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

South Korea PM’s Japan visit a chance to mend ties

The two countries have not seen eye to eye after a trade dispute. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon kicked off a three-day visit to Japan in the hope that a meeting with his Japanese counterpart will pave the way for improvements in the two countries’ strained relations. Before heading to Tokyo, Lee said he hoped South Korea and Japan would foster harmonious and mature relations despite difficulties, speaking with Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine, who saw Lee off at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. “I don’t expect that this visit will resolve everything but it will become an opportunity to take a step forward,” Lee said. Lee described Japanese Emperor Naruhito as a “warm and friendly” person, recalling their encounter at the World Water Forum in Brazil in March last year. On Tuesday, Lee attended Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace, which was followed


By The Korea Herald
October 23, 2019

Economics, Environment

Mahathir warns of possible trade sanctions on Malaysia amid US-China trade war

From a Reuters report in Straits Times. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (Oct 21) that his exports-reliant country could be hit with trade sanctions amid rising protectionism highlighted by the United States-China tariff war. Tun Dr Mahathir did not mention the source of possible sanctions on the South-east Asian country, but said he was disappointed that proponents of free trade were now indulging in restrictive trade practices on a “grand scale”. “Unfortunately, we are caught in the middle,” he told a conference in the capital Kuala Lumpur, referring to the US-China trade war. “Economically, we are linked to both markets and physically, we are also caught in between for geographical reasons. There are even suggestions that we ourselves would be a target for sanctions.” The US and China were two of the three biggest export dest


By The Straits Times
October 23, 2019

Economics, Environment

Nepal needs development, but not by coercion

Reimagining Nepal and developing it warrants a broad outlook that listens to its people and shows regard for their displeasure. The country’s obsession with bulldozers and excavators as a symbol of development reached an eerie new high yesterday as a viral video sent a chill down people’s spines. In the name of building a road in Dashrath Chand Municipality in Baitadi (roads are synonymous with development in Nepal), an excavator was seen gouging into the land even as locals protested and pelted it with stones. Read: Excavator operator and three others detained for investigation in Baitadi As the excavator operator pressed forward using brute force in a disoriented manner, the massive machine’s toothed bucket knocked down a woman to the


By The Kathmandu Post
October 23, 2019

Economics, Environment

S. Korea grapples with gender discrimination in workplace

Despite it’s high economic developments, critics say that South Korea has to improve workplace equality. South Korea has seen its female employment index improve steadily over the past 10 years, but continues to struggle with gender equality when it comes to parental leave and consequent career breaks, data showed Monday. Unlike in most developed economies which tend to see the employment rate of women in their 40s peak and start declining in the 50s, Korea has seen women in their late 30s and early 40s — the prime age for childbirth and childcare — being pushed out of the labor market. All seven of the so-called 30-50 club count


By The Korea Herald
October 22, 2019

Economics, Environment

More changes friendly to foreign investors on way in China

China is courting more FDI as their cash reserves run lower. China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors’ market access will be consolidated. Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China. Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreig


By China Daily
October 18, 2019

Economics, Environment

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019