Environmental Policy

The Basic Environment Plan - Outline

On December 16th 1994, the Japanese Government established the Basic Environment Plan. Following the provision of the Basic Environment Law (enacted in 1993), this Plan outlines the overall and long-term policies of the government in environmental Conservation.

In January 1994, the Prime Minister requested the Central Environment Council to draft and submit a Report on the Plan. The council deliberated intensively on the subject and submitted a Report to the Prime Minister on 9 December. The Cabinet made its decision on the Plan in accordance with this final Report.

Responding to today's environmental problems, the Basic Environment Plan sets the long-term objectives of Environmental Policy, foreseeing through the middle of the 21st century. It also provides a systematic base for government policies in the period towards the early part of the 21st century, and sets out expectations for the activities which should be carried out by local governments, corporations, citizens and private organizations in the same period, in order to achieve those objectives. In particular, it specifies the role of each party and the appropriate instruments for policy implementation.

Now, the Environment Agency and other ministries concerned are implementing specific measures for environmental conservation in accordance with the Plan. Local governments, corporations, citizens and other parties in society are also expected to voluntarily and actively engage themselves in activities which protect the environment in accordance with the Plan.

The Plan sets the following four long-term objectives:

Sound Material Cycle:

in order to minimize the burdens on the environment generated at various stages of socioeconomic activities, to establish a socioeconomic system fostering environmentally sound cycling of substances through reexamining the current system dominated by mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal.

Harmonious Coexistence:

in order to ensure that the blessings of the environment will be enjoyed by both present and future generations, to maintain or restore the sound ecosystems and to ensure harmonious coexistence between nature and human beings.


to build a society where all parties, including the central and local governments, corporations, citizens and private organizations, participate voluntarily and actively in environmental conservation activities, cooperate, and share burden fairly.

International Activities:

to promote international environmental efforts in cooperation with the other countries that share our common global environment.

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