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Commitment to the Environment in Japan

Updated: Oct 25


Global warming has become a threat to humanity. Rising temperatures over time cause weather patterns to change and upset the usual balance of nature. This is a risk for human beings and in general all forms of life on earth.


By: Daniela Vergara Cano - Audiovisual and multimedia communication Intern CCJCI


This month World Environment Day is celebrated in Japan. For this reason, we present the actions that Japan has adapted to overcome the rates of air pollution.


Being one of the most industrialized economies in Asia, it has also been the country that has adopted the most measures to alleviate the effects of climate change, mainly in relation to air pollution. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced his commitment to Japan to stop emitting greenhouse gases, until reaching zero levels in 2050.


Japan has been considered one of the successful cases in the transition from highly polluted cities to clean cities, with low carbon emissions and without respiratory diseases. Partly thanks to a law that helps control Co2 emissions and the granting of powers to local governments to control, they have helped to contribute to generating a cleaner environment in recent years. An example of the measures adopted is Tokyo, its capital, which went from being one of the most polluted cities in the sixties, to being one of the most breathable today.


Japan Actions for the Environment

The main action is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it is one of the most difficult to execute but the one that obtains the best results in the long term. Greenhouse gases are made up of carbon dioxide that, as they accumulate, cause the layers of the atmosphere closest to the earth to increase their temperature, which leads to an increase in global warming and consequently all its effects.


Japan has historically suffered climatic crises such as floods, storms, heat waves, droughts and landslides among other natural disasters and is recognized as a country very well prepared to face emergencies and natural disasters. However, the government, the Meteorological Agency and the National Emergency System sent an alert about the consequences that climate change would generate in agriculture, fishing and other sectors of the economy. This led Yoshihide Suga to commit to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, achieving a decarbonized society. This commitment involves transforming Japan's industries ranging from electric power to cars to make them sustainable.


On the other hand, the existence of the Basic Law of Environmental Pollution Control of 1968, was created to put an end to pollution, at the time it was known that the results were going to take time, it would have to start somewhere. In 1973, carbon oxide density alerts launched alarms with their peak of 328 particles per million. In 1986 these levels began to decline to 85 especially in Tokyo and Osaka.


The Basic Environmental Pollution Control Law of 1968 was the basis for the creation of other laws to contribute to updating measures to reduce global warming. They also created measurement indicators, which allow the collection of information to be much simpler and also other alternatives to propose solutions, these indicators allow them to have exact information on the main sources of pollution and the places where the highest concentration of emissions are emitted. of carbon. Likewise, the law establishes that local governments can establish stricter standards in the areas under their jurisdiction.


In addition to local governments. The Ministry of the Environment is in charge of "carrying out on-site inspections, notifying offenders and rendering accounts of fluctuations in carbon emissions, achieved through its management, at the end of each fiscal year" (BCN, 2021), in addition to to establish the maximum limits allowed for the emission of gases that come from cars, engines used in factories and construction machinery. The ministry also made an agreement with local governments, civil society groups and the private sector to execute the following actions:


  • Establish alternative controls to current measurements

  • Adapt control measures according to local conditions

  • Promote the development of technology to prevent pollution

  • Relocation of factories and originating instances in agreement with local residents to prevent protests


Likewise, Japanese society has begun to feel responsible for its environment, promoting the use of hybrid cars, recycling, the correct use of resources such as energy, water and food. Being aware of a problem, global warming, which belongs to all of us, allows us to be in a greater disposition and service to carry out actions that concretely help global warming not to get worse every day.


Therefore, for the government of Japan and its citizens, both the reduction of greenhouse gases, as well as the fight against climate change, is of great importance for the quality of life, because thanks to this, many respiratory diseases develop, as well as sectors such as agriculture are affected by very high or low temperatures, among many others. The role that Japan is taking regarding the environment is of great importance as it is taking great actions to improve and help.



REFERENCES:

  • Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. (2018, December 18). Japón y Las Acciones para superar Los Críticos índices de Contaminación Atmosférica - Programa asia pacifico. Observatorio Asiapacifico. https://www.bcn.cl/observatorio/asiapacifico/noticias/japon-acciones-superar-indices-criticos-polucion

  • JICA. (2021, June 28). [Junio es el mes del medio ambiente en japón] el impacto del Cambio Climático en el Agua (primera parte): ¿Estamos Sufriendo Realmente Escasez de Agua?: Noticias Y ArticulosJICA. JICA. https://www.jica.go.jp/spanish/news/field/2021/210628_01.html

  • El Ágora. (2020, October 26). Japón se compromete por fin a ser carbono neutral en 2050. EL ÁGORA DIARIO. https://www.elagoradiario.com/desarrollo-sostenible/cambio-climatico/japon-carbono-neutral-2050/

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