United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Japan

Mr. Chair,
The waste management is an issue that looms ever larger on
our horizon. Japan, with its small land mass and large population
has had serious problems finding disposal sites adequate to meet
its needs. To reduce the volume of material that must finally be
dumped, it makes maximum use of incineration technology. There
nevertheless continues to be concern about final disposal sites,
and Japan, like so many other countries, needs to make an effort
to minimize the amount of waste it generates. Doing this would
also contribute to the conservation of natural resources. We
therefore are striving to establish a Sound Material Cycle Society
through the promotion of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling), and
also to decouple economic growth and environmental degradation.
Japan?s Fundamental Law for Establishing a Sound
Material-Cycle Society provides general direction for its efforts in
this area. Several other laws provide the framework for the 3R
system, and establish specific schemes and regulations relating to
the recycling of containers and packaging, home appliances, food,
construction materials and automobiles.
Under its Fundamental Law, Japan pursues several targets
whose attainment will help it to become a sound material-cycle
society. To be specific, in the years 2000 to 2015, it is aiming for an
approximately 60 percent improvement in resource productivity, a
50 percent expansion in recycling and a 40 percent reduction in
final disposal volume. It is conducting an annual review of the
implementation of the plan, and all indicators have shown that
steady progress has been made.
Promotion of the 3Rs can create a market for new
environmental businesses, and indeed from 2000 to 2006, 3R
business in Japan expanded by as much as 150 percent. This is
also the period during which the relevant laws were developed
and the 3R concept and measures to implement it were
disseminated throughout Japanese society. Without implementing
appropriate legislation and regulations for 3R, such rapid growth
could not have been made by companies in this area.
Japan wishes also to contribute to the promotion of 3Rs and
waste management on a global level. It will therefore participate
actively in the discussions on waste management at CSD-18 and
CSD-19. Furthermore, the Government of Japan will convene a
meeting in early 2011 that it expects will provide useful input for
CSD-19.
Also on the international level, Japan is working actively to
promote the 3Rs in the Asian region. For example, it is providing
support for the Regional 3R Forum in Asia, which it believes can
serve other regions of the world as a model for cooperation in this
area.
Thank you very much for your attention.
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