Chapter 10 Preservation of the Global Environment

1. Dealing With Environmental Problems on a Global Scale

    The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Global Summit) will be held m Brazil m June 1992 This Conference is scheduled to adopt "the Framework Convention on Climate Change" (Provisional name), which is an international effort for the prevention of global warming, and is raising international interest in environmental problems. Japan's MOT is playing an important role in dealing with areas including global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, acid rain and sea pollution.
    The MOT is implementing the policies listed below based on its "Action Program to arrest of Global Warming" which received Cabinet approval in October 1990.
  (1) Extending and strengthening systems for observation, supervision and forecast of environmental conditions centered on the Maritime Safety Agency and the Meteorological Agency
  (2) Policies for the control and reduction of C02 exhaust from traffic by raising the cost of fuel for cars and promoting the introduction of diesel and electric hybrid cars
  (3) Establishing a transport system which produces less C02 exhaust through undertaking a modal shift, increasing distribution efficiency through expanding the use of trunks of common carriers, and establishing public transport facilities.
  (4) To forecast the effect that can be expected from arise in the sea level and establishing countermeasures for prevention of related disasters
    There is urgent need, on the other hand, for international emergency prevention measures for accidents causing pollution, such as massive oil spills from tankers.
    In November 1990 the IMO adopted the "International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990" (Provisional name) as a system for international cooperation to deal with massive oil spills. The MOT is in the process of implementing measures domestically fitting with their participation in this Agreement.
    The MOT is also implementing the OSPAR Plan as part of its pollution control activities. The Plan provides for active cooperation with ASEAN countries with coastlines fronting Japan's major oil routes to deal with massive oil spills in the area. In FY1991 the MOT undertook a research survey into concrete measures to implement a system for international cooperation to deal with oil spills, and participated in the OSPAR Cooperation Conference held in Manila.
    Japan has a record of full cooperation when environmental pollution problems arise. When oil spills occurred in the Persian Gulf during the Rersian Gulf Crisis, Japan contributed oil fences and dispatched personnel from its Maritime Safety Agency and Meteorological Agency. Since then it has continued its support in line with requests from gulf countries.

2. Implementation of Environmental Countermeasures

    Regulations controlling exhaust gases such as Nox from simple substances have been further tightened. This is a countermeasure to control environmental pollution caused by from traffic.
    Comprehensive policies are being implemented in the transport sector for the introduction of low-pollutant vehicles such as methanol cars, replacement of cars presently in use with cars satisfying new regulations, and shifting from using private cars to commercial vehicles.
    The distribution system is being rationalized, a modal shift implemented and public transport facilities established. Measures are also being considered for a high degree of switch over to low-pollutant vehicles in large urban areas where pollution is particularly bad.
    Policies are also being implemented to control pollution including noise from cars, noise and vibrations from Shinkansen trains, and aircraft, at the source and in the surrounding environment.
    Japan is developing its policies from a comprehensive perspective of "cleaning-up" the environment. It is implementing measures in line with international trends to prevent pollution of the oceans and has strengthened its regulations beyond former levels to limit discharge from ships, and further strengthened its supervision and control capacity. (Fig51)

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