Speeches by the Environment Minister

Video Message by YAMAGUCHI Tsuyoshi, Minister of the Environment, Japan, on "Circular economy solutions to address plastic pollution" at the side event of HLPF (July 15, 2022)

Hello, distinguished participants. My name is Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Environment Minister of Japan. It is a great honor to participate here today in this "Circular economy solutions to address plastic pollution", and let me express my deepest gratitude to Ministry of Environment of Rwanda, UNIDO and UNEP.

Marine pollution is a serious issue for all humanity. As a maritime nation with the world’s sixth largest exclusive economic zone, Japan has “Marine Day” as a national holiday to appreciate the blessings of the ocean. 

In order to end plastic pollution in the oceans, all countries need to work together. Negotiations on an international framework will start later this year under the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee. At UNEA in March, both Japan and Rwanda submitted draft resolutions, and I think we came up with a good result reflecting both countries’ points at issue. We must enhance global efforts.

Japan has nominated ONO Hiroshi as a candidate for the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, as well as its Chair. Mr. ONO has an abundance of professional expertise in the area of environment, and has long been involved in international cooperation works. He also played a significant role in drafting the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” of the G20 Osaka summit. I am confident that he will be an effective and indispensable asset for the upcoming negotiations.

The “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” aims to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2050. It is shared by more than 80 countries and regions. I believe that the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” could serve as the good starting point of discussion. Under the Implementation Framework of the Vision, many countries and international organizations are already reporting their actions annually. Japan will further accelerate actions to cope with marine pollution. We will strengthen our cooperation with countries and international organizations. 

“Networking" is important to realize circular economy. And that is the very reason we are meeting here today. J4CE, which is the abbreviation of “Japan Partnership for Circular Economy”, is a network within Japan between the Government and the Keidanren, Japan’s largest business organization. J4CE has been doing a great job to promote the circular economy. We are working to formulate the “Circular Economy Roadmap” by summer in order to accelerate the circulation of all resources.

As a network among governments, GACERE, “Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency” has been playing an important and effective role for the global transition to a circular economy. We have shared information and exchanged views through GACERE, and we will continue to do so.

We must cooperate more to promote circular economy, eventually realizing a society without plastic pollution. I am certain that together we can do it.

Thank you very much.