United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Japan

Statement by Mr. Kunihiko Yamazaki
Delegation of Japan
Chemicals
Inter-governmental Preparatory Meeting
19th Session of the Commission of Sustainable Development
1 March 2011
Distinguished Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
It is an honor to speak to you about the Japanese view here at the Intergovernmental
Preparatory Meeting of the 19th Session of CSD. I would like to raise several
important points regarding the development of chemical management policies based
on our experiences.
1. Measures under the framework of SAICM
It is important that concerned parties including international organizations,
national governments and stakeholders take measures under SAICM (Strategic
Approach to International Chemicals Management). The framework of SAICM was
established as a follow-up of the Johannesburg Summit, so reviewing the progress and
overcoming the challenges on chemical management should be conducted within this
framework.
2. From hazard-based to risk-based regulation
Japan experienced serious health damage and environmental pollution by
PCBs in 1960?s and as a result enacted a regulation in 1973 to restrict both production
and use of PCB- like industrial chemicals based on their hazardous properties. Since
then, we have been developing our chemical management policy stepwise from a
hazard-based regulation to a risk-based one.
At the early stage of formulation of a regulatory system, it might be effective
to regulate specific chemicals such as POPs with a hazard-based approach and to move
stepwise into a risk-based approach.
3. Active participation of broad stakeholders including industries and environmental
NGOs
Involvement of and cooperation with other stakeholders including industries in
the development of chemical management policies are key factors for effective
implementation of the polic ies.
For example, the PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) systems
developed under the participation of industries and NGOs proved to be effective in
reducing the environmental release of subjected chemicals with industries? voluntary
actions and public observations.
4. Sharing basic information of chemicals including monitoring data
Collection, publication and sharing o f chemicals? basic information including
monitoring data are also important.
For example, as results of POPs monitoring are utilized for the effectiveness
evaluation of Stockholm Convention, environmental monitoring is especially
important for identification and surveillance of pollution. To improve developing
countries? capabilities of environmental analyses, it is necessary to transfer analytical
techniques established by developed countries and to develop more concise analytical
methods, and thus sharing information among relevant countries is important.
5. International harmoni zation of policies and promotion of related measures
(1) It is important that the measures against chemicals which impact the globe through
transboundary movement s via the environment be effectively promoted under the
relevant treaties. In addition to the Stockholm Convention concerning POPs, a
new treaty on mercury should be internationally agreed upon by 2013.
(2) It is also important that cooperation and synergy between chemical and waste
management be strengthened. Actions for enhanc ing cooperation and synergy
among the three treaties related to chemicals and waste (Stockholm, Rotterdam
and Basel Conventions) should be further promoted. As for emerging issues,
synergy among international organizations including OECD is also important.
(3) By utilizing opportunities for discussion at the CSD and those related to various
multilateral environmental treaties and SAICM, information on effective examples
and good practices of national-level activities, OECD policy recommendations and
UNEP activities and basic data on chemicals should be shared and utilized . As a
result, international harmonization of policies and promotion of related measures
would be expected to develop among national governments including developing
countries.
Thank you for your attention.
Stakeholders