The government shall develop comprehensive and systematic policies, 
utilizing a combination of methods appropriate for each problem, closely 
coordinating the different policies.  To realize this Plan's long-term 
objectives: i. a socioeconomic system incorporating closed material 
circulation must be built to reduce the negative effects of 
environmentally burdensome activities, ii. harmonious coexistence must 
be established, which demands the maintenance and restoration of a 
healthy ecosystem and a harmonious coexistence between nature and human 
beings, iii. participation by each sector of society must be ensured, 
where each sector voluntarily and actively participates to conserve the 
environment, fairly spreading the cost throughout society , and iv. a 
international effort must be promoted.  
 Environmental problems have become problems of global proportion 
affecting wide geographical areas and implicating the lives of many 
generations.  They must therefore be dealt with an a comprehensive 
manner.  Many problems are caused through routine daily activities.  It 
is important to combine various methods, such as the Environmental 
Impact Assessment (EIA), regulatory measures, economic measures, program 
funding, environmental education, environmental learning, support for 
both corporate and individual efforts and promotion of scientific 
 Furthermore, it is necessary to design a comprehensive policy for 
individual problems.  It should examine the circumstances of each 
problem and evaluate the effectiveness of each measure.  It should take 
into consideration the relationship between similar problems and similar 
measures.  It should establish objectives and indicators as necessary.  
As quantifiable objectives which relate to individual problems, the 
state of the environment, the burden on the environment, the number of 
businesses affected by each individual measure and the efforts of each 
sector of society are each described in this Plan.  
 These objectives are based upon individual laws and decided within an 
established framework.  They shall be examined to ensure that they are 
in accordance with this Plan's fundamental goal.  As necessary, 
comprehensive reviews shall be initiated, establishing specific goals 
for the necessary fields, designed with effective measures for 
implementation, and effecting individual plans.  

NOTE:  The purpose of providing the following references is to indicate 
this Plan's objective's basis in law and to present the procedures 
discussed during the Cabinet Minister's Conference.  The Plan has its 
formal basis in law as a result of the deliberations of the Cabinet 
Minister's Conference.  The Conference that enacted it is referenced 
because it was thought important to strengthen this Plan. Also, the 
objectives for this Plan are as of the day of the Cabinet Minister's 
Conference decision.

CHAPTER 1. Building a Socioeconomic System Fostering Environmentally 
           Sound Material Cycle

1. Basic Direction
 Burdens on the atmosphere, water and soil are caused by interference 
with nature's normal circulation of materials.  To prevent this burden 
from occurring, newly developed technology should be implemented and 
investments should be made.  In this manner it will become possible to 
increase the speed of natural breakdown of waste materials or increase 
the efficient use of resources and energy.  Improvements should be made 
in the production process.  The flow of people and products should be 
made more efficient.  The use of environmentally friendly products 
should be increased.  Proper recycling methods and waste disposal 
practices should be employed.  New energy sources and the development of 
reusable energy should be promoted.
 There is a fear that immense and/or irreparable burdens may be imposed 
since scientific certainty on the environment is lacking.  Therefore, 
measures, designed with ample scientific knowledge that utilize strict 
cost/benefit tests should not be delayed.  Burdens on the atmosphere, 
water and soil, as impartially as possible, should be reduced.  Measures 
for waste disposal, recycling and measures to reduce the environmental 
risk of toxic chemicals should be implemented, as should far reaching 
measures that take into account new problems, arising from advances in 

2. Comprehensive Measures and Systematic Implementation
 Goals and guidelines necessarily shall be established, setting 
standards, based on the Basic Environmental Law, to maintain a healthy 
environment.  The following measures, with the mutual cooperation of 
each sector of society, shall be systematically implemented.  In 
particular, comprehensive examinations shall be performed on as yet 
unachieved environmental quality standard provisions and measures to 
hasten their attainment.  

Section 1.  Conserving the Atmosphere

 The atmosphere is borderless.  For this reason, burdens on the 
atmosphere could lead to a wide range of problems, at both the 
atmospheric and surface levels.  Changes in atmospheric composition can 
lead to problems of global proportions.  Advection and reaction can 
create problems for large areas, while accumulation of harmful 
substances in the atmosphere creates a dilemma for metropolitan areas.  
Various toxic substances pose health hazards and atmospheric changes 
affect human environments at the regional level. 
 To solve these problems, measures in accordance with each of the 
following basic aims shall be implemented.

Achieving the Environmental Quality Standards and Other Targets
 Objectives, designed with an ample scientific knowledge, shall be 
established setting environmental quality standard goals, according to 
the special characteristics of each problem and environmental burdens 
reduction goals.  Appropriate measures for the attainment and 
maintenance of these goals shall be promoted.

Reducing Environmental Load from Various Socioeconomic Activities
 Comprehensive environmental burden reduction measures shall be promoted 
to reduce burdens resulting from socioeconomic activities like 
industrial production, transportation and routine activities of 

Consideration of the Relationship with Water, Soil and Ecosystem
 Measures directing attention to the ecological impact of burdens on the 
atmosphere, the atmosphere's relationship with water and soil, the 
cleansing and climatic moderating properties of green spaces shall be 

Environmental quality standards for air pollution and noise pollution
   (based on the Basic Environment Law)
Nitrogen Dioxide: Daily average to be within or below 0.04ppm-0.06ppm
Sulfur Dioxide: Daily average to be below 0.04ppm, and hourly average 
below 0.1ppm 
Carbon Monoxide: Daily average to be below 10ppm, and 8-hour-average 
below 20ppm
Suspended Particulate Matter: Daily average to be below 0.10mg/m3, and 
hourly average below 0.20mg/m3
Photochemical Oxidants: Hourly average to be below 0.06ppm 
Noise: Decided by area type and time classifications.  Areas beside 
roads are given different values, as are areas near Shinkansen ('bullet-
train') tracks or airports.

1.  Conserving the Global Atmosphere
 Global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer are environmental 
problems of a long-term nature and may harbor seriously threatening 
consequences.  Measures, designed with ample scientific knowledge, 
preventative in nature, must be promoted.

1.1. Global Warming
 The problem of global warming cannot be solved by a single country. It 
must be solved with international cooperation. Our ultimate objective is 
the same with that of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate 
Change , i.e. "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the 
atmosphere to a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic 
interference with the climate system."  Consideration shall be paid to 
the provisions of the Convention that "such a level should be achieved 
within the time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally 
to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and 
to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."
 Among developed countries, there is a consensus that further 
consideration is needed to promote commitments by all the contracting 
parties, and to clarify the measures beyond the year 2000 for which the 
Convention have no provisions. In this context, in the medium term, 
Japan  will make further efforts to promote various measures in 
cooperation with other countries as well as to the formulation of the 
new international framework to arrest global warming.
 For the time being, we will aim at attaining the goal of our Action 
Program to Arrest Global Warming that we committed to promote at the 
UNCED, in cooperation with the international community. We will continue 
to promote various measures in the Program, monitoring the status of 
implementation annually, and fully taking into account new scientific 

Targets under the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming
   (October 1990, Cabinet Ministers' Conference on Global Environmental 
The targets for the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions shall be set 
as follows.

(1) The Government, based on the common efforts of major industrialized 
countries to limit CO2 emissions, establishes the following target for 
the stabilization of Japan's CO2 emissions.
A.The emission of CO2 should be stabilized on a per capita basis in the 
year 2000 and beyond at about the same level as in 1990, by steadily 
implementing a wide range of measures under this Action Program, as they 
become feasible, through the utmost efforts by both the government and 
private sectors.
B. Efforts should also be made, along with the measures above, to 
stabilize the total amount of CO2 emission in the year 2000 and beyond 
at about the same level as in 1990, through progress in the development 
of innovative technologies, etc.., including those related to solar, 
hydrogen and other new energies as well as fixation of CO2 at the pace 
and in the scale greater than currently predicted.

(2) The emission of methane should not exceed the present level. To the 
extent possible, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases should not be 
With respect to sinks of CO2, efforts should be made to work for the 
conservation and expansion of forests, greenery in urban areas and so 
forth in Japan and also take steps to conserve and expand forests on a 
global scale, among others.

(Duration of the Action Program)
     The Action Program covers the period from 1991 to 2010, with 2000 
set as the intermediate target year. During this period, the Action 
Program should be reviewed, as necessary, for its flexible response to 
international trends, accumulated scientific findings and so on.

Japan's Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 1990
 (September 1990, Japan's Action Report on Climate Change based on the 
Framework Convention) 
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Per Capita 2.59 tons of carbon/capita
Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions  320 million tons of carbon
Total Methane Emissions   1380 Gg     (1Gg(Gigagram)=1000tons)
Total Nitrous Oxide Emissions  48 Gg

1.1.a. Limiting CO2 Emissions
A. Formation of urban and regional structures with low CO2 emissions
The measures to be promoted include:
- increase of greenery in cities to alleviate the heat-island phenomena,
- propagation of energy-saving buildings,
- introduction of co-generation systems,
- utilization of unused heat from urban activities such as subway 
through usage of heat pumps,
- diffusion of district heating systems,
- supply of heat from waste incineration and
- utilization of energy from sewage sludge.

B. Formation of transport systems with low CO2 emissions
The measures to be promoted include:
- reduction of CO2 emissions from individual motor vehicles,
- increase of energy efficiency of trains, ships and airplanes,
- introduction of automobiles with low CO2 emissions, including electric 
- modal shift to mass transit systems such as railways and ships in 
areas of medium or long transport between major terminals,
- improvement of transport efficiency to trucks,
- maintenance and usage of public means for passenger transport,
- construction of bypasses, ring roads and other facilities to mitigate 
traffic jams, and
- facilitation of sophisticated traffic control systems.

C. Formation of production structures with low CO2 emissions
The measures to be promoted include:
- improvement of combustion efficiency,
- introduction of energy-saving manufacturing facilities and production 
- improvement of energy efficiency of farming machinery and fishing 
ships, among others, and the use of natural energy in agriculture, 
forestry and fisheries, and
- improvement of energy efficiency in construction machinery in the 
construction sector.

D. Formation of energy supply structure with low CO2 emissions
The measures to be promoted include:
- increase of energy efficiency in conversion process including 
improvement of power generation efficiency,
- development and use of nuclear power, based on the assurance of safety,
- use of hydraulic and geothermal energy, photovoltaic and wind power 
system, and natural gas,
- introduction of dispersed power generations, such as fuel cells and 
photovoltaic cells,
- development of the infrastructure for the use of LNG as urban gas, and
- to smooth out electric demand differences between day and night.

E. Realization of lifestyles with low CO2 emissions
The measures to be promoted include:
- recycling,
- a review of excessive packaging,
- use of products with low CO2 emissions,
- introduction of the "daylight saving system",
- reduction of working hours,
- appropriate temperature adjustment in air condition and heating, and
- introduction of high energy efficiency equipments.

1.1.b Reducing Emissions of Methane and Other Greenhouse Gases
 Measures shall be promoted to reduce methane emissions in waste 
disposals, agriculture and energy production and utilization. The 
Development of technologies and new measures shall simultaneously be 
promoted. Nitrous oxide emissions shall be monitored and control 
measures shall be considered.  The contribution on global warming caused 
by other substances shall be assessed.

1.1.c. Enhancing CO2 Sinks
 The conservation of forests shall be ensured and sustainable forest 
management be promoted. Furthermore, the greens in and around cities 
shall be adequately conserved and increased through  increasing 
vegetation in parks and other public facilities.  Efforts shall also be 
made to promote appropriate trade of tropical timber and the efficient 
use of timber resources.

1.1.d. Promotion of Research and Observation/Monitoring
 Comprehensive research such as the understanding of the mechanism of 
global warming and future prediction, assessment of impacts on Japan, 
policy planning and its evaluation, and studies on global warming 
focusing on the Asian-Pacific region shall be promoted. Observation and 
monitoring by satellites and the dissemination of data shall also be 

1.1.e. Development and Dissemination of Technology
 The development of technologies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, 
technologies for absorption, fixation, etc. of greenhouse gases and 
technologies for adaptation to global warming shall be promoted.

1.1.f Promotion of Public Awareness
 The dissemination of the outline of the Action Program and precise 
information and environmental education shall be promoted. Furthermore, 
voluntary actions shall be supported.

1.2. Protecting the Ozone Layer
 Based on the Law Concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through 
the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures, the production 
of the ozone depleting substances (specified CFCs etc.) shall be 
regulated in accordance with the schedule provided by the Montreal 
Protocol, and measures shall be taken for emission control and rational 
use of these substances. Furthermore, the Government shall promote 
recovery, recycling and destruction of these substances through 
development of related technologies, establishment of the social system 
to enhance their recovery, recycling and destruction under fair share of 
burden, diffusion of knowledge, etc. Other measures include development 
of alternative substances and technologies taking other environmental 
impacts into consideration, research on the mechanisms of ozone layer 
depletion, monitoring of ozone layer, etc.

Ozone depleting substances production/consumption control schedule 
(based on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone 
Layer, revised November 1992)
  CFC    1996  phased out
  Halon    1994  phased out
  Carbon tetrachloride  1996  phased out
  1,1,1-Trichloroethane 1996  phased out
  HCFC    2030  phased out
  HBFC    1996  phased out
  Methyl Bromide  1995  stabilized at 1991 level

2. Preventing Broadly Spreading Air pollution
 The problems of acid rain and photochemical oxidants result from 
transportation and reaction of pollutants in the atmosphere.  If acid 
rain continues at its present rate, it is feared that the ecosystem will 
be detrimental affected.  There is also anxiety that the effects of acid 
rain in East Asia and particularly in Japan will worsen.  Presently, 
there has been no progress in preventing pollution from photochemical 
oxidants.  To correct these problems, the following measures shall be 

2.1. Acid Rain
 It is feared that acid rain is inflicting burdens upon the ecosystem 
and the long-term effects of acid rain the ecosystem are unclear.  
Measures, designed with ample scientific knowledge, must be promoted to 
prevent it.  These measures take into consideration the possible impact 
of advection from continents and large cities.  While conducting surveys,
 observations and investigative research on pollution, its mechanisms 
and effects on the ecosystem should also be determined.

2.2. Photochemical Oxidants
 Contamination by photochemical oxidants has been spreading over vast 
areas.  The government, in cooperation with local governments, shall 
promote regional and comprehensive measures such as regional 
observations, investigations on the contaminating mechanisms of these 
chemicals, and emission control of pollutants.  These measures shall be 
coordinated in conjunction with those of acid rain.

3. Preventing Urban Air Pollution
 The problem of nitrogen oxides and suspended particulate matter (SPM) 
still remains in large urban areas.  Environmental quality standards 
have not been satisfactorily attained.  Of the various problems arising 
from SPM, health hazards caused by particles released in diesel exhaust 
are of particular concern.  In order to deal with such concerns, the 
following measures shall be promoted.  

3.1. Nitrogen Oxides
 Comprehensive measures shall be implemented to reduce emissions from 
mobile sources, such as automobiles, and from stationary sources, such 
as factories and the work-place.

3.1.a. Automobiles
 Regarding automobiles, the Government shall implement exhaust emission 
control measures, aiming at achieving as promptly as possible the long-
term targets of exhaust emission control, recommended by the Central 
Council for Environmental Pollution Control in 1989.  Together with 
local governments and businesses, the Government shall take the lead in 
introducing and promoting the use of low-emission vehicles as well as 
supporting fuel supply maintenance facilities, as technology makes them 
 In areas designated by the Law Concerning Specific Measures for Total 
Emission Reduction of Nitrogen Oxides from Automobiles in Specific Areas,
 to achieve to objectives of the Basic Policy to for Nitrogen Oxides 
Reduction and the Nitrogen Oxide Reduction Plans, the following measures,
 in addition to the preceding ones, shall be promoted.

The target for achieving environmental quality standards for nitrogen 
The Basic Policy for Nitrogen Oxides Reduction (January 1993) and the 
Nitrogen Oxide Reduction Plans (November 1993) set the target of nearly 
achieving the environmental quality standard for nitrogen dioxide by the 
year 2000. in the designated areas.

The targets concerning the curtailment of the aggregate nitrogen oxides 
The Nitrogen Oxide Reduction Plans set the target value of total amount 
reduction of automobile emitted nitrogen oxides in each designated area.

A. Regulations shall be placed on certain automobile types and their 
influx prevented.
B. The increased use of cars that produce less pollution will be 
promoted to reach the goal set in the Nitrogen Oxides Reduction Plans.
C. Joint and bulk cargo transport and a shift to mass transit systems, 
such as railways and ships, shall be actively promoted in medium to long 
distance transport between major ports.  Also, the development and 
improvement of port facilities shall be promoted.  
D. The maintenance of public transportation and facilities for 
pedestrians and cyclists shall be promoted.
E. To relieve congestion, bypass and loop maintenance, intersection and 
crossing improvements, effective enforcement of traffic regulations, 
parking measures, traffic control system improvements and traffic 
information systems shall be promoted.
F. Soil, plants and other biological pollution filters shall be promoted 
as first stage decontamination systems.
G. Guidance on appropriate and practical automobile use shall be 
H. With appropriate enforcement of the Nitrogen Oxides Reduction Plan, 
in an effort to continue reducing nitrogen oxides, surveys and 
examinations shall be promoted.

The target of increasing low-emission vehicles
The Nitrogen Oxides Reduction Plans set the target that 300,000 low-
emission vehicles should be introduced in the designated areas by the 
year 2000.

3.1.b. Stationary Sources
 Emission control measures for stationary sources shall be appropriately 

3.1.c. Others
 Appropriate measures for minor sources, such as construction equipment, 
shall be enforced.  Methods to reduce gas emissions from ships shall be 
examined.  Moreover, the maintenance of green buffer zones, shall be 

3.2. Airborne Particles
3.2.a. Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM)
 Regarding SPM, restrictions on automobile exhaust and emissions from 
factories and other business facilities shall continue to be implemented.
  Since pollution continues to spread over vast areas, investigations 
shall be promoted on pollution mechanisms, including those on secondary 
particle formation processes.  As necessary, comprehensive measures 
designed for distinct metropolitan areas shall be implemented.

3.2.b. Diesel Exhaust Particles (DEP)
 Regarding DEP, one of the components of SPM, the Government shall 
implement exhaust emission control measures, aiming at achieving as 
promptly as possible the long-term targets of exhaust emission control, 
recommended by the Central Council for Environmental Pollution Control 
in 1989. Simultaneous research into related health effects shall be 
 The previously mentioned measures aimed at nitrogen oxides also 
contribute to reduce DEP through regulation to diesel cars and reduction 
of automobile traffic. 

3.2.c. Measures for Dust From Studded Tires
 In snowy or frozen places, dust from spiked tires is a problem.  To 
prevent this problem, regulations shall be implemented.  Also, measures 
for winter road maintenance and the development of spike substitutes 
shall be actively promoted.

3.2.d. Sulfur Oxides
 Measures to reduce atmospheric contaminants, like sulfurous oxides, 
shall continue to be implemented.

4.  Measures on Toxic Substances
 According to general data regarding the monitoring of atmospheric, 
concentrations of toxic substances in the environment, such as organic 
chlorine compounds, have yet to reach dangerous levels.  Some fear, 
however, that these toxic substances could eventually create health 
hazards.  The Government shall promote systematic measures such as 
increased monitoring and the cultivation of information on the effects 
and sources of such potentially hazardous substances.

5. Improving the Living Environment
 Nuisances like noise, vibrations and offensive odors, things that 
affect human senses, need to be reduced to ensure a comfortable and 
healthy living environment.  Although the number of complaints regarding 
these problems has been decreasing, they still make up a relatively 
large portion of total complaints.  Their sources are many and 
 The government has so far been unable to gain satisfactory results in 
its effort to attain certain noise standards in the transportation 
sector and new problems, like that of ultra-violet rays, are arising.  
The government will promote the following measures to fight these 

5.1. Noise and Vibration Control
 The government shall promote the following measures to prevent noise 
and vibration pollution.

5.1.a. Automobile Traffic
 The Government shall promote comprehensive measures to decrease noise 
pollution from traffic and other sources.  These include regulation of 
noise from individual automobiles and measures to ease the flow of 
traffic, such as, the development of bypasses and loops.  Likewise, 
noise proof walls and the establishment green buffers shall be promoted. 
 It will examine measures on appropriate roadside zoning laws and will 
implement measures to decrease automobile vibrations.

5.1.b. Shinkansen and Airplanes
 The government shall promote measures to prevent noise and vibration 
pollution from shinkansens and noise pollution from airplanes.  These 
include measures to stop noise at the source, measures to implement 
zoning laws and to employ sound-proofing techniques.

5.1.c. Railways
 The government shall promote measures to prevent conventional railway 
noise and vibration pollution.  These include examining the possible use 
of sound indicators.

5.1.d. Factories and Construction Site
 The government shall promote measures to prevent noise and vibrations 
from factories, the work-place and construction sites.  Regulations to 
control noise and vibration pollution at the source, technology 
developments and zoning laws supporting relocation shall be promoted.

5.1.e. Residential
 The government shall promote measures to prevent residential noise 
pollution, such as the disbursement of educational materials.

5.2. Offensive Odor
 The government shall promote zoning laws supporting relocation, 
emission regulations and the disbursement of educational materials.

5.3. Other
 The government shall promote the continued implementation of anti-dust 
measures.  It shall simultaneously promote investigations into the 
burdening effects of a thinning atmosphere and ultra-violet rays.

6.  Establishing a System for Monitoring the Atmosphere
 The establishment of an effective atmospheric monitoring system is 
necessary to implement adequate measures for atmospheric conservation.  
It shall be implemented in cooperation with local governments and shall 
be employed to monitor both regional and global problems, their 
character and their expansion.  Ocean based and space based monitoring 
systems shall be utilized and ultimately, a systematic monitoring 
procedures shall be established.
 Additionally, employing the help of local residents in this effort 
shall be considered.

Section 2. Conserving the Water Environment

 Water circulates in the nature in the form of evaporation, 
precipitation, seepage, standing, downstream flowing and flushing into 
the sea. In such process, water purifies itself of pollutants. On the 
other hand, water is utilized and recycled in many ways through various 
socioeconomic activities, which impose burdens on the water environment 
at each stage of utilization.
Therefore, it is important to limit burdens on the water environment 
within the nature's capacity of purification in the process of water 
circulation. Considerations must also be made on the burdens on the 
water environment through atmosphere and soil, and on the effects on the 
atmospheric environment or ecosystem through the deterioration of the 
water environment. To address these problems, we must take an integrated 
view of conserving the quality and quantity of water, aquatic creatures 
and waterside areas. In these regards, policies shall be promoted to 
reduce burdens on the water environment at every stage of water 
utilization, to protect aquatic ecosystems, and to secure environmental 

1.  Environmentally Sound Water Circulation
 Natural circulation of water has changed for a number of reasons.  The 
depopulation and progressive aging of rural communities has created 
difficulties in maintaining rural forests and farmlands while 
urbanization has prevented seeping, causing springs to run dry.  Water 
is, likewise, being burdened at each stage of utilization.  The 
following measures shall be promoted to address these problems.

1.1. Achieving the Environmental Quality Standards and Other Targets
 In order to reduce burdens on water resources at each stage of water 
utilization, bearing in mind that water utilization and circulation must 
go hand in hand, scientific knowledge shall be cultivated and 
aggressively applied.  Environmental target standards to ensure human 
health and mankind's living environment shall be formulated and measures 
shall be promoted to achieve and maintain these targets.  Regular 
revisions of environmental quality standards to protect mankind's living 
environment shall be promoted since changes in certain aquatic regions' 
utilization targets and circumstances may occur after having their 
classifications set.  More extensive investigations shall be promoted 
for environmental target standards which focus on their impact on 
aquatic life.

Environmental quality standards on water quality
 (based on the Basic Environmental Law ):

Environmental quality standards have been set for the following water 
contaminants in order to protect human health:
Cadmium, total cyanide, lead, hexavalent chromium, arsenic, total 
mercury, alkyl mercury, PCBs, dichloromethane, tetrachloromethane, 1,2-
dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-
trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, 
tetrachloroethylene, 1,3-dichloropropene, thiuram, simazine, thiobencarb,
 benzene and selenium.

Environmental quality standards have been set for the following water 
contaminants to conserve mankind's living environment:
Rivers and Streams:  hydrogen-ion density, the amount of biochemical 
oxygen demand, floating substances, dissolved oxygen and coliforum 
bacillus groups.
Lakes and Marshes:  hydrogen-ion density, the amount of chemical oxygen 
demand, floating substances, dissolved oxygen, coliforum bacillus groups,
 nitrogen and phosphorus.
Oceans:  hydrogen-ion density, the amount of chemical oxygen demand, 
dissolved oxygen, coliforum bacillus groups, extracted substances in 
normal hexane, nitrogen and phosphorus.

1.2. Restoring and Maintaining Sound Water Circulation
 It is necessary to restore and maintain soundly functioning water 
circulation.  Therefore, proper maintenance management activities shall 
be promoted, like tending and cultivating forests which play an 
important role in water purification or managing agricultural lands, 
like rice fields which act as water reserves and recharge ground water.  
 The conservation of water quality, quantity, aquatic life and the 
aquatic environment shall be promoted to restore and maintain the 
natural purification ability of lakes, rivers, streams and marshes.  To 
ensure sound water circulation in metropolitan areas, utilization of 
sewer refuse, vegetation, permeable pavement and the establishment of 
seeping measures for rainwater shall be promoted.  Conservation shall be 
promoted in coastal waters, natural coastlines, tidal flats, seaweed 
beds and shallow water areas.  Moreover, the development of artificial 
tidal flats and beaches, which also aid in water purification, shall be 

1.3. Measures in Accordance with Specific Regional Characteristics
 To ensure the sound circulation of water, measures shall be promoted 
which are adapted for the particular characteristics of the region.  
With the cooperation of local communities and businesses, universal 
methods for evaluating water quality, quantity, aquatic life and other 
aquatic environments shall be studied.  

1.4. Fair Burden Sharing
 Measures shall be examined to ensure fair burden sharing between the 
different sectors of society.  The voluntary and active participation of 
all citizens shall be encouraged and the cooperation between riparian 
local governments shall be promoted.

2.  Reducing Environmental Load at Each Stage of Water Use
 Environmental burdens are generated at each stage of water utilization. 
 The government shall promote measures to reduce this burden along with 
measures to stop pollution before it starts.

2.1. Types of Environmental Burdens and Their Reduction
 The following measures shall be promoted to reduce environmental 
burdens, depending on the type of environmental burdens generated.

A. Regulations on proper waste water disposal shall be promoted for 
factories and other business enterprises.  They shall be encouraged to 
incorporate water recirculation systems into their production processes. 
 Buildings, in general, will also be encouraged to employ water 
recirculation systems and to utilize rain water.
B.  As for domestic waste water, improved sewage systems shall be 
promoted and depending on the location, agricultural community sewage 
treatment facilities and/or combined treatment septic tanks shall be 
encouraged.  Special plans shall be formulated for areas of particular 
domestic waste water concern.  At the same time, information about ways 
to reduce domestically produced pollution (e.g. from the kitchen) will 
be disseminated.
C. Measures to clarify the actual burden caused by indiscreet pollution 
sources in urban and agricultural areas shall be researched.  The 
development and dissemination of technology to handle urban and 
agricultural waste water shall be promoted.

2.2. Developing and Disseminating Technology for Water Conservation
 Advanced sewage treatment system technology shall be developed and 
disseminated.  Waste water treatment technology for small scale 
factories shall be simultaneously developed, as will advanced technology 
for combined treatment septic tanks.  These shall be promoted to reduce 
the environmental burden caused domestically and by small scale 
factories which are not currently the target of any waste water control 

2.3. Ensuring the Safety of Water Environment
 The following measures shall be promoted to ensure safe water.

A. To reduce the burdens on water resources, chemical substances that 
may have adverse effects on human or aquatic organisms shall be properly 
managed by introducing production processes that reduce discharges of 
those substances and by improving utilization methods of such chemicals. 
 At the same time, regulations on toxic substance discharges, 
underground infiltration and agricultural chemicals shall be more 
properly implemented.  Proper waste disposal shall be ensured and anti-
accident measures formulated.
B. Trihalomethanes can be formed, for example, when chlorine empties 
into water purification plants.  Discharging trihalomethane forming 
substances by industrial or domestic sources, shall be regulated.  
Similarly, measures shall be introduced at water purification plants and 
for rivers and streams. 
C. Concerning underground water contamination by toxic substances, 
measures to increase methods of clarifying the contaminating mechanism 
and purification technologies shall be implemented.
D. Research shall be promoted to clarify the cause and effect of 
underground water contamination by nitrate nitrogen.  Potential measures 
compatible with the special characteristics of the region and/or source 
shall be studied.
E. Measures shall be implemented to remove toxic substances from the 
ocean floor.

3.  Conserving the Environment in Closed Water System
 Levels of organic pollution in lakes, marshes, inland seas, inner bays, 
rivers and streams in urban areas and other closed bodies of water have 
stabilized and, in some areas, have shown improvement.  However, 
compared to other bodies of water, the improvements have been rather 
unsuccessful.  Therefore, the following measures shall be promoted.

A. Accumulation problems
 Closed water and urban river and stream areas, areas where pollution 
and contaminants tend to accumulate, shall be comprehensively 
investigated and appropriate measures shall be promoted.
B. Improving sources of tap water and river quality
 To improve the quality of tap water sources and seriously polluted 
urban rivers and streams, discharge regulations and sewage improvements 
shall be promoted.  Facilities shall be established to treat domestic 
waste water and measures shall be implemented to ensure water quality 
and quantity in rivers and streams.
C. Specific measures
 Measures shall be promoted for places of particular concern, such as 
lake Biwa, Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay and the Seto Inland Sea.  These measures 
shall be based on the Lake and Marsh Water Quality Conservation Plan and 
the Total Pollution Reduction Plan.  These measures shall be promoted in 
coordination with domestic discharge measures.

Water quality targets for lakes 
For designated lakes under the Law Concerning Special Measures for Lake 
Water Quality Conservation, the Lake Water Quality Conservation Plans 
set water quality targets to be achieved in five year period, foreseeing 
the achievement of environmental quality standard.

Water pollutant reduction targets for inland seas
Basic Plan for Total Water Pollutant Reduction (January 1991) and the 
Total Pollution Reduction Plans (March 1991) set targets of reduction of 
water pollutants in terms of chemical oxygen demand to be achieved by 
1994 for Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay and Seto Inland Sea.

D. Eutrophication
 Environmental water standards for nitrogen and phosphorous shall be 
promoted for lakes, marshes and ocean region to prevent eutrophication.  
The establishment of domestic waste water treatment facilities for 
sewers and sewage in targeted water areas shall also be promoted.  
Regulations shall be implemented for waste water and water quality shall 
be improved.
E Organic sludge
 Organic sludge accumulation cleanup measures, such as dredging, shall 
be implemented in rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, ports and other water 

4.  Conserving the Marine Environment
 Although the number of reported oil spills has been decreasing, waste 
being dumped into the ocean has continued unabatedly.  In an attempt to 
stop such pollution, the following measures shall be promoted.

A. From land
 Investigative surveys shall be performed to better understand the total 
burden being imposed on the ocean from land (e.g. discharged by rivers). 
 Appropriate measures shall be introduced.
B. From ships
 Appropriate measures shall be introduced to restrict oil, toxic liquids 
and other waste dumping from ships.
C. From tankers
 Preventative measures shall be promoted to protect against oil spills.  
Preparations shall be made to handle them if they do occur and measures 
for an oil compensation security system shall be promoted.
D. Investigations
 Ways to decrease the amount of gas discharged by ships shall be 
E. Studies
 Measures to prevent pollution caused by activities on the ocean floor 
shall be studied.
F. Other
 The development of new technologies and research shall be promoted to 
combat floating waste, massive oil spills and the use of inorganic tin 
coatings on the bottom of ships' hulls.

5.  Establishing a System for Monitoring the Water Environment
 An effective monitoring system must be established to implement proper 
conservation measures and to fully understand the state of the water 
environment.  The following measures shall be promoted.

A. Systems shall be established by the government to effectively carry 
out environmental quality standards monitoring for designated items.  
The results of these monitoring activities, which will require the 
cooperation of related ministries, agencies and local governments, shall 
be used to formulate and implement a water quality evaluation plan.   
B. Comprehensive measures for evaluating the water environment using 
biological indicators shall be established and surveys shall be 
conducted with the cooperation of local residents. 
C. Comprehensive surveys and monitoring shall be conducted to check the 
regional expansion of ground water pollution.
D. Comprehensive evaluations and surveys shall be conducted to conserve 
the ocean environment.

Section 3. Conserving the Soil and Ground Environment

 The soil environment  is crucial for water purification, food and 
timber production, etc.  It plays a key role in ecosystem maintenance 
and nature's restoration process.  It must, therefore, be conserved.  
 In addition, the Government shall promote measures to conserve the 
ground environment, through preventing ground subsidence and maintaining 
environmentally sound underground water circulation.

1.  The Safety of the Soil Environment
 Although pollution prevention measures have seen steady progress in 
agricultural areas, there have been an increasing number of pollution 
cases identified by underground water surveys and factory site 
redevelopment projects.
 To solve these problems, scientific knowledge on the impact of 
contaminated soil on human health and the ecosystem shall be accumulated 
and environmental quality standards shall be set taking into 
consideration the relationship between different environmental media.  
To maintain sound soil and to restore contaminated soil, the following 
measures shall be implemented, with special attention to the movement of 
pollutants between it, water and air.

A. Regulations shall be properly implemented on the discharge of toxic 
substances, smoke and on agricultural chemicals.
B. Measures to prevent pollution from mining activities shall be 
C. Investigations and surveys on the contamination of urban and 
agricultural areas shall be instituted.
D. Considering the extent and range of contamination and its impact on 
surrounding nature, efforts shall be made to improve soil that does not 
meet the environmental quality standards so that these standards are 
attained. For this, the Government shall promote measures for soil 
contamination in agricultural areas. Regarding contamination in urban 
areas, the Government shall promote development of technologies for 
environmental remediation and other measures.

Environmental quality standards for soil pollution 
(based on the Basic Environment Law)
The Government has set environmental quality standards for the following 
soil contaminants:
Cadmium, total cyanide, organic phosphorus, lead, hexavalent chromium, 
arsenic, total mercury, alkyl mercury, PCBs, copper, dichloromethane, 
tetrachloromethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-
dichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, 
trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, 1.3-dichloropropene,  thiuram, 
simazine, thiobencarb, benzene and selenium.

2.  Conserving the Ground Environment
 The state of ground subsidence, once a grave problem in various parts 
of the country, have been decreasing in general. Nevertheless, severe 
ground subsidence still remains to be observed in some districts. 
Therefore, to conserve the ground environment, the following measures 
shall be promoted.

A. Environmentally sound underground water circulation shall be 
maintained through promoting measures for conserving groundwater, such 
as the control of groundwater pumping-up which brings about ground 
subsidence, the securing supply of substitute water in order to reduce 
the pumping-up of groundwater, the encouragement of rainwater seepage 
into ground by planting trees, constructing permeable pavements, and 
installing permeable "cubes".
B. Research into the cause of falling groundwater levels accompanying 
underground space utilization shall be promoted.  Technology 
developments shall be encouraged for the prevention of going down of 
groundwater level among others. Furthermore, measures shall be 
considered to prevent environmental damage caused by utilization of 
underground space.
C. As for areas where severe ground subsidence is observed and areas 
suffering severely from the effects of ground subsidence, appropriate 
measures shall be taken to achieve targets such as those established in 
the Outline of Measures for Preventing Ground Subsidence.

Targets for Ground Subsidence Prevention
The Outline of Measures for Preventing Ground Subsidence (April 1985 for 
the Nobi Plain and the Chikugo-Saga Plain, November 1991 for the 
Northern Kanto Plain) establish the target for volumes of groundwater 
puming-up to be achieved by fiscal year 1994  (2000 for the Northern 
Kanto Plain)

D. Monitoring surveys shall be implemented to collect precise 
information, such as the volumes of groundwater pumping-up and the 
present state of ground subsidence nationwide.

Section 4.  Policies on Waste and Recycling

 As socioeconomic activities have developed and become characterized by 
mass-production, mass-consumption and mass-disposal, the total volume 
and variety of waste have increased.  Land-fill capacity is becoming 
strained. At each stage of activities from resource extraction to waste 
disposal, more and more burden on the environment is generated.  
Therefore, a socioeconomic system which can attain a state of 
sustainable development must be developed, by enhancing cycling of 
material within the socioeconomic system.
 Policies on waste and recycling shall be promoted along the following 
direction. First, generation of waste should be reduced. Second, reuse 
of used products should be promoted. Third, waste should be recycled 
into raw materials. Where the technological level makes such recycling 
difficult or not economically feasible, heat recovered from incineration 
should be used as energy source, taking sufficient measures to prevent 
adverse environmental effects. Waste that was generated finally should 
be disposed of in an appropriate manner.
 Furthermore, a new socioeconomic system needs to be created where 
responsibilities and costs on waste and recycling are shared among 
business, consumers, local governments and the national government as 
necessary. In such a new system, there should be incentives to reduce 
waste generation and recycling at each stage of product development, 
manufacturing, import, distribution, consumption, collection and 
 The government, aiming ultimately at achieving a zero-waste society, 
shall take appropriate measures to reduce waste and promote recycling. 
At the same time, studies shall be made on the way to share burden 
fairly. The government shall also promptly promote studies on targets 
for waste and recycling policy.  These targets shall be established and 
revised as necessary.

1.  Reducing Waste Generation
 Apart from promotion of recycling, measures shall be taken to 
discourage the production and sales of  disposable goods and excessive 
packaging practices, and to encourage consideration in design, 
manufacturing and distribution of products such as making them more 
durable. Likewise, people shall be encouraged to reconsider their 
lifestyle and to refrain from using disposable goods.  Economic measures,
 such as collection of fees in accordance with the volume of household 
waste, shall be utilized to encourage waste reduction. Other measures 
include promotion of national campaigns to reduce  waste, and the 
dissemination of information on waste disposal.
 As for controlling the generation of toxic waste, consideration in 
product design and manufacturing shall be promoted.

2.  Promoting Recycling
2.1. Reuse
 Measures shall be promoted for standardization of containers for easy 
reuse, facilitation of exchanging and/or selling of used products, etc.

2.2. Collection and Regeneration
 To reduce environmental burden, it is necessary to promote the 
regeneration of resources from waste and the collection and reuse of 
recyclable resources.
 For this purpose, the government shall take measures to encourage 
producers to make their products easier to recycle, to improve the 
resource recovery system through separate collection by municipalities 
an utilization of product distribution network, and to maintain of 
proper collection system of used paper. To encourage recycling, the 
government shall consider the introduction of economic measures such as 
a deposit refund system, and of a system for reclaiming of used product 
by producers etc. Measures shall be promoted to encourage corporations 
to achieve the targets on the use of recycled materials and to improve 
the regeneration capacity taking into account the specific conditions 
such as development of new usage of recycled materials. The use of 
recycled products shall be promoted and their markets shall be broadened 
through promotion and encouragement of increased use of recycled 
products by the central and local governments, corporations and
 people, taking into account the fact that recycled products 
are more expensive compared to products manufactured from virgin 
materials.  Studies on standardization of recycled products shall be 
promoted. As a foundation to these measures, the government shall 
promote development and dissemination of recycling technologies along 
with cooperation and communication between different sectors of industry,
 as well as promoting public relation activities, national campaigns for 
recycling, and provision of information.
 As for recycling of construction by-product such as gravel, dirt, 
sludge and scraps, measures such as information exchange shall be 
promoted, taking a broader geographical view.

Targets on recycling of paper and glass 
(The Order of Ministry of International Trade and Industry, October 1991,
 base on the Utilization of Reclaimed Resources Promotion Act)
  Recycled paper utilization  55% (in 1994)
  Glass cullet utilization  55% (in 1995)

Targets on recycling of metal cans 
(Council for Industrial Structure, Waste Disposal and Resource 
Reclamation Subcommittee Report, November 1990) 
  Steel can reclamation over 60% (in 1995)
  Aluminum can reclamation 60%  (by the end of 1994)

2.3. Packaging
 In order to reduce waste and environmental burdens related to packaging,
 the government shall consider the introduction of a new system where 
municipalities undertake separate waste collection and the industry 
undertakes reclamation and resource regeneration, and take necessary 
measures.  Studies from a broad perspective shall be made about a system 
including the utilization of economic instruments such as reflecting on 
the product price the costs needed for reclamation and regeneration.

2.4. Recycling Facilities
 Aiming at creating a "zero-waste society" where waste circulates in the 
socioeconomic system, almost all of the waste disposal shall be changed 
from the one which only incinerate and bury the waste to the one which 
promotes recycling as much as possible and utilizes the heat from 
incineration, in about the beginning of the 21st century.
 Technology development shall be promoted for recovering fuel oil from 
plastics, fusing and solidifying of incinerator ashes, heat utilization 
and power generation, and production of solid fuel from waste.

2.5. Environmental Consideration in Recycling
 The government shall study the effects of recycling on the environment, 
collect information on toxic substances possibly contained in recycled 
products, and consider necessary measures.

3. Promoting Proper Waste Disposal
3.1. Disposal Facilities
 Landfill sites and intermediate processing facilities shall be 
developed to promote proper waste disposal including sufficient 
environmental consideration. For landfill sites, cooperation between 
local authorities shall be promoted, and especially in large urban areas,
 measures shall be taken with a broad view across the prefectural 
 Development of disposal facilities for industrial waste disposal, which 
is the responsibility of corporations who generate it, shall be promoted 
involving public sector as necessary.

3.2. Cooperation Between Local Governments and Corporations
 Difficulties arising in the disposal of product which have been use 
must first be evaluated by companies.  Then, products which can be 
easily disposed of must be developed.  The availability of information, 
in this regard, to local governments shall be promoted.  
 In principle, municipalities are responsible for disposal of household 
waste.  However, several types of products are designated as being 
difficult to dispose of, such as large refrigerators.  In such matters, 
cooperation of industry to municipalities shall be promoted, such as 
encouraging the collection of used appliances by retailers and their 
disposal outside the municipal waste disposal system.

3.3. Environmental Consideration in Waste Disposal
 To conserve the environment around landfills, strict monitoring and 
dumping controls shall be strengthened.  Likewise, there shall be strict 
long-term management after the landfill is closed.  Investigative 
surveys shall be performed as well to enhance their construction and 
thereby increase their trustworthiness.
 To promote proper disposal of toxic waste, the government shall 
additionally designate types of industrial waste needing special control,
 strengthen the the governments for landfill, and promote development of 
appropriate technology for waste disposal. The body of knowledge about 
environmental impacts of waste disposal shall be increased, including 
evaluation of toxicity of waste. Management systems, set up to study 
appropriate methods for waste transport and disposal shall be employed 
and illegal dumping and disposal shall be prevented (a "manifest system").
 When illegal disposal occurs, immediate measures to return the 
environment to its former state shall be ensured.  Maintenance of a 
framework of measures to prevent litter shall likewise be promoted and 
necessary education provided.

Section 5.  Policies on Environmental Risks of Chemicals

 There is no denying the usefulness of chemical substances.  However, 
their production, use and disposal can have harmful effects on both the 
ecosystem and on human health.  There is little known about the harmful 
effects of many of these chemical substances.  The environmental impact 
of the substances which are generated through reaction in the 
environment and combustion of Chemical substances must also be 
 Potentially harmful effects on human health and the ecosystem from the 
production, utilization and/or disposal of chemical substances must be 
prevented before they occur.  To prevent these harmful effects and to 
ensure a safer environment, various measures shall be taken such as 
evaluating the environmental risks and comprehensively reducing those 

1. Evaluating Environmental Risks
 Environmental risks on human health and the ecosystem resulting from 
the production, use and/or disposal of potentially toxic chemicals must 
be evaluated in cooperation with international environmental risk 
evaluation and risk management programs.  The Government shall take 
measures for proper risk assessment, to improve our knowledge on 
environmental risks of chemical substances, such as characteristics of 
the substance (e.g. health impact, ecological impact, decomposition, 
accumulation), fate and behavior (e.g. emissions, movement between 
environmental media, reactions, biological metabolism), environmental 
concentrations, extent of human exposure, etc. The measures also include 
appropriate provision of information on the environmental risks, and 
studies on more effective and comprehensive risk estimations and 
administration procedures. Studies shall also be made for understanding 
environmental risks through different environmental media such as 
air and water, and on compound effect of different chemicals.
 The result of these studies shall be used for policy implementation.

2. Reducing Environmental Risks
 To reduce the environmental risks in producing, using and disposing of 
these types of chemicals, the government shall implement measures to 
restrict their discharge into the atmosphere, water or land.  In 
accordance with the level of toxicity, their manufacture and use shall 
be controlled.  Substitute technologies and products shall be developed 
and disseminated.  Measures for their appropriate collection and 
disposal shall also be implemented.

Section 6. Environmental Consideration in Technological Development etc.

 As new technologies are developed and utilized, there is a possibility 
of new impacts on the environment.  When it is foreseeable that the use 
of certain technologies may be burdening to the environment, 
environmental aspects of this new technology shall be thoroughly 
examined from the phase of technology development.  Appropriate measures 
must be implemented, with the ultimate goal of preventing these problems 
before they occur.  The fruits of high technologies shall be 
affirmatively applied to environmental conservation.
 When its is feared that environmental problems other than those 
mentioned above will occur as a result of environmental loadings of 
human activities, the government shall make efforts to take 
precautionary action to prevent such problems, together with the 
continuous efforts to improve our scientific knowledge.