Chapter 4.  Measures Forming the Basis of Environmental Policy

 Several policy instruments which have been mentioned in previous 
chapters can serve the long-term objectives at one time. These include 
environmental impact assessment (EIA), regulatory measures, economic 
measures, providing environmental infrastructure and promoting 
scientific research, monitoring, observation and environmental 
technology, and environmental information. These instruments shall be 
utilized in appropriate policy-mix approach, depending on the types of 
problem. This chapter presents the basic ideas that guide the 
implementation of these measures.  
 Furthermore, this chapter also presents the basic ideas that direct 
such policy instruments as regional pollution abatement programs, 
environmental health measures and pollution dispute resolutions.

Section 1.  Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

 In order to comprehensively conserve the environment, it is essential 
that precautionary environmental consideration is made in formulation 
and implementation of policy measures and projects. This concept is 
widely recognized and firmly established both domestically and 
 To further environmental considerations such as implementation of 
environmental impact assessment, the following measures shall be 

1. Environmental Consideration for Government Policies
 With a view to prevent environmental problems, environmental 
conservation shall be taken into account when formulating and 
implementing government policies which may affect the environment, 
conducting studies on environmental implications as needed.

2. Environmental Consideration at Planning Stage of Public Works 
 Environmental consideration shall begin at the planning stage of public 
works for providing infrastructure undertaken by the Government. This 
includes survey and prediction of environmental impact of the project.

3. Promoting EIAs for Projects
 The Government is already promoting adequate EIAs for several types of 
large scale construction projects having significant environmental 
impact. EIAs are carried out based on the Cabinet approved EIA 
Implementation Guidelines (1984) and several laws. The Government shall 
continue to make effort for implementing these EIA procedures. Local 
governments are also promoting EIAs based on their own ordinances and 
guidelines as regional realities dictate.

4 Promoting Systematic Research on EIA
 In order to ensure proper environmental considerations, the Government 
shall enhance further research on schemes and methodology of such 
considerations. Particularly for future EIA systems, relevant ministries 
and agencies are jointly conducting a comprehensive research on various 
EIA systems and state of their implementation both in Japan and abroad, 
taking into account the accumulation of domestic EIA experiences and 
increasing recognition of the importance of EIA. Base on the result of 
this research, the Government shall make necessary reconsideration of 
the institutional framework of EIA, possibly including future 

Section 2.  Regulatory Measures

 Among environmental policy tools, various regulatory measures have long 
been effective in controlling pollution and other interference with 
environmental conservation.  Regulatory measures can also appropriately 
ensure that the environmental costs are incorporated in the market 
mechanism.  Thus, the current regulatory measures are to be implemented 
properly and those measures shall continue to be applied in the future, 
taking account of characteristics of a particular problem, effectiveness 
and impact of the measures, and so on.

Section 3.  Economic Measures

 Japan has achieved much progress, compared to other developed countries,
 in conserving resources and energy particularly in industry since the 
oil crisis.  However, prevailing patterns of mass-production, 
consumption and discharge in socioeconomic activities, together with 
continuing concentration of population and economic activities in urban 
areas, have led to such environmental problems as urban/household-
generated pollution, increasing waste and global warming, which require 
further measures aimed at solving these problems.
 These problems are caused by wide-ranging socioeconomic activities 
including daily business activities and lifestyles.  It is pointed out 
the fundamental reason underlying is that the social cost of 
environmental load arising from these activities has not been well 
understood and the measures have been lagging behind, therefore the cost 
has not been incorporated in market mechanism.  These activities have 
been continued externalizing these social costs.  Regarding these 
problems, it is required to appropriately implement regulatory measures, 
economic measures and others so as to ensure that each member of society 
acts in an environmentally friendly manner.
 Various economic measures, such as environmental taxes, surcharges, and 
deposit-refund systems which aim to properly reflect environmental costs 
in the price of goods and service transactions, are expected to 
efficiently reduce environmental load generated by numerous daily 
activities, and considered also to contribute to efficient distribution 
of resources.  These measures have been recommended internationally by 
the OECD, the G-7 Summit and the UNCED, and are implemented in various 
examples in European countries and the U.S.  Japan must also promote 
studies and investigations into these measures and participate in the 
international discussion at the OECD and other fora, with a view to 
resolve aforementioned environmental problems.
 Economic measures include economic burden and assistance, both of which 
aim to ensure each party in the economy to take actions for 
environmental conservation through using economic incentives.

1. Economic assistance
 Economic assistance is a measure to effectively promote investments in 
facilities and other improvements to reduce environmental load by the 
party who is responsible for activities generating those load, such as 
pollution control investments to promptly attain improvement of the 
environment within a limited period.  In providing economic assistance, 
necessary and appropriate measures shall be implemented in consideration 
of economic conditions of recipients and that the financial outlay is 
ultimately the burden of Japanese people, as well as based on Polluter 
Pays Principle of the OECD which urges not to create any major 
distortions in international trade and investment 

2. Economic burden
 Economic measures placing economic burden are, in effect, requiring 
those parties who are conducting activities generating environmental 
load to bear new burden which has not been paid before.  In order to 
make decision on economic measures to be implemented, studies and 
investigations shall be appropriately promoted as to their effectiveness 
for environmental conservation, impacts on the national economy and so 
on, in consideration of the fields to be applied such as controlling 
carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global warming, measures for urban/
household-generated pollution, or reducing waste.  The understanding and 
cooperation of the people will be sought when introducing the economic 
measures.  Where those measures are concerning protection of the global 
environment, considerations will be made to international cooperation so 
as to properly ensure the effectiveness.
 Along with the investigation into measures of economic burden, further 
investigations shall be promoted concerning policy options such as 
utilizing regulatory and other policy measures, effectively 
incorporating those other measures together with measures of economic 
 Regarding economic measures to reduce the generation of waste and 
promote recycling, waste reduction shall be ensured through requiring 
appropriate economic burden such as imposing collection charges on 
household waste in proportion to the amount of waste.  As well, 
extensive investigations shall be carried out as to utilizing economic 
measures such as deposit-refund system, with a view to develop a scheme 
which will clarify the responsibilities of waste generators and ensure 
that cost of proper waste disposal and recycling is appropriately shared 
in society.

Section 4. Environmental Infrastructure Improvement

 To maintain healthy and productive environment and create a society 
ensuring sustainable development with reduced environmental load, it is 
necessary not only the efforts of corporations and people for reducing 
their environmental loads but also promotion of environmental 
infrastructure improvement.  Of course, project plans should be examined 
to assess possible environmental impacts and conservation measures based 
upon the result must be implemented.  Since Japanese population is 
predicted to continue aging, the capital reserves are expected to 
continue to fall.  It is  therefore essential that these infrastructure 
should be intensively improved in limited time frame.

 The public works of facilities in the Plan that will reduce 
environmental loads based on various endowment programs will be 
implemented. Likewise, this Plan allows for projects to maintain and 
ensure the proper utilization of the natural environment. In financing 
these projects, the Guideline for Estimation of the Budget for 
Environmental Conservation should fully be considered. The projects 
should be undertaken comprehensively and intensively with measures for 
effective utilization of the facilities. In this case, the effectiveness 
of the projects will need to be evaluated.

Section 5. Scientific Research, Monitoring/Observation and Environmental 

 It is essential to carry out research, observations and monitoring to 
more clearly understand the state of the environment, to elucidate the 
mechanisms of environmental change and to make educated decisions about 
conservation policies.  In particular, to solve complex global problems, 
an exorbitant amount of scientific knowledge will need to be gathered.
 To achieve an environmentally healthy and friendly society, technology 
must be developed.  This newly developed technology must then be 
increasingly employed and dispersed.
 To contribute to the international society, Japan must strengthen 
research , observations and monitoring, develop appropriate technologies,
 and provide facilities necessary for these scientific and technological 
activities. and establish technological facilities.  Efforts of local 
governments and private organizations in this endeavor shall be 

1. Monitoring, Observation and Research
1.1. Research
 Research into the following issues which fall within broad fields of 
natural, social and cultural science, shall be promoted, from a global 
perspective.  Interministerial cooperation shall be sought as necessary, 
considering that many of these issues are overlapping.

A. comprehensive monitoring of environmental loadings such as greenhouse 
gases and waste generation, and of socioeconomic activities that cause 
such loadings
B. understanding the mechanism of environmental changes and predicting 
their impacts
C. ensuring biodiversity
D. clarifying and evaluating long-term, compounding, environmental risks 
of human activities through different environmental media such as air 
and water
E. establishing an integrated national environmental and economic 
accounting system and further understanding the interrelationship 
between the environment and economy
F. international trends in environmental policy and their effectiveness
G. decision making under the uncertainty of environmental change
H. Issues related to each of the topics in Part III .

1.2. Observation and Monitoring
 Observation and monitoring should be carefully employed, based on 
individual laws.  The entire planning process for observation and 
monitoring (i.e. from formulation, implementation, structuring, analysis 
and evaluation, to publication of final results) must be worked out in 
detail.  Likewise, an implementation system for observation and 
monitoring must be established to ensure correspondence between changes 
in environmental problems and implementation.  

1.3. Global and Transboundary Problems
 Regarding research, observation and monitoring of problems affecting 
wide areas, such as acid deposition and marine pollution, efforts should 
be made to better understand broad advection and diffusion of substances 
and their impacts on ecosystems.  Furthermore, efforts should be made to 
expand scientific knowledge on material circulation between the 
atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere.  Such knowledge will 
lead to a better understanding of global problems and its impacts on the 

1.4. Systematic Control and Organization
 Research, observation and monitoring implemented by, or connected with, 
the government shall be systematically overseen and organized.  The 
government shall likewise do its best to oversee research instituted by 
local governments and private sectors. Furthermore, cooperation between 
related research, observation and monitoring shall be promoted by 
establishing liaison meetings, as circumstances require.

1.5. Comprehensive Implementation Systems
 In fields related to global environmental conservation, where 
systematic efforts are necessary, comprehensive programs shall be 
formulated to secure well-organized implementation of research, 
observation and monitoring. 

2. Promoting Technology
2.1. Technology Supporting Environmental Conservation Efforts
 Technologies related to environmental conservation targets should be 
widely promoted.  Appropriate technologies shall be selected by 
considering both their effectiveness in curing particular problems and 
their adverse side-effects.  Technological systems which support 
environmental conservation efforts shall be secured.

2.2. Developing and Dispersing Technology
 Energy and resource conserving technology, closed material circulation 
production technology, pollution cleanup technology, waste disposal and 
recycling technology, environmental maintenance technology and 
technology to construct aesthetically pleasing facilities must be 
developed and dispersed.  The technologies mentioned in section III, 
remote sensing technology employed by satellites and technology 
appropriate to developing regions must be developed.  Not only must 
equipment and hardware technology be developed, but also, effective know-
how, or 'soft' technology must be developed.  After applying a certain 
technology, its effectiveness in improving the environment shall be 
evaluated and measures shall be implemented according to the results. 

3. Laying the Foundation
3.1. Providing Facilities
 Necessary equipment and facilities shall be provided to carry out 
research, observations and monitoring.

3.2. Improving Measuring Technology
 Credibility and accuracy in survey and measuring shall be improved.  In 
particular, telemetering (the transmitting of results produced by an 
electrical measuring apparatus to a distant station) and  remote sensing 
technologies need to be advanced.  Also, planes, ships and satellites 
shall be provided.

3.3. Academic Research, Human Resource Development etc.
 Academic research of cultural, social and natural sciences shall be 
promoted at universities and other institutions in fields related to 
environmental conservation.  In cooperation with these institutions, 
efforts shall be made to improve the quality and quantity of human 
resources engaged in enhancement of research, observation and monitoring,
 and development of appropriate technologies.  Likewise, cooperation 
including human resource exchange shall be promoted, and information 
shall be shared among different institutions.

3.4. Cooperation with Private Sector
 The utilization of civilian ingenuity shall be encouraged to promote 
advances in technology .

4. Local Governments and Private Organizations
4.1. Exchange and Participation
 Assistance shall be provided to local governments, non-profit 
organizations, universities and private organizations, for the purpose 
of furthering research, observation, monitoring and technology 
development.  This assistance will come in the form of information 
exchanges, human resource exchanges, and as necessary, in the form of 
joint research and joint utilization of equipment/supplies.
 Scientific information provided by private organizations and the 
general public is extremely valuable. Their participation in research, 
observation and monitoring activities shall be promoted.  The Government 
shall make efforts to develop and disperse surveying and measuring 
methodologies and procedures which facilitate such participation.

4.2. Technological Assistance
 Technological support, concerning proper measurement implementation by 
companies, shall be promoted.  Support shall also be given to improve 
the accuracy of investigations and measurements of private organization. 
 To accomplish this, information shall be provided and official 
qualifications for environmental technicians shall be established.

5. Disseminating Results
 The results of research, observation and monitoring activities shall be 
officially disseminated to the general public.  Impediments in 
communication must be examined to construct a system which can easily 
disseminates major breakthroughs in environmental technology.  
Information transfer and communication systems shall be established, and 
with the government taking the lead, necessary measures to provide 
economic incentives for disseminating information shall be applied.

Section 6.  Providing and Maintaining Environmental Information

 To promote environmental conservation measures, environmental 
information must be systematically maintained and utilized.  It is 
essential that information be accurately provided to advance 
environmental education and learning and to encourage voluntary actions 
by companies, citizens and private organizations.  Furthermore, the 
information must be offered fairly to each member and sector of society.
 The rights of both individuals and legal entities shall be considered 
in regard to provisions and maintenance of information.  Utmost efforts 
shall be made to ensure that information is efficiently provided and 
easily accessible.

1. Establishing an Information System
 The state of the environment, burden levels, forecasts and conservation 
efforts are some of the types of information needed to secure the goal 
of this Plan.  How to make this information available and easily 
accessible shall be studied.  The institution of highly organized 
databases to aid in the complex task of gathering, sorting and 
processing new data shall be promoted.  In this way, discovering where 
information is, and how to access it shall be simplified.  The 
establishment of these databases shall be based upon the results of the 
information accessibility study. 
 The government shall promote the establishment of an environmental 
information broadcasting network.  It will, likewise, study how to 
create a format in which information from a wide variety of sources, 
gathered by local governments and private individuals could be made 
easily available, culminating in a completely integrated environmental 
information database.

2. Provision of Information
2.1. Document and Other Forms of Information
 The government shall provide information to the general public through 
publications like the White Paper in the Environment and the 
Environmental Information Handbook.  In addition to publications, 
magnetic media and other news transmission systems shall be utilized.

2.2. Information Access System
 A system shall be established to promptly respond to inquiries made by 
citizens.  The possibility of establishing a comprehensive environmental 
information database and information supply system that networks local 
governments and non-profit organizations shall be examined.

2.3. Environmental Information Centers
 In order to provide information covering various fields, the 
feasibility of establishing environmental information centers, 
biological diversity centers and national park visitor centers shall be 

3. Establishing an Environmental Analysis system
3.1. Analysis System
 The establishment of a system to evaluate the effectiveness of measures,
 forecasts and analyses on the state of the environment shall be 
examined.  An integrated environmental information database shall be 
employed in this endeavor.  

3.2. Environmental Statistics
 The establishment of environmental statistics, incorporating the 
results of research on an integrated environmental-economic tracking 
system shall be examined.  

4. Laying the Foundation
4.1. Establishing Facilities
 The necessary facilities and equipment for providing information shall 
be established.  This includes establishing an information network.

4.2. Human Resource Training
 Efforts shall be made to improve the quality and quantity of human 
resources for environmental information management.  Strong ties with 
educational institutions shall also be maintained.

5. Supporting Local Governments and Private Organizations
5.1. Regional Bases
 The establishment of regional information bases to promote the 
integration of information from local governments in an organized manner 
shall be promoted.

5.2. Information Networking
 Support shall be lent to promote the integration of information 
obtained as a result of private organization's voluntary activities.  
Networking between the national and local governments and private 
organizations shall be supported.

Section 7.  Regional Pollution Abatement Programs

 Regional pollution abatement programs shall be formulated for 
designated areas where the effects of pollution are currently severe in 
coordination with other policies.

1. Plan Formulation
 Fundamental policy measures based on this Plan shall be formulated.  
The following factors shall be considered when formulating these 

A. To achieve and maintain regional environmental quality standards, 
controls must be applied and broad measures designed.  In this way, 
burdens generated in the course of business activities and the daily 
activities of citizens shall be reduced.
B. Means shall be provided so that every sector of society can work 
together actively to conserve the environment and to ensure that the 
burden of this endeavor is fairly spread.  
C. Conservation of the natural and global environment shall be given 
utmost consideration.
D. Priority actions shall be set up for air pollution caused by nitrogen 
oxides, water pollution and ground water contamination from domestic 
waste water.
F. In metropolitan areas, trans-regional approaches shall be promoted.  
Neighboring districts shall formulate plans dealing with environmental 
problems in coordination with one another.
G. Environmental conservation shall be integrated with other legal 
programs dealing with conservation.

2. Plan Implementation
 Measures mentioned in the Basic Environment Plan shall be 
comprehensively and systematically promoted and they shall be carefully 
coordinated with one another.  

Section 8.  Environmental Health, Pollution Disputes, etc.

 The government shall enact measures to prevent pollution-related health 
damage and outbreaks of victims.  Additionally, for victims it shall 
promote prompt and fair protection measures as well as ensuring their 
health based on Polluter Pays Principle. 

Furthermore, the government shall promote prompt and reasonable 
settlement of disputes.

Likewise, complaints settlements shall be promoted to conserve living 
environment and to prevent further disputes in the future. Pollution 
control regulations shall be strictly enforced.

1. Relief and Prevention of Pollution-Related Health Damages
1.1. Relief
 Based on the Law for the Compensation of Pollution-Related Health 
Damage persons verified pollution-related health damage receive 
compensation and should be relieved promptly and fairly.  As for 
Minamata Disease, verification, comprehensive measures for Minamata 
Disease and comprehensive research at National Institute for Minamata 
Disease shall be promoted.

1.2. Prevention
To prevent health damage from air pollution, the health damage 
prevention program financed by the fund in Pollution¥¥Related Health 
Damage Compensation Association shall be undertaken. A pollution in the 
area can be observed regularly and continuously (Environmental Health 
Surveillance System) shall be established and various research programs 
shall be promoted.  

2. Pollution-Related Dispute Resolution
2.1. Dispute Resolution
 Based on the Pollution-Related Dispute Resolution Law, the government 
shall provide venues for mediation and arbitration.

2.2. Handling Complaints
 Again, based on the Pollution-Related Dispute Resolution Law, the 
government shall provide information and guidance to local governments 
so that pollution complaints filed in their jurisdictions can be 
adequately settled.  Furthermore, measures to ensure that pollution 
complaints to local police are properly received and handled shall be 

2.3. Measures on Crimes Against the Environment
 To prevent pollution offenses, related organizations and private 
individuals must cooperate and measures to make such violations criminal 
shall be promoted.