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Press Release

Future Vision for the Regional Environment Offices

September 29, 2005

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) announces "Future Vision of the Regional Environment Offices" (only in Japanese) for the Regional Environment Offices (hereinafter referred to as "the REOs") to be established on October 1, 2005. The vision puts together the roles to be played by the REOs in respective fields including waste management and recycling, global warming and nature conservation.

The MOE shall implement various measures with support and cooperation from related organizations in the region so that the REOs will be evolved to fulfill the roles expressed in the Vision.

<Gist of the Future Vision of the Regional Environment Offices>


(1) Changes in environmental issues
- Environmental issues have been expanded from pollution to problems such as climate change and waste management, which have much to do with daily lives of the people making individual efforts in community indispensable.

(2) Social changes
- Diversification of values and increased inclination to social contribution have boosted community activities such as NPOs in the region and corporate philanthropy.

(3) Role of the national government in new collaborative relationship between national and local governments
- Local efforts with viewpoints from international, national and broad-based level.
- Provision of visions, fundamental concept and information to be shared by each stakeholder concerned for regional activities.
- The REOs will be reorganized on October 1, 2005 as a tool to support regional activities.

2.Functions to be played by the REOs

(1) Maneuverable and meticulous field unit
- Measures for industrial waste management, national park management, etc.
- Collection and analysis of local information, functioning as primary contact point of the MOE for emergency cases.
- Responses suiting to the local situation.

(2) Regional Center to enhance and support regional environmental capacity
- Constructive communication with varieties of stakeholders in the region
- Constructing partnership within the region.

(3) Regional environmental data bank
- Collection, arrangement and dissemination of environmental information.
- Supporting local activities and policy development of the MOE.

3. Action policy in specific fields (for coming five years)

(1) Waste management and recycling
- Collaboration and information exchange with parties concerned, and environmental monitoring and survey for prevention of illegal dumping.
- Field survey and cooperation with the Customs Service to enhance control of illegal import and export of waste.
- Regional support and enlightenment to review the life style.
- Subsidy for promoting establishment of a sound material-cycle society (participating in regional council), ensuring appropriate recycling system

(2) Climate change
- Deploying "national movement" by cooperating with local municipalities, Prefectural Centers for Climate-Change Actions and regional bureaus of other ministries.
- Implementation of projects conducted by using subsidies of the Oil Special Account.
- Supporting regional efforts utilizing "the Regional Councils on Energy and Climate Change Prevention".

(3) Nature conservation
- Enhancement of local management system for national parks, etc.
- Integrated implementation of facility development projects for national parks, nature restoration projects, etc.
- Management of the protected area including World Natural Heritage Areas and Ramsar sites.
- Promoting protection and management of wildlife, protection of rare species of wild fauna and flora, measures for invasive alien species, etc.

(4) Pollution and chemical substances
- Promotion of water purification activities with public participation, further deployment of measures for promoting low emission vehicles.
- Collaborating with organizations concerned for thorough implementation of preventive measures of asbestos diffusion.
- Collaborating with local municipal governments for emergency on-the-spot inspection complying with individual pollution control laws.
- Implementation of on-the-spot inspection complying with Chemical Substances Control Law and promotion of risk communication.

(5) Promotion of environmental education and environmental conservation activities, and collection, arrangement and dissemination of environmental information
- Promotion of environmental education and environment conservation activities at home, school, workplace and etc., with the collaborating among various stakeholders
- Formation of environmental partnership network by regional Environmental Partnership Offices (EPOs).
- Development of regional systems for collecting, arranging and disseminating environmental information such as environmental statistics.

4.Cross-cutting issues

- Capacity building through provision of information from the MOE, development of mannuals, enforcement of practical trainings, etc.
- Collaboration with organizations concerned including local governments, private organizations, local bureaus of other ministries.
- Enhancement of information transmission capacity.


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