The Paris Agreement, signed by the Government in New York in April, will be submitted to the Diet for its approval and ratification. Initially, the administration was planning to start the ratification process in 2017; however, influenced by the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, they currently aim to get the approval from the Diet by the end of this year.
In terms of climate change negotiation, Japan’s policymaking process is concentrated in the hands of the bureaucracy and the structural conservatism of the Japanese system. Environmental and energy policy in Japan is similarly concentrated in the hands of the bureaucracy, particularly the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Environment (MOE), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). METI is responsible for deciding Japan’s energy mix and has the closest relationship with the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation, like U.S. Chamber of Commerce) has strong relationship with METI. As part of the bottom-up approach to the INDC process, METI sought Keidanren’s input on feasible emissions reduction efforts, particularly in terms of energy conservation and efficiency improvements.
The government approved the new Action Plan for Global Warming on 13 May, 2016. However because they have to maintain the improvement of Japan’s economy, they make the environmental less of a priority. For example, they continuously encourage efficient thermal power plants. Because they have to maintain the improvement Japan’s economy, they make the environmental matter less of a priority. It is presumed that they only encourage environmental actions that do not interrupt development of economy.
Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Kenta Matsumoto