About Environment

 Latest update: May 2024 

Japan's pollution levels in air and water have been decreasing consistently and for the first time ever, the share of renewable energies in the total energy production has reached approximately 21.7 % in the FY 2022. But there are new challenges and global threats that the country has to deal with.

Air pollution remains a significant environmental concern in Japan, primarily attributed to fossil fuel combustion. Japan's GHG emissions and removals (GHG emissions minus removals) in FY2021 were 1,122 million tons CO2, making it to the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter. Another continuous challenge for Japan can be represented by the issues of waste management and water and marine pollution.

Moreover, Japan is vulnerable to environmental pollution stemming from natural disasters. The restoration of the environment contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 remains one of the biggest tasks. As for the decontamination measures for soil contaminated by radioactive materials, the government has stipulated through law to complete the final disposal of removed soil and contaminated waste generated by decontamination work by 2045, relocating it outside of Fukushima Prefecture.

There are also challenges that other regions are facing. As examples, the increase in PM2.5 as well as eutrophication of large water bodies are threats to health and nature. This section gives an overview of Japan’s environmental policies and the current state of its green technology and recycling sectors. 

Nishimura & Asahi Environmental law and practice in Japan: overview, 2015
International Energy Agency, “Japan 2021 Energy Policy Review”, 2021

Ministry of Environment, Ministry of the Environment's Efforts for Reconstruction and Revitalization of Disaster-Affected Areas, 2024
Ministry of Environment,  White Paper on the Environment, Recycling-Oriented Society, and Biodiversity (in Japanese) , 2023



Table of Contents

  • Overview
    • Carbon neutrality goal by 2050
    • The Green Growth Strategy
    • Basic policy for the Green Transformation  (GX)
  • Sixth Basic Environmental Plan
    • The concept of Regional Circular and Ecological Sphere
  • Sectors
    • Air pollution control
    • Water and marine pollution control
    • Plastic waste control
  • Overview of Green market opportunities and evolution
  • Eco-Mark
  • EU-Japan cooperation policies on sustainable development and environment
    • Economic Partnership Agreement
    • EU-Japan Green Alliance
  • Expert Reports & Webinars
  • Annual Reports
  • Relevant Organisations and Trade Fairs
Please log in for full access
Subscribe to
our newsletters

The EU-Japan Centre currently produces 5 newsletters :

  • EU-Japan NEWS - our flagship newsletter covering the Centre's support services, information about EU (or Member States) - Japan cooperation
  • Japanese Industry and Policy News
  • “About Japan” e-News (Only available for EU companies / EU organisations)
  • Japan Tax and Public Procurement Weekly Tender Digest (Only available for EU companies / EU organisations)
  • Tech Transfer Helpdesk Newsletter
1 EUR = 170,858 JPY