Japan and the Environment

Compiled September 2005>

Kyoto Protocol/Global Climate Change

Towards the Entry into Force of the Kyoto Protocol

This statement by Environment Minister of Japan Koike Yuriko notes that Japan recognizes the need to promote policies and measures to tackle climate change and is determined to carry them out. Sections address: c limate change as a problem already manifesting itself; providing international leadership; promotion of domestic policies and measures towards the achievement of the Kyoto commitment; and towards the establishment of a society addressing climate change.

Kyoto Protocol

http://unfccc.int/essential_background/kyoto_protocol/ items/2830.php
Offers brief background information on the Kyoto Protocol. Links in the navigation bar lead users to the text of the protocol (in any of several languages), the status of ratification, and compliance measures.

Feeling the Heat

This guide provides an introduction to climate change and shows how the international community is responding.

Kyoto Protocol Comes into Force

Wednesday, 16 February, 2005
Article from BBC News that discusses ratification of the accord. Also includes links to a wide variety of resources from the BBC about climate change.

Lesson Plans

Environment and Conservation: Japan (lesson plan)

http://www.askasia.org/teachers/Instructional_Resources/ Lesson_Plans/Japan/LP_japan_2.htm
This Resource Distribution simulation demonstrates how nations trade and use their resources to meet their needs and wants. In the simulation, resources are distributed unequally to student groups, and the groups must then accomplish a set of tasks which makes it necessary to trade with other groups.

Lesson 14: Caring for the Environment: Focus on Recycling

This lesson, from Snapshots from Japan: The Lives of Seven Japanese High School Students invites students to assess the meaning of the term "environment" from a personal perspective. After considering selected photo sheets, text narratives, and other resources, small groups of students formulate posters or brochures advocating a recycling action appropriate for the Japanese cultural context. Students reflect upon their work and assess the viability of their campaign in the U.S. cultural context.

The Economics of Recycling

http://www.econedlink.org/lessons /index.cfm?lesson=EM218&page=teacher
In this lesson plan, students review the legislation in Japan that requires all consumers to pay a fee for recycling large appliances.

Teacher's Guide to Xpedition Hall

National Geographic's Xpedition Hall is a virtual museum that offers interactive exhibits. Gallery V comprises three Japanese-themed exhibits that deal with Environment and Society. Navigate through this site by using the diagram on the right side of the screen, or the interactive image in the center of the screen. All exhibits include related activities and lesson plans. Teacher's Guide is at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/hall/teachersguide.pdf.

Feeding a Hungry World: Focus on Rice in Asia and the Pacific

This 7-lesson unit, produced by the Stanford Program for International and Cross-Cultural Education (189 pages, $64.95), introduces students to key environmental issues through an exploration of the rice-based farming systems of Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Government Information and Resources

Japan's Environment at a Glance

Offers a synopsis of the state of the environment-air, water, noise and vibration, waste, forests, soil, etc. in Japan.

Undertakings by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) aimed at "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development."

Briefly describes how the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has been reflecting interest in the environment in various social policies.

Vision for a Virtuous Circle for Environment and Economy in Japan : Toward a Healthy, Rich and Beautiful Environmentally-Advanced Country.

Full text at http://www.env.go.jp/en/rep/ppac/vvceej.pdf
The aim of the vision is to establish a "Healthy, Rich and Beautiful Environmentally-Advanced Country" by realizing "virtuous circle for environment and economy," based on the concept that actions for environmental issues will boost the economic growth while the resultant economic growth will further improve the environment.

Laws and regulations

Provides links to the full text numerous laws and regulations regarding the environment.

Commitment to Environmental Issues: Protecting the Global Environment

This Japan Fact Sheet address Japan's commitment to the prevention of global warming (The Kyoto Protocol), its efforts at waste disposal and recycling, environmental protection groups in Japan, and Japan's environmental cooperation with other nations through its Official Development Assistance program. See also http://web-japan.org/factsheet/pdf/ENVIRONP.PDF for a Fact Sheet on environmental pollution.

Sites for and about Kids and the Environment

Protecting the Environment (Kidsweb Japan )

This site offers answers to questions such as: What efforts are being made to make the air cleaner? What steps are being taken to reduce garbage? What measures have been taken to preserve the natural environment? What kinds of recycling are common in Japan ? What kind of pollution problems has Japan been plagued with?

Asanogawa Green Project

Presents a case study of city-run Asanogawa Elementary School in the city of the Kanazawa. The project covers (1) conserving electricity (reducing CO2 emissions), (2) conserving fuel (also reducing CO2 emissions), (3) conserving water, (4) reduction of paper use, (5) reduction of waste generation, and (6) activities to care for nature.

Kids' Create Your Future!

This website shows tips to help kids think about the environment and their actions. It aims to encourage children all over the world to take an interest in environmental issues, and put their ideas into action.

1,000 Kids Meet in Kyoto Prior to COP3. Junior Conference on Global Environment.

Around 1,000 elementary and middle school students in the city of Kyoto gathered on November 1, 1997 to report on what they learned about living things in their midst.

Recycling/Land Reclamation

Neighborhood Watch: Deciphering Japan 's Trash Codes

An article in the International Herald-Tribune that discusses the experience of a journalist and writer living in Tokyo as she deals with sorting her trash, her Japanese landlady, the neighbors, and the many categories of trash.

Recycling in Japan

This special feature of the magazine Nipponia (volume 7, 1999) addresses Japan 's shift away from a "throw-away" society, the recycling efforts of companies and consumers, items made from recycled plastics, and fun and beautiful things that can be made with recycled items.

Tokyo Bay

Presents an excerpt from an October 2002 article in National Geographic about Tokyo Bay. A downloadable map showing the 250 square km (nearly 100 square miles) of land reclaimed from the bay over the years is at http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0210/ feature2/images/mp_download.2.pdf.

Compiled by Roger Sensenbaugh.