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2016 November 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Environmental NGOs ask JCP for cooperation in conservation efforts

November 8, 2016
Representatives of Japan’s major environmental conservation organizations on November 7 at a meeting with Japanese Communist Party lawmakers asked for cooperation in improving the current legal framework for the protection of endangered species.

Shiokawa Tetsuya, who is in charge of environmental issues in the JCP lawmakers’ group, had a visit from the officials of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan, Nature Conservation Society of Japan, the Wild Bird Society of Japan, and Aarhus Net. JCP members of the House of Councilors Ichida Tadayoshi and Takeda Ryosuke also took part in the meeting held at a Dietmembers’ office building.

The environmental activists took this action as part of their efforts to influence the ongoing government discussions regarding a revision of the Species Preservation Law. The government plans to submit a bill to amend the law to the next ordinary session of the Diet slated to be convened in January 2017.

Tsujimura Chihiro of the Nature Conservation Society of Japan at the meeting pointed out that only an insufficiently small number of species are under government protection based on the existing law. Concerning necessary amendments to the law, the NGO representatives stated that the government should set up a standing committee of scientists to decide which species should be protected. They also said that a revised law should require the government to draw up a plan for the protection and restoration of not only animals or plants but also their habitats.

JCP Shiokawa in reply said that the Abe government takes a negative stance toward environmental issues. He added, “We would like to learn from your long experience in wildlife protection campaigns.”

JCP Vice Chair Ichida underlined the need to overcome the idea that conservation efforts hamper economic activities.

Past related articles:
> JCP Akamine criticizes gov’t for destroying rich natural environment in Takae with Osprey helipads construction [October 4, 2016]
> New national park in Okinawa highlights incompatibility of US military with wildlife conservation [September 16, 2016]
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