper projects are selected. Likewise, project evaluations shall be promoted to ensure that they are contributing to the cooperative efforts.

3. Conserving Internationally Valuable Environments

Certain environments are extremely valuable internationally and are considered the common birth-right or heritage to all of humanity. For example, to conserve Antarctica, the Protocol on Conserving the Antarctic Environment Treaty shall be observed. International cooperation shall be promoted to assess environmental impact, conserve plants and wildlife, manage waste disposal, prevent ocean pollution and administer conserved areas. Moreover, through contributions to the World Heritage Fund, the government shall actively cooperate to conserve natural heritage areas designated in the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

4. Strengthening the Domestic Foundations to Promote Cooperation

The government shall lay a domestic groundwork that will ensure the most effective application of its technology, know-how and experience to promote international cooperation.

4.1. Human Resources

Human resources are necessary to cooperate internationally. The government shall continue to promote the employment of people currently working in fields related to international cooperation. It shall establish systems for training and a registry system for specialists in international affairs. Likewise, efforts shall be made to employ international specialists on their return from duty abroad.

4.2. Facilities

Information on global conservation, technology and environmental experiences shall be collected domestically and sorted. Facilities shall be established to allow easy technological transfer and storage which will contribute in conserving the global environment.

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Section 2. International Cooperation in Research, Observation and Monitoring

International networks, joint international research and research exchanges shall be promoted to encourage cooperation in research, observation and monitoring for global environmental conservation.

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Section 3. Encouraging Activities of Local Governments and Private Sector

International cooperation in environmental conservation shall be improved by encouraging activities. by local governments and private organizations Local governments have much to offer similarly situated foreign cities in the form of environmental conservation information. Likewise, private organization cooperation can be very effective on the grassroots level. The government shall encourage the voluntary efforts of local governments to form sister-city relationships and self-governing international cooperation organizations. Also, information shall be provided to private organizations to encourage their active participation in international cooperation.

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Section 4. Environmental Considerations in International Cooperation

It is necessary for Japan to give the environment appropriate consideration in international cooperation. It is important for the business community with overseas operations to do the same. The government shall promote continued voluntary civil actions to ensure that these considerations are made.

The government shall continue to employ environmental guidelines when cooperating in international projects on the national level. It shall begin human resource training as a means of ensuring the environment is given due consideration. And, while cooperating with international organizations, appropriate concern shall be shown to the environment. Furthermore, the government shall strive to ensure that the same concern is shown in international assistance from other public sources and overseas activities of private enterprises.

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Section 5. Efforts Based on International Agreements

1. Preventing Global Warming

The Government shall implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including national communications on measures and procedures to arrest global warming and their predicted effects. To further promote measures with international cooperation, we will also explore specific measures for the evaluation of the adequacy of the commitment of the Convention in relation to its ultimate objectives, the ways to coordinate international efforts for reducing world total emissions of greenhouse gases and enhancing their absorption, including joint implementation of policies. The Government shall simultaneously support the scientific activities of the IPCC and other organizations. Furthermore, measures shall be implemented for international cooperation to alter current consumption patterns, to develop technologies to alleviate climate change, to assist developing countries to formulate national plans, and to assist technology transfer

2. Protecting the Ozone Layer

The Government shall steadily implement Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. We shall also support the measures implemented by developing countries. Moreover, Japan shall contribute to the implementation of the international measures through enrichment of scientific knowledge by observation, monitoring, etc.

3. Preventing Acid Rain

Both regional and international efforts are essential to combat acid rain. Observation and monitoring networks shall be established. As in North America and Europe, Japan will take the lead in promoting a framework for combating transboundary pollution problems in East Asia. We will also promote measures including technology transfer to control the emission of substances which cause acid rain.

4. Preventing Marine Pollution

The government shall progressively implement the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) and the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL '73/'78) to combat marine pollution. It shall take the initiative in new frameworks, such as, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and shall cooperate with other international organizations and related countries. Furthermore, it shall promote the regional efforts of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region.

5. Regulating Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal shall be implemented. Systems to prevent illegal transboundary movements of such waste shall be promoted as shall the transfer of toxic waste management technologies.

6. Conserving Forests

With regard to achieving the conservation and sustainable management of all types of forests, Japan shall base its efforts on the Statement of Forest Principles and Agenda 21, participating in the development of criteria and indicators for the sustainable forest management and other international efforts. Also, taking into account the developments in such organizations as the United Nations Committee for Sustainable Development, the International Tropical Timber Organization ("ITTO") and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT"), Japan shall make efforts to enhance appropriate timber trade. We shall take a positive stance on the possible formulation of a forest convention, taking into account the need for forming international consensus. We shall also promote international research activities on forest conservation.

7. Conserving Biodiversity

Biological diversity and wildlife conservation shall be achieved and maintained according to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Biological diversity research and the cooperative establishment of a conservation system shall be promoted. Further cooperation shall be elicited through international bilateral treaties and agreements, for example, aimed at bird conservation like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington Convention) and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention).

8. Preventing Desertification

Regarding desertification, Japan shall contribute to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, which is expected to be ratifies in the near future. It shall initiate research and investigations into mechanisms of desertification, interaction between desertification and human activities, and comprehensive countermeasures, taking into consideration complex socioeconomic factors. Japan shall also assist the measures by countries suffering from desertification.

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