Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

August 23, 2006


Cabinet Approves Two Environment-Related White Papers for 2006

Keywords: Government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Japan's Cabinet approved two environment-related white papers on May 30, 2006. The 2006 Environmental White Paper, the 38th edition in the series starting from the 1969 White Paper on Environment Pollution, featured "depopulation and the environment" and "the 50-year history of Minamata disease--a symbol of industrial pollution." The White Paper on a Recycling Society, the 6th in the series, focused on Japan's efforts to create a recycling-based society and its global role in promoting the "3Rs" (reduce, reuse and recycle).

Japan's population declined in 2005 for the first time since the government began to compile statistics in 1899, and this decline is expected to continue in the future. Under these circumstances, the latest Environmental White Paper stressed the importance of efforts to build a sustainable society that can cope with a shrinking population. In this regard, the white paper identified possible environmental impacts caused by a declining population and other related changes, such as smaller household sizes, under-populated rural areas and urban sprawl associated with declining population density. The paper also introduced case studies of measures designed to tackle these impacts.

The White Paper on a Recycling Society summarized Japan's reforms in waste management policy and its experience£ó with recycling over the past dozen years. With the rapid economic growth in Asian countries, waste management has become a global issue. To address this issue, the white paper suggested that Japan play a leading role in creating recycling-oriented societies in other countries. It also described the current status of global expansion of the "3R" concept and Japan's basic approach to this initiative, while reporting the progress of the Senior Officials Meeting on the 3R Initiative, which was held in Japan in March 2006.

The Ministry of the Environment will post these papers on its website and hold workshops to communicate their content to the public. Past editions are available in Japanese on the website.

Posted: 2006/08/23 06:49:58 AM
Japanese version