MOEJ: Environmental Impact Assessment in Japan

Published Date: 
05/2012

In Japan, a system on EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) was first introduced in 1972 for public works. The systems relating to port and harbor planning, reclamation, power plants and the Shinkansen (super-express train) were established later around 1980. In the course of implementing EIA under these systems, the need for an integrated system/standardized rule was recognized. Therefore the environmental impact assessment bill was proposed to the Diet in 1981 but failed to pass in 1983.  

After the bill became void, a standardized rule of “Implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment “was set up through a Cabinet decision in 1984. Furthermore, local governments also promoted the establishment of their own ordinances and guidelines on EIA.  

Later, a review of the system began when promotion of EIA was stipulated in the “Basic Environment Law “ enacted in 1993. As a result, corresponding to the framework of the new environmental policy as well as referring to EIA systems in other countries, the “Environmental Impact Assessment Law” was enacted in June 1997. Since the enactment, in accordance with the EIA Law, a total of 142 projects in the sectors of road, power plant and others have been completed the EIA procedures so far.  

In April 2011, the Revised EIA Law was enacted in which an EIA procedure at the planning stage (Primary Environmental Impact Consideration) and a procedure for reporting and announcing results of the measures for protecting the environment (Impact Mitigation Reporting) were incorporated.

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