See More on Facebook

Economics, Environment

Climate change plan approved by Japan cabinet

The government approved a climate change adaptation plan at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that is aimed at countering the dangers caused by global warming.


Written by

Updated: November 28, 2018

The adaptation plan — a revision of an earlier plan drawn up in 2015 — was compiled ahead of the December effectuation of the Climate Change Adaptation Law, which is aimed at creating a society that can keep up with the progression of global warming.

Global warming can be countered through mitigation, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, by reducing the impact of global warming.

The new plan will make clear which measures will be carried out by which ministry or agency.

For developing countries that are susceptible to the effects of global warming, the government will also set up a framework to utilize Japan’s technological strength and scientific knowledge to forecast the impact in the Asia-Pacific region and support their efforts toward adaptation.

Accordingly, the government will set up a panel to promote adaptation with the participation of relevant ministries and agencies. The panel, to be headed by the environment minister, is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Dec. 3.

Governments already taking action

Ahead of the enforcement of the Climate Change Adaptation Law, the central government and local authorities are already taking steps to protect farm produce from such climate change-related phenomena as record-breaking torrential rain and extreme heat.

The city of Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, was hit by landslides amid heavy rain in western Japan in July. “In recent years, droughts and heavy rain have intensified tremendously,” said Keiro Wada, chief of the city government’s agricultural and forestry section.

Shinji Ninomiya, a 38-year-old tangerine farmer in the city, saw his about 100-square-meter field of tangerine trees swept away by a landslide. Landslides have occurred three or four times in the last decade and it takes three years to produce the fruit from seedlings, Ninomiya said.

“We can’t prevent it from happening, because our field is on a mountain slope,” he lamented.

In an effort to prevent future damage, the city government and the prefectural government are considering a plan to build an agricultural park near the mountain summit, where there is little possibility a landslide will occur.

The Saitama prefectural government has developed Sai no Kizuna, a high quality variety of rice resistant to high temperatures. The rice plant is about 15 centimeters shorter than that of the well-known Koshihikari variety, making it resistant to typhoons.

Rice farmers have been able to produce Sai no Kizuna even in intense heat. “By continuing to make modifications, we hope to develop a variety that won’t be affected by weather,” said Makoto Arakawa, 49, of the prefecture’s Saitama Agricultural Technology Research Center.

In addition to developing varieties resistant to heat, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is checking the water retention capabilities of paddy fields as a measure to cope with heavy rain.

“If we can learn the amount of water that can be retained, inundation can be delayed, reducing damage to residential areas and elsewhere,” a ministry official in charge said.

The ministry is also studying how to strengthen soil layers, to prevent fertile soil from getting washed away by heavy rain.

A special report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October stated that the world’s average temperature has already risen by about 1 C from the level before the Industrial Revolution.

If the warming continues, the figure could climb another 1.5 C between 2030 and 2052. The U.N. body has listed possible effects of global warming based on temperature increases.

“It’s important to implement measures that fully consider precipitation patterns and temperature fluctuations,” said Takasaki City University of Economics Prof. Takeshi Mizuguchi, who specializes in measures to counter global warming.

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics, Environment

Smog over Pakistan near Punjab not India’s fault

Poor fuel quality, not crop burning in India, is the villain in the battle for clean air. After significant rainfall at the end of January, Lahoris are breathing, quite literally, a sigh of relief having braved the worst of the smog season. The smog season is now a routine affair in the provincial metropolis, when a thick layer of pollutant envelopes the city from October to January. The episodes of smog in 2016, 2017 and 


By Dawn
February 13, 2019

Economics, Environment

China, US to talk trade in Beijing next week

Trade talks designed to break deadlock and end tariffs which have slowed down both economies. US President Donald Trump has announced that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will head to Beijing for trade talks on Feb 14-15, the White House said Friday morning. The principal-level meetings, following discussions that took place on Jan 30-31 in Washington, will be preceded by deputy-level negotiations that will begin on Feb 11, led by Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish, according to a statement from the White House Press Secretary Office. Carlos Gutierrez, former US Secretary of Commerce, said that trade disputes are bad for both sides. “So I would hope that we have reached the limit in terms of escalation, and that we can continue the dialogue to reach an agreement,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. Last week, top Chinese and US trade


By China Daily
February 11, 2019

Economics, Environment

Japan, Britain to jointly invest in science and technology research

Both governments will survey areas of potential overlapping interests. The Japanese and British governments plan to set up a working-level panel to jointly invest in science and technology research, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. The two governments will exchange memorandums of agreement on the issue as early as this month and begin selecting research subjects. According to sources, six organizations will participate in the panel: the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japan Science and Technology Agency and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development — all of which provide research assistance — and the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, and Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the U.K. Research and Innovation body. It will be the first time Japan has joined with a foreign co


By The Japan News
February 8, 2019

Economics, Environment

Japan, EU must protect free trade by establishing firmer relationship

The EU-Japan free trade deal is now in effect signaling a new era in trade relations between the two. Japan and the European Union should build a firmer cooperative relationship and contribute to boosting free trade. The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, which has taken effect, calls for abolishing or reducing tariffs on more than 90 percent of trade items, facilitating investment and protecting intellectual property rights. The combined gross domestic product of Japan and the EU accounts for about 30 percent of the world total. It is highly significant that fair, sophisticated rules have been laid out and a huge free-trade zone established. This bilateral EPA is expected to invigorate trade in goods and the flow of funds, thereby helping enhance the growth potential of both sides. With the enforcement of the Japan-EU EPA, Japanese consumers will be


By The Japan News
February 5, 2019

Economics, Environment

Cash handouts a precursor universal basic income in India?

Is universal basic income around the corner in India. Is the beginning of direct benefit transfer of funds to India’s most marginalised citizens which the country’s Budget for the financial year starting 1 April unveiled in terms of a massive handout for small farmers the holy grail in the fight against debilitating and widespread poverty? Is it, as the Wall Street Journal asked in a recent article, a possible prelude to implementing a universal basic income in India? The emerging political consensus in India seems to indicate that the answer to both questions is in the affirmative. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in its last Budget before it goes up for re-election in general elections scheduled for April-May this year, promised pay-outs to poor farmers – well over 50 per cent of Indians are still dependent on agriculture for a living — through the direct benefit tr


By Asia News Network
February 5, 2019

Economics, Environment

Worsening smog forces Bangkok school closures

Bangkokians told to shelter indoor as smog and haze grips the city. The Education Ministry on Wednesday ordered educational institutes in Greater Bangkok to close for two days, starting tomorrow, after air pollution worsened. The ministry will review the situation this weekend to decide whether the measures would be extended, said minister Dr Theerakiat Charoensettasin. The decision followed instructions from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for the ministry to consider urgent measures to deal with the worsening air pollution in Bangkok on Wednesday, the minister said. The Pollution Control Department reported of unsafe levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter – in 39 locations around the city, of which 23 were along main roads.


By The Nation (Thailand)
January 31, 2019