The COVID-19 pandemic occurred immediately after the international community had reaffirmed its commitment to accelerate its efforts to achieve the SDGs based on the declaration of “the Decade of Action”. The Pandemic has since been threatening the lives, livelihoods and dignity of people around the world, especially those in vulnerable situations. It has also greatly affected efforts to achieve the SDGs. It is indeed causing a human security crisis. Under these circumstances, the SDGs will be an important roadmap for social transformation that looks ahead to a new era and anticipates the future. Therefore, in this VNR, we look back at how Japan has been working to promote the SDGs and check the progress toward achieving the SDGs in order to overcome and “build back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to achieve the SDGs, it is critical for all stakeholders to work together to promote their efforts. In this VNR, through reviewing Japan's domestic institutions to promote the SDGs, it was confirmed that through such frameworks as the “Japan SDGs Award” organized under the SDGs Promotion Headquarters headed by the Prime Minister, which recognizes leading companies and organizations working on the SDGs, collaboration among various stakeholders has been broadened, leading to increased awareness throughout Japan and progress on the SDGs.
In particular, with regard to local governments, those that proposed outstanding initiatives to achieve the SDGs have been selected as "SDG Future Cities" since 2018, and leading model cases have been disseminated throughout the country. In addition to “SDG Future Cities”, other initiatives such as the "Public-Private Partnership Platform for Local SDGs" and "Local SDG Finance” have created momentum to promote the SDGs and encouraged every citizen to treat the SDGs as their own concern. As a result, a movement to promote the resolution of regional issues, such as declining birthrates, aging communities, and declining populations, through the principles of the SDGs has been gaining momentum throughout the country. In 2017, when Japan submitted its last VNR, the percentage of local governments working on the SDGs was only 1%, but by 2020, it had risen to 39.7%, and the Government of Japan is working to increase it to 60% by the end of FY2024. In this connection, in this VNR, we have included several positive examples of local governments that have taken the lead to promote the SDGs as model cities in Japan, including four cities that have conducted their own Voluntary Local Reviews.
In its “SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles”, the Government of Japan has identified eight priority issues that Japan should focus on in particular. This VNR describes major efforts that have been made for each priority issue in terms of both domestic implementation and international cooperation, as well as the progress that has been made on the 17 goals through such efforts, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the achievement of the SDGs requires the efforts of a wide range of stakeholders, this VNR was prepared not only through discussions within the government, but through discussions at the “SDGs Promotion Roundtable”, which consists of representatives from various fields, discussions with civil society and the youth generation who will lead the society in the future, and through public comments in order to incorporate the opinions of a wide range of people. In addition, in order to evaluate our progress, we have included evaluations from the private sector members of the “SDGs Promotion Roundtable”, considering that it would be desirable to include evaluations of progress from other perspectives other than the government’s.
The drafting process of the VNR provided us an opportunity to review the institutions for promoting the SDGs and major initiatives, and to consider how Japan should promote the SDGs in the future. Therefore, based on the opinions of experts and citizens, the VNR concludes with a description of how Japan will promote initiatives to achieve the SDGs henceforth.
Japan will continue to work with the international community based on the principle of human security, in order to address global health, including the achievement of universal health coverage, and realize a society where the SDGs have been achieved and "no one is left behind".
|Sustainable Consumption & Production Patterns||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Waste Management||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Human Settlements||CSD-12; CSD-13;|
|Country Profile 2002|
|National Assessment Report for WSSD|
|Pre-WSSD National Report|
|Full report||CSD-18; CSD-19;|
|Input on the possibility of convening a high-level event on sustainable development|
|2005 Status Report|
|2003 Status Report|
The participants, who are from the governments and cities of African countries, namely Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cte dIvoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and from Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the City of Yokohama, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), met in Maputo, Mozambique from 25 to 27 April 201...[more]
With its theme "Nature's Wisdom", Aichi 2005 aimed to emphasize the links between humanity and nature in the 21st century. It aimed to give visitors first-hand experience in cutting edge technologies, new social systems and future lifestyles that can offer solutions to the many challenges facing the world. Source: Shanghai Manual: A Guide for Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century (2010) Aichi 2005 was held from 25 March to 25 September 2005 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture of Japan attracting about 22 million visitors. The organizers had set out three key objectives to assess the succ...[more]
The Government of Japan is hosting this project workshop with a view to sharing good practices and knowledge on the latest maritime scientific research, observation and policy-making in APEC region with policy-makers and researchers from APEC economies and relevant international organizations. The key objectives are: (1) To share good practices and experiences of ocean policy-making for sustainable marine use based on the latest science and technology; (2) To promote networking among policy-makers, researchers and relevant stakeholders; (3) To promote capacity building for those working on...[more]
The main objectives of APEIS include: * To develop scientific knowledge-based tools and innovative strategy options to promote informed decision-making for sustainable development, for the use of policy makers in the Asia-Pacific region as a common asset in the region * To promote regional cooperation and capacity building, so as to enable Asia-Pacific countries to formulate and implement their own policies for environmental management and protection that take into account their national circumstances, making use of the developed scientific tools and options, through participation and collab...[more]
The main objectives of the CEACOZ include: * To identify major trends of environmental changes in Asian coastal zone, such as driving forces, conditions, and response to strategies and measures, * To establish scientific knowledge base for policy formulation and decision making toward sustainable development in Asia, and * To create a common platform for scientists, policy makers, NGOs and business enterprises so as to promote dialogues on coastal zone management to develop constructive and cooperative linkages among all of the stakeholders in this region, making full use of a series of the...[more]
This initiative will contribute to expansion and enhancement of science and mathematics education in Africa, and strengthen and expand the network already formulated by JICA and African Countries. Also by the participation of ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa), recommended by BEGIN (Basic Education for Growth Initiative) which introduced by Japanese Government.
Seven Central American countries and PAHO/WHO are implementing Chagas Disease Vector Control Initiative with the target to interrupt Chagas disease transmission in Central America by 2010. In this framework, Japan is contributing to achieve this target in Guatemala from January 2000. It is proposed to expand this partnership framework to neighboring countries to achieve the target launched by PAHO/WHO.
The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and allevi...[more]
Sustainable development of Small Island Developing StatesThe objective of this partnership is to enhance resilience to climate change and extreme weather events- This platform will serve as a repository for regional climate change information and data and will help in sound decision making.- It will help build strategic partnerships with key regional institutions promoting sharing of knowledge, lessons learnt and best practices between states and other regions as well as ensuring maximum synergies with existing initiatives.
Japan introduced the CO2 Tax in 2010. Source: The introduction of the CO2 Tax was called upon in the Tax Reform Outline approved by the Japanese Cabinet in December 2010. The introduction of the tax is expected to change consumption and production patterns which are not currently equitable or ecologically sustainable.
We are resolved to help build resilient societies worldwide, with sound awareness by their members of disaster reduction.(Statement made by Koichiro Gemba, Foreign minister of Japan, delivered at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 20 June, 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. available at: Speech by Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) )
Enhancement of marine scientific knowledge is essential for addressing the challenges of SDG14 such as ocean acidification, marine pollution and conservation of the sea and marine resources including biodiversity. JAMSTEC has been obtaining marine physical, chemical and biological information by using research vessels, deep-sea survey systems, mooring and floats, etc. The information gathered is useful for achieving SDG14, and has been widely shared through the Internet and by other ways. For example, JAMSTEC operates BISMaL (Biological Information System for Marine Life) which collects and sh...[more]
After Japan funded the facilities of the School of Marine Studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in 1998 by its grant aid, JICA has dispatched experts & volunteers in support of the School of Marine Studies. The potential of the School is high as a research & education institution in the Pacific, which holds abundant biological and mineral resources. The dispatched experts and volunteers have been assisting the School in strengthening education and research capacity for marine resources management in the Pacific region.
Global ocean monitoring and scientific findings in relation to oceanic environmental changes are definitely required for sustainable development and effective usage of ocean and oceanic resources, which are at heart of SDG14. Against this background, we intend to promote the following three actions below under international collaboration: 1) Continuous global ocean monitoring by use of conventional Argo float network; 2) Enhancement of deep float network to obtain information on deep ocean, which can be directly connected to marine resources monitoring. Through this initiative, we hope to t...[more]
The general objective of the Commission is to promote the effective conservation, management and development of the living marine resources of the area of competence of the Commission, in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and address common problems of fisheries management and development faced by members of the Commission. 16 of WECAFC's 35 members are considered small island developing States.
In 1999 the Japanese government adopted fuel efficiency standards based on the Top Runner Program pursuant to the Act concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Conservation Act) and has gradually tightened regulations since then.Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, JapanAutomobiles account for about 90% of CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Automotive fuel efficiency has steadily improved due to active commitment by auto manufacturers, along with tax incentives and other measures. On the other hand, there is a need to discuss new automotive fuel efficiency standards for 2...[more]
Japan will construct sustainable cities with superior environmental technologies, core infrastructure and resilience all over the world. Japan has many years of experience in advancing energy conservation and recycling. Based on that, the Japanese government is advancing the “Future City” model of urban planning with state-of-the-art environmental sustainability, strong disaster resilience and superb livability. We firmly believe this initiative will contribute to development in every country throughout the world. Japan will be holding an international conference on urban planning next yea...[more]
The overall objective of the Global Adaptation Network (GAN) is to help build climate resilience of vulnerable communities, ecosystems and economies through the mobilization of knowledge for adaptation.The GAN has three main areas of work:1. Improving the availability and accessibility of knowledge through online portals, global knowledge-sharing events, and knowledge products2. Building capacity for using knowledge for global adaptation policy-setting, planning and practices through training events, advisory services and institutional support3. Linking regional and thematic adaptation network...[more]
Marine calcifiers are one of the most abundant organisms to produce carbonate on Earth. Evaluation of their response on ocean acidification is commonly sought for worldwide as ocean acidification has progressed globally. JAMSTEC has succeeded in developing new technique to quantify the carbonate density of marine calcifierfs test using MXCT. JAMSTEC has also collaborated with domestic and overseas academic organizations to promote broadly MXCT technique as the best evaluation method for ocean acidification response of marine calcifiers.
Organize the “Green Cooperation Volunteers” and cooperation regarding renewable energy. All countries need to work together toward the transition to a green economy using superior energy and resource efficiency. (Statement made by Koichiro Gemba, Foreign minister of Japan, delivered at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 20 June, 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. available at: Speech by Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) )
In cooperation with neighboring municipalities, Kumamoto City has maintained groundwater recharge levels and protected watershed forests. By protecting the natural systems and conserving Kumamoto's high-quality groundwater, the city can provide its citizens with high quality mineral water from the tap. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series Kumamoto City has carried out various initiatives to conserve its groundwater, including the adoption of the Declaration of the Groundwater Preservation City in 1976, and the installation of groundwater observation wells in 1986. As part of these efforts, the ...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
The Ministry of the Environment of Japan proposes MoEJ Initiatives, "which aims to realize the future we want" through environment-focused concrete actions at regional and international levels. To achieve global sustainable development, MoEJ is working for the three goals; to create a low-carbon society to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, a sound material cycle society based on 3Rs, and a society in harmony with nature based on the conservation of the biodiversity.
Micro-plastics (MP) pollution in our oceans has become one of the most serious global environmental issues, and the topic has been discussed at the G7 Environmental Ministerial Meetings. JAMSTEC and the partners propose a brand new International Environmental Education Program of MP investigation for the elementary and middle schools students to enhance their interest in and literacy about the current state of oceans, as shown in the following items. The program provides not only a package of scientific fieldwork procedures on the beach, but also global MP data sharing and visualization system...[more]
The objectives of IFNet are to help break the vicious cycle of poverty, assist developing countries to achieve sustainable development and contribute to economic stability by improving the coordination and effectiveness of measures to manage flood and reduce the loss of life and property damage that they cause.
At the Plenary of the MDG Summit Japan’s Prime Minister will launch its new Global Health Policy, which places a special focus on maternal, newborn and child health and will commit to provide $ 5 billion in five years from 2011. Under this new Policy, Japan will support the Global Strategy by implementing and advocating a package model by the name of “EMBRACE”, which intends to ensure the continuum of care from pregnancy to post natal stage. Japan also reaffirms its financial commitment made at the G8 Muskoka Summit to provide up to an additional $500 million for maternal, newborn and ch...[more]
In 1997, the Japan Paper Association (JPA), an organization representing Japan's leading pulp and paper manufacturing companies and covering 88 percent of paper and paperboard production, established a Voluntary Action Plan in order to reduce the industry's environmental footprint. Source: The Japan Paper Association The two main objectives in this program were to reduce fossil fuel consumption per unit of production by 10 percent from 1990 levels and increase forest plantation area by 550,000 hectares by 2010. To help meet these targets, the industry started promoting energy-efficient equipm...[more]
The Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) is designed to strengthen the capacity of countries in the Caribbean to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies, as prioritised in their Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). These technologies will help reduce the dependence on fossil fuel imports, setting the region on a low-emission development path; as well as improve the region’s ability to respond to climate risks and opportunities in the long-run, through resilient development approaches that go beyond disa...[more]
Based on the outcomes of J-PRISM Phase I (February 2011 to February 2016), J-PRISM Phase II (February 2017 to February 2022) aims to strengthen both human and institutional capacity for maintaining sustainable solid waste management in the Pacific region through implementation of the Pacific Regional Solid Waste Management Strategy (2010-2015) (RS2010). This is a technical cooperation project.
IRENA has developed the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative to support the strategic deployment of renewable energy in SIDS, to bring clarity to policy makers regarding the required steps, and to enable targeted action. As a joint effort of SIDS and development partners, this framework for action will assist in transforming SIDS energy systems through the establishment of the enabling conditions for a renewable energy-based future, by moving away from developing projects in isolation to a holistic approach that considers all relevant elements spanning from policy and market frameworks, through technol...[more]
Under the framework of NOWPAP, we take actions such as marine litter management and ocean monitoring by the use of remote sensing technologies for marine environment protection through cooperation among four member states.
The Ministers welcomed the first workshop on marine litter held in September 2015 in Yentai, China as a joint workshop with Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) and the common intention reached at the workshop for accelerating data sharing on marine litter. They also decided to hold a workshop and a working-level meeting on marine litter annually to enhance information exchange on each country's policies and research results of the three countries under the TEMM framework. Furthermore, they recognized the importance of promoting their efforts to understand the current situation on marine lit...[more]
This strategy states that "green innovation" indicates innovation in the fields of environment and energy. Source: The government of Japan is planning to carry out the following policies as green innovation policies: support for the promotion of renewable energy use, promotion of low carbon investment, application of information and communication technology, use of nuclear power, acceleration of innovate technology development, promotion of modal shift, spread of energy-saving electrical appliances, efficient supply/demand of electricity, recycling of domestic material/resource. This strate...[more]
New Sunshine Program aims to develop the innovative technologies that could support the sustainable economical growth while solving energy and environmental issues. Source: UNEP, 2008, Green Jobs: Towards decent work in a sustainable, low-carbon world Japan's New Sunshine Program, established in 1992, sets renewable energy targets and leads to a net-metering law that requires utilities to purchase excess PV power. In 1994, Japan launched a Solar Roofs program to promote PV through low-interest loans, a comprehensive education and awareness program, and rebates for grid-connected residential sy...[more]
In May of 2009, Pacific Island Forum Leaders met with the Government of Japan at the 5th Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM 5) in Hokkaido, Japan. At the PALM 5 Summit, Leaders issued the Islanders Hokkaido Declaration which reaffirmed Leaders commitment to collaborate and cooperate on a wide range of issues.A significant part of the Declaration was the launch of the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, The PEC Fund is an initiative designed to promote the development and implementation of practical pacific-tailored approaches to combating the impacts of climate change. The Government o...[more]
Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting is a summit-level meeting which has been held every three years since 1997. Leaders openly discuss various issues that Pacific Island Countries(PICs) are facing in order to build close cooperative relationships and forge a bond of friendship between Japan and PICs. The 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) was held in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan, on 22 and 23 May, 2015. At this summit, under the slogan of "We are Islanders - Commitment to the Pacific from Iwaki,
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) established the Policy Committee on Innovation and Intellectual Property (PCIIP) in December 2007 to discuss desirable Intellectual Property- policies (IP) for Japan. Source: The Japan Patent Office The PCIIP recommended the establishment of a new IP system for promoting innovation that keeps pace with globalization and technological development. In order for applicants to efficiently obtain patents worldwide, the JPO has been promoting work sharing among developed nations in the area of patent examination and promoting the provision of patent examination result...[more]
International trade plays an important role in the promotion of economic development and poverty reduction. From this perspective, we have to make efforts in providing technical assistance and promoting capacity building in order that developing countries may benefit from the multilateral trading system. * Especially, we confirmed the important role of technical assistance and capacity building in the Doha Declaration. In this regard, we will work actively to ensure the success of the Fifth Ministerial Conference in addition to the above-mentioned strategy. Expected results include: To de...[more]
In 2009, the Regional 3R Forum in Asia was established at Japans proposal as a platform for wide-ranging cooperation on promotion of the 3Rs reduce, reuse and recycle in Asia. The forum consists of central governments, international agencies, aid agencies, private sector entities, research bodies, NGOs and other relevant parties. Forum members have held high-level discussions on policies, provided support for the implementation of 3R projects in member countries and shared useful information, and are building networks for the further promotion of the 3R initiatives. Japan hosted the inaugura...[more]
SOI will provide a global platform to build partnerships and enhance capacity to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets related to marine and coastal biodiversity in a holistic manner. This will contribute to the capacity development of SIDS from national to subnational level, and through thematic and regional cooperation initiatives) to sustainably manage their ocean and coastal biodiversity and benefit from the many environmental, social, and economic services provided by healthy marine ecosystems.
The City of Yokohama is a large city with 3.7 million inhabitants. Its mountain forests and farmland has decreased year by year due to urban development. To preserve precious green areas for its citizens, the city has introduced a new tax system. The city uses the revenues to conserve privately-owned green areas and their biodiversity and encourage citizens, corporations and developers to take part. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series In response to the results of a questionnaire survey with 10,000 citizens, symposiums, public comments, and reports from experts in a one-year study, the Yokoham...[more]
The Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) is a platform that promotes industrial skills development among young people in emerging economies. Working with the private sector through Public Private Development Partnerships, the LKDF supports the establishment and upgrading of local industrial training academies to help meet the labour market’s increasing demand for skilled employees, ultimately contributing to inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The long-term success of local industrial academies that partner with the LKDF is ensured through constant monitoring of e...[more]
In 1998, Japan's government initiated its Top Runner program which established energy efficiency standards for 21 products. As a result of the program, rates of energy efficiency required for 21 products have all been met or exceeded. Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011 Japan's Top Runner program sets efficiency standards for 21 products (e.g., vending machines, air conditioners, TVs) sold in Japan. On a regular basis, offici...[more]
At WSSD, Japanese Government launched this partnership to contribute to sustainable development by further encouraging the sharing the know-how of Japanese local governments on environmental problems with local authorities in developing countries. This partnership also intended to promote the Kita-Kyushu Initiative adopted at the 4th Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Development held in Kita-Kyushu City in September 2000. On March 23, 2003, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced the "Initiative for Japan's ODA on Water" at the 3rd World Water Forum. In collaboration with the...[more]