September 13, 2007


Environment Ministry Holds Seminar to Convey the Minamata Experience to the World

Keywords: Chemicals Government NGO / Citizen 

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment held a seminar on the lessons and experience of Minamata disease, targeting environmental administrative officials from developing countries. The seminar was held in Minamata City (Kumamoto Prefecture) and Niigata Prefecture from March 13 to 19, 2007. The participants, 16 in all, were from eight countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea.

Japan has tried to use the experience and technology gained through the Minamata tragedy to make an international contribution, especially to developing countries. Starting fiscal 1996, the ministry held seminars for learning from Minamata in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Thailand, China, in that order. It has also invited administrative officials from those countries to take part in training programs since fiscal 2003.

In fiscal 2006, the ministry invited young environmental administrators from each of these countries to Minamata and Niigata, in the hopes that they would learn and apply lessons learned from Minamata disease to promote concrete environmental conservation measures in their home countries. The administrators came in direct contact with how Japan is implementing these lessons, as well as attending lectures on the importance of preventing pollution and current government policy on Minamata's environment.

The ministry had organized the program alternately in Minamata and Niigata until 2005. However, since then it has conducted the program in both Minamata and Niigata, both sites of Minamata disease outbreaks, to promote a deeper understanding of the issue.

Posted: 2007/09/13 08:38:57 AM
Japanese version