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International Cooperation

EPA Collaboration with Japan

EPA and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan collaborate bilaterally and through multilateral processes such as the G7 and G20 on addressing marine litter, resource efficiency, food waste, decontamination and environmental management, mercury monitoring and implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and regional air quality.  
Videos from Japanese Officials in Celebration of EPA's 50th Anniversary
Koizumi Shinjiro,
Japan's Minister of the Environment
Shinsuke J. Sugiyama,
Japanese Ambassador to the United States

Explore our work in Japan:


Highlights

Bilateral Meeting at UN General Assembly Meeting

In September 2019, Administrator Andrew Wheeler met with Japan Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi while attending United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York. This was an opportunity to exchange views and strengthen commitment on shared priorities such as marine litter and explore emerging areas of shared interest such as on sustainable management of food.

G20 Environment and Energy Ministerial Meeting Hosted and Led by Japan

With Japan’s 2019 presidency of the G20, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan hosted the Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable GrowthExit It was held in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture and was the first ever G20 environment ministerial meeting. EPA and MoE worked closely together in preparing and coordinating priorities for this historic gathering. This alignment contributed to achieving consensus on taking steps to accelerate environmental protection and economic growth by innovation and addressing marine plastic litter and resource efficiency. At the Karuizawa summit, environment leaders adopted the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter to take voluntary measures to better manage waste and reduce plastic pollution in oceans and assist developing countries in doing the same.

Anacostia River Earth Day Event with Ambassador of Japan

In celebration of Earth Day 2019, Administrator Wheeler and Ambassador of Japan Shinsuke J. Sugiyama participated in an event on the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. with officials from DC Water. The dignitaries rode aboard DC Water’s recently upgraded skimmer boat, which removes hundreds of tons of trash per year from local waterways. Public remarks signified the importance of clean water and addressing marine litter for the United States and Japan and commitment to make this a priority issue during Japan’s leadership of the G20 environment summit in June 2019.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Reception Address

On April 9, 2019, EPA Administrator Wheeler delivered remarks at a National Cherry Blossom Festival Reception at the official residence of the Japanese Ambassador. As the ranking U.S. official at the event, the Administrator recognized the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship and our over 40 years of environmental partnership. The speech highlighted marine litter as a top priority issue that the U.S. and Japan are partnering to address bilaterally and globally.

Japan Begins Sharing Data through Air-Now International 

The Ministry of the Environment began sharing Japanese air quality data within the AirNow-International system. The global AirNow-International community provides real-time air quality information to citizens, informing the public about the quality of the air they breathe.

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Activities

Decontamination of Hazardous Materials

Decontamination and recovery: EPA collaborates with Japan on management and decontamination of radiation and hazardous waste. EPA co-chairs the Decommissioning and Environmental Management Working Group under the U.S.-Japan Bilateral Commission on Nuclear Decontamination.  This Commission was established after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 to coordinate collaboration and assistance in recovering from nuclear incidents. The Agency also participates in the Bilateral Commission’s Emergency Management Working Group.

In recent years, EPA has shared technical expertise with Japan on lessons learned from environmental remediation, examining data analysis, effectiveness evaluation, technologies for volume reduction, and how to share results with the international community.  

Reducing Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Mercury management: EPA and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan work together on effective implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. In 2018, Japan completed an analysis of mercury flows in the Asia Pacific region, building on an EPA-supported analysis of mercury flows in North America.
 

Japan participates in the EPA-supported Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Exit to promote a network of monitoring and sharing data on mercury in the atmosphere in the Asia Pacific region. In September 2018, in conjunction with the 8th meeting of the Network, Japanese experts delivered an Atmospheric Mercury Sampling Workshop and donated six ambient monitoring toolkits to participating countries.

The U.S. and Japan play leadership roles in the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership. Through this, we are pursuing opportunities to collaborate with countries using mercury processes. Through a joint chlor-alkali mission to Uruguay in March 2018, officials discussed converting chlor-alkali and caustic soda production to use to non-mercury processes.

Promoting Environmental Education

EPA and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan promote quality environmental education and empowerment of youth through the Global Environmental Education Partnership and other bilateral and international platforms for sharing information and resources on environmental education.

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Agreements

  • U.S.-Japan Agreement on Cooperation in Environmental Protection (1975)
  • Letter of Intent Between the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. EPA on Cooperation in the Field of Radiation Protection (2018)
  • Statement of Intent Between the U.S. EPA and the Government of Japan’s National Institute of Technology and Evaluation [on chemicals management] (2020)
View and download Agreements with Japan.

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Key Partners

The following links exit the site Exit

 

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Contacts

For additional information on EPA's work in Japan, contact:
Joshua Novikoff
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2650R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-1032