Home The Natural Environment of Antarctica 現在のページEfforts to Protect Antarctica in Japan
International Efforts to Protect Antarctica
The environmental protection of Antarctica in Japan is carried out under the Law Relating to Protection of the Environment in Antarctica (hereinafter referred to as "the Law"), the domestic law that ensures the implementation of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Any person who engages in Antarctic Activities is required to complete the designated application procedures in advance.

The Law provides the following five clauses.
1. Application for an Antarctic Activity Plan and its Approval by the Minister of the Environment of Japan
It is necessary to investigate how Antarctic Activities described in an Antarctic Activity Plan affect Antarctica (Environmental Impact Assessment). The Approval Committee of Antarctic Activity Plans is consulted in assessing the impacts, which is consisted of experts of learning and experience in the field of Antarctica.

Paragraph 3, Article 6 of the Law determines that a person who will supervise Antarctic Activities contained in an Antarctic Activity Plan may study, forecast and evaluate environmental impact on Antarctica and submit documents outlining results with his/her application in a manner determined by the Minister of the Environment of Japan.

When the Minister of the Environment of Japan determines that it is necessary to conduct observation and measurement for the protection of the Antarctic environment, the applicant of the activities should report the results.

The Japanese individuals participating in tours organized by countries other than Japan are required to comply with the Enforcement Ordinance of the Law.

*Please complete the application procedures at least 30 days in advance.
Law Relating to Protection of the Environment in Antarctica
Procedures for Visiting Antarctica from Japan
Antarctic Observation Vessel "Shirase"
Antarctic Observation Vessel "Shirase"

Penguin Paths
Penguin Paths
Gentoo penguin
Gentoo penguin
Pygoscelis papua

Photograph:Charles Glover
  2. Restrictions on Mineral Resource Activities
It is prohibited to examine and mine mineral resources in Antarctica except for scientific research.
  3. Restrictions for the Conservation of Fauna and Flora
It is prohibited to cause any disturbance to the Antarctic animals and plants. It is against the Law to bring living organisms including viruses to Antarctica.
Chart 2 and Chart 3 in the Appendix of the Enforcement Ordinance of the Law specifies Antarctic mammals and birds accordingly.

For the purpose of scientific research and collection of educational materials, it is necessary to comply with the conditions described in the enforcement ordinance and it is prohibited to injure or kill the species , Antarctic fur seal(Arctocephalus gazella). Subantarctic fur seal(Arctocephalus tropicalis), Ross seal(Ommatophoca rossii), that are determined by the Minister of the Environment of Japan.
Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal
Arctocephalus gazella
Photograph:Charles Glover
Prohibited Activities in Antarctica
Animals in Antarctica
Chart 2, Appendix: The Antarctic Mammals
Chart 3, Appendix: The Anarctic Birds
  4. Proper Disposal and Management of Wastes
Articles 15 through 18 of the Law determine the appropriate procedures for disposing and managing wastes.

Reducing Production of Wastes
Article 15 of the Law determines that the performers in Antarctica make efforts to reduce the production of wastes as well as to remove wastes from Antarctica when produced.

Disposing Solid Wastes
It is specified that combustible solid wastes except substances such as coal and plastic may be incinerated on land, provided that smoke pollution rate is under 50% when measured by the method set by the Minister of the Environment of Japan.

Disposing Liquid Wastes
It is prohibited to dispose liquid wastes such as used liquid oil, insecticides, herbicides and culture medium in Antarctica. Standards for the Disposal of Liquid Wastes and the Measuring Methods are specified by the Minister of the Environment of Japan. The disposal of liquid wastes must follow the items below:
Photograph:Charles Glover
i) Liquid wastes may be buried in the area covered by an ice-sheet and is more than 5 km from the coastline or the edge of an ice shelf in the inland direction.
ii) Liquid wastes may be discharged from the land into the sea provided that it is done in accordance with the standards.

Disposal from a ship into the sea must follow the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster.

iv) It is recommended to bring back human wastes to buildings or ships although it is considered to have minimal influence on the Antarctic environment.
  Prohibition against the Introduction of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Article 18 of the Law prohibits the introduction of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) or other materials that are hard to be removed or having a serious impact on the Antarctic environment when they are disposed of after becoming wastes.
Syowa Base
Syowa Base
Photograph:Charles Glover
5. Protection of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas and Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments

The Law sets restrictions on entry to the Antarctic Specially Protected Areas that have the intrinsic values of Antarctica. It is prohibited to disturb the Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments that include those of the past expeditions.

Article 19 of the Law restricts entry into the Antarctic Specially Protected Areas unless approved by a Party to the Protocol.

Article 20 of the Law prohibits the removal, damage and destruction of Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments.

Please refer to the following site for information on the Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. http://www.cep.aq/apa/index.html

Historic Site on Deception Island
Historic Site on Deception Island
Antarctic Specially Protected Area