September 16, 2003
The Cabinet approved the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) concerning the establishment of a Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) for the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), an international program that aims at the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Northwest Pacific region.
At the Sixth Intergovernmental Meeting in December 2000 it was agreed to set up a co-hosted NOWPAP/ RCU in Toyama, Japan and Pusan, Korea as part of UNEP, and preparations for their establishment have been underway since. The signing of the agreement will create a framework for the establishment of a RCU for NOWPAP in Toyama Prefecture. This move not only contributes to NOWPAP, but also demonstrates Japan's willingness to take the initiative in the region. An opening ceremony for the Toyama RCU will be held upon completion of required procedures.
In cooperation with Toyama prefectural government, the Ministry of the Environment has provided support to NOWPAP activities, such as environmental monitoring, through the Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center. The Ministry intends to further increase its efforts in the future.