September 19, 2003
As Annex V (Area Protection and Management) to the Protocol on Environmental
Protection to the Antarctic Treaty entered into force in May 2002, the Government
of Japan partially amends the enforcement regulation of the Law Relating to
Protection of the Environment in Antarctica (Prime Minister's Office Ordinance
No. 53 of 1997) and promulgates it on September 19, 2003. The amendments are
made in order to ensure the regulatory measures specified in the Annex V for
the protection of historic sites and monuments and specially protected areas
The responsibilities for environmental protection in Antarctica have been internationally established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and in five Annexes to the Protocol. Japan ratified the Protocol and the five Annexes in December 1997, and enacted the Law Relating to Protection of the Environment in Antarctica in May 1997 in order to fulfill the responsibilities set out in the Protocol. The Protocol and four of the five Annexes became effective in January 1998. As Annex V, which relates to the protection and management of specific areas in Antarctica, entered into force on May 24, 2002, the Government of Japan partially amends the enforcement regulation and puts it into force as of October 20, 2003, in order to accomplish the measures set out in the Annex V.
In accordance with the Annex V, as of September 2003, 61 Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs), 76 Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments and 49 Management Plans that limit activities in the protected areas to scientific research, have been approved by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Of these, 22 Specially Protected Areas and 43 Historic Sites and Monuments as well as nine Management Plans had been designated under the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora, a predecessor of the Protocol. The Government of Japan has already taken necessary measures for these areas through the enforcement regulation of the law prior to Annex V becoming effective.
Japan has now adopted measures on the remaining 39 Specially Protected Areas, 33 Historic Sites and Monuments and 49 Management Plans including amended nine current Management Plans that have been approved after the Protocol's effective date and have not yet been covered by legal measures in Japan. The ASPA No. 41, Yukidori Valley, Langhovde, Lützow-Holmbukta, was designated in response to Japan's proposal.