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PIA Press Release
2006/10/30

Japan won’t export toxic waste to RP, says embassy

Quezon City (30 October) -- THE Japanese government will not export toxic and hazardous wastes to the Philippines without the approval of the host government, the Japanese embassy said Monday.

“The government of Japan has an established legal framework based on the Basel Convention and has been enforcing strict export/import control, which does not allow any export of toxic and hazardous wastes to another country, including the Philippines, unless the government of such a country approves such export,” the embassy said in a statement released almost a week after the controversy broke out over a provision in the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

The embassy also said the Japanese government “sincerely hopes that JPEPA will come into force at the earliest possible date,” as it believes that the agreement, which still has to be ratified by the Philippine Senate, “will be conducive to the further increase of trade and investment between the two countries and thus further promote the bilateral relations.”

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal is an international treaty designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.

It is also intended to minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and to assist less development countries in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate.

“Japan remains strongly committed to the strict enforcement of such export/import control, which will prevent any illegal export of toxic and hazardous wastes to the Philippines,” the embassy said, noting that both countries are signatories to the convention.

It said that after the JPEPA was signed in Helsinki, Finland on September 9, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Akira Amari and Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Favila met on October 27 and “reaffirmed the commitment of the two governments to enforce strict control on the export/import of toxic and hazardous wastes” as specified in the Basel Convention.

The embassy also said media reports on the issue indicate “some misunderstanding.”

“Judging from the recent media reports, there seems to be some misunderstanding in the Philippines that toxic and hazardous wastes will be exported from Japan to the Philippines as customs duties of waste materials will be eliminated after the JPEPA comes into effect,” it said. (PIA) [top]

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