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Ministry of the Environment (Japan)

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Ministry of the Environment (Japan)

Ministry of the Environment
Agency overview
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Ministers responsible Nobuteru Ishihara, Minister of the Environment
Kazunori Tanaka, Senior Vice Minister
Shinji Inoue, Senior Vice Minister
Office building

The Ministry of the Environment (環境省 Kankyō-shō) is a Cabinet-level ministry of the government of Japan responsible for global environmental conservation, pollution control, and nature conservation. The ministry was formed in 2001 from the sub-cabinet level Environmental Agency established in 1971. The minister is a member of the Cabinet of Japan and is chosen by the Prime Minister, usually from the Diet.[1][2]

As of 2012, the current Minister of the Environment (環境大臣 Kankyō Daijin) is Nobuteru Ishihara. See the list of ministers for former ministers.

In March 2006, the Minister of the Environment, Yuriko Koike, created a furoshiki cloth to promote its use in the modern world.[3]

In August 2011, Japan's Cabinet approved a plan to establish a new energy watchdog under the Environment Ministry,[4] and the Nuclear Regulation Authority was founded on September 19, 2012.[5]

Cool Biz

The Ministry of the Environment began advocating the Cool Biz campaign in summer 2005 as a means to help reduce electric consumption by limiting use of air conditioning and allowing the wearing of less formal officewear. This idea was proposed by then-MOE minister Yuriko Koike under Prime Minister Koizumi.

Super Cool Biz

Following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the shut down of many nuclear power plants for safety reasons lead to energy shortages. To conserve energy, the government recommended setting air conditioners at 28 degrees Celsius, switching off computers not in use, and called for shifting work hours to the morning and taking more summer vacation than usual. The government then launched a Super Cool Biz campaign[6] to encourage workers to wear outfits appropriate for the office yet cool enough to endure the summer heat. Polo shirts and trainers are allowed, while jeans and sandals are also acceptable under certain circumstances.[7] June 1 marked the start of the Environment Ministry's campaign, with full-page newspaper ads and photos of ministry workers smiling rather self-consciously at their desks wearing polo shirts and colorful Okinawa kariyushi shirts.[8] The campaign was repeated in 2012 and 2013.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Kankyō-shō" [Ministry of the Environment]. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012.  
  2. ^ "Ministry of Environment". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012.  
  3. ^ Minister Koike created the "Mottainai Furoshiki" as a symbol of Japanese culture to reduce wastes
  4. ^ Japan Today
  5. ^ Nuclear Regulation Authority index Retrieved on September 22, 2012
  6. ^ Japan's Ministry of the Environment Official Super Cool Biz Campaign site (Japanese)
  7. ^ BBC: Japan promotes 'Super Cool Biz' energy saving campaign, June 1, 2011
  8. ^ Japan Times: Super Cool Biz, Sunday, June 12, 2011
  9. ^ BBC News Japan promotes 'Super Cool Biz' energy Retrieved on June 1, 2012

External links

  • Official website

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