Health & Chemicals

Major points of measures to implement the Minamata Convention in Japan

Recognizing the substantial lessons of the Minamata Disease, Japan commits itself to lead the world to protect the human health and the environment from mercury. or the effective and timely implementation of the Minamata Convention, Japan promulgated the Act on Preventing Environmental Pollution on Mercury and the amendment of the Air Pollution Control Act. With these laws and other relevant legislation, Japan will carry out mercury management beyond the level required by the Convention.


Regulation on the use of mercury or mercury compounds in products and manufacturing processes

  • Prohibit the manufacture, import or export of specific mercury-added products (including assembled productsin which mercury is incorporated, e.g. toys)
  • Pursue replacement and products in mercury, and strengthen the regulatory standards for the specific mercury-added products of which the manufacture, import or export will be banned under the Convention (e.g. batteries and lamps) by lowering the mercury content thresholds and imposing an early phase-out date.
  • Prohibit the use of mercury or mercury compounds in the specific manufacturing processes such as those forchlor-alkali and vinyl chloride monomer, and in gold mining include ASGM.(Japan has adopted mercury-free methods for these processes).


Supply, export and import of mercury

  • Ensure that mercury exported from Japan is properly recycled from waste and sludge, not derived from primary-mercury mining that is not running and will be prohibited in Japan.
  • Total ban on export for the purposes prohibited under the Convention, also for use in ASGM or interim storage.
  • Include specific mercury compounds from which elemental mercury component can be easily extracted for the subject to the export restriction to prevent loophole streams.
  • Approve export only when the end-user and purpose can be confirmed in advance and require reports after the export to prevent the use of mercury or mercury compounds for improper purposes.


Promotion of product-labeling and proper waste collection (obligation for the best efforts by relevant stakeholders)

  • National government: Should endeavor to provide municipal governments with technical advices and other supports necessary for them to properly collect mercury-added product wastes (by compiling information on best recovery practices and promoting the implementation thereof).
  • Municipalities: Should endeavor to take necessary measures to properly collect mercury-added product wastes.
  • Manufacturers and importers: Should endeavor to provide information to consumers that assists their separate disposal of mercury-added products, including labeling products that contain mercury.


Atmospheric emissions control

  • Establish a notification process for five types of facilities subject to the Convention (including both existing and newly constructed facilities) and impose the obligation to comply with the mercury emissions standards and to monitor the emissions for these facilities.
  • Impose the duty of voluntary effort for emissions control on the facilities which are not subject to the Convention but emit a considerable amount of mercury (e.g. iron and steel manufacturing facilities).