Press Release

February 21, 2023
  • Global Environment

Results of the 7th Japan-Singapore Environmental Policy Dialogue

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Japan, and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Republic of Singapore held the 7th Japan-Singapore Environmental Policy Dialogue in Tokyo on February 9, 2023.
During the dialogue, both countries exchanged views on policy developments, challenges, and international cooperation between the two countries in regard to the circular economy and waste management, climate change, air pollution, plastic pollution and other environmental issues. In addition to bilateral cooperation, both countries shared the same view to strengthen cooperation in the areas of climate change and plastic pollution in international forums such as ASEAN.

■ Background

In 2014, MOE Japan signed the Letter of Intent on Environmental Cooperation with the National Environment Agency (NEA), Republic of Singapore, and in 2017, signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on Environmental Matters with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of Singapore to expand the scope of the cooperation. Since the signing of the Memorandum of cooperation with the NEA, the two countries have held regular policy dialogues.

■ Date and time of dialogue

10:00-16:00, February 9, 2023 (JST)

■ Venue

Ministry of the Environment, Japan (a hybrid of in-person and online meetings)

■ Primary attendees

Mr. Stanley LOH, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
Mr. Ng ChunPIN, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Environment Agency
Mr. Low Hon MUN, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Singapore in Japan
(MOE Japan)
Hiroshi ONO, Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs
Junko Nishikawa, Director for Sustainable Infrastructure

■ Main discussion

The two countries exchanged views on policy developments and challenges in both countries, as well as international cooperation. In addition to bilateral cooperation, especially in the areas of climate change and plastic pollution, the two countries shared the same view of strengthening cooperation based on their mutual interests, taking advantage of opportunities such as this year’s dialogue on environmental cooperation between Japan and ASEAN and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution.
Discussions were held in the following areas:

(1) Circular economy and waste management

Both countries exchanged views on a wide range of issues, such as the recycling of containers and packaging, plastics, food, and various types of waste derived from electrical and electronic equipment, the recycling of electric vehicle batteries and solar panels, the conversion of municipal waste into higher value, and the decarbonization of the waste sector.
In addition to the introduction of legal systems and measures related to waste and recycling in both Japan and Singapore, both countries exchanged opinions on future strategies for decarbonization in the area of waste and resource recycling and possibilities for implementing Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS).
Furthermore, a working-level meeting was held on the following day, February 10, at which more detailed discussions were held.

(2) Climate change

MOE Japan raised and both countries discussed the activity of Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) efforts implemented in accordance with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and how to conduct regional cooperation of the JCM, and activities based on the Paris Agreement Article 6 Implementation Partnership, which Japan launched at COP27 and in which Singapore also participates. Further, discussions were held on cooperation between the two countries for the establishment of a carbon market in ASEAN.
Regarding the Partnership to Strengthen Transparency for co-Innovation (PaSTI), which the two countries are jointly promoting, it was confirmed that activities will be developed to standardize greenhouse gas emissions measuring and reporting systems in ASEAN.

(3) Plastic pollution

MOE Japan reviewed efforts such as monitoring to obtain scientific knowledge that will serve as the basis for taking measures against marine plastic pollution, publication of harmonization guidelines for methods to monitor drifting microplastics and development of a database, and activities of the Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris managed by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and emphasized the need for international collaboration in these activities.
Both countries exchanged specific views on their positions regarding the establishment of a convention on plastic pollution. Japan has been selected as a candidate for the bureau of the Asia-Pacific region, and both countries consented to continue working together through negotiations.
Furthermore, both countries introduced overviews of the legal systems and measures of each country and exchanged views in regard to environmental management in such areas as air quality control and automobile exhaust gas measures, and efforts by government agencies to decarbonize and conserve the environment.