Status under International Climate Change Law

  • UNFCCC: signature (13 June 1992), ratification (28 May 1993), and entry into force (21 March 1994)
  • KP: signature (28 April 1998) and ratification (4 Jun 2002) and entry into force 16 February 2005
    • Quantified emission limitation or reduction commitment: -6
  • Vienna Convention: accession (30 Sep 1988)
  • Montreal Protocol: signature and acceptance (30 Sep 1988)
  • LRTAP: N/A
  • Energy Charter: signature and ratification (23 Jul 2002)
  • Energy Efficiency Protocol: signature and ratification (25 Oct 2002)
  • Espoo Convention: N/A
  • 2030 Commitment: 26.0% emissions reduction by 2030 compared to 2013 (25.4%
    reduction compared to 2005).

    • INDC summary – includes LULUCF and gases covered (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015)
    • INDC summary – includes adaptation and conditions for implementation (Climate Policy Observer 2016)

Federal Laws on Climate Change


  • Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures, 1998 (amended 2003, came into force 2005), to promote global warming countermeasures by formulating a plan for attaining targets under the Kyoto Protocol and taking measures to promote the control of greenhouse gas emissions due to social, economic, and other activities.
  • Bill of the Basic Act on Global Warming Countermeasures, 18 May 2010, to promote global warming countermeasures while ensuring economic growth, stable employment and stable supply of energy [English, Japanese].
  • Low Carbon City Promotion Act, August 2012, to establish a recognized system for low carbon buildings that contribute to the reduction of C02, and give preferential treatment to the buildings of high-performance evaluation through incentives such as tax reduction.
  • The Tax Reform Act, 31 March 2012, to introduce a carbon tax, beginning October 2012, to help achieve Japan’s target to reduce emissions of GHGs by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Air protection

  • The Basic Environment Law, No. 91, 13 November 1993, to comprehensively and systematically promote policies for environmental conservation [English, Japanese].
  • Air Pollution Control Act, No. 97, 1968 (amended Law No. 32 1996) to protect the public health and preserve the living environment with respect to air pollution, by controlling emissions of soot, smoke and particulate from the business activities of factories and business establishments [English, Japanese].
  • Law for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting of Environmental Education, No. 130, 25 July 2003, to encourage willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education by corporations, citizens, and private bodies organized by these entities [English, Japanese].


  • Basic Act on Energy Policy, No. 71, 14 June 2002, to promote measures on energy supply and demand on a long-term, comprehensive and systematic basis by laying down the basic policy and clarifying the responsibilities of the State and local public entities [English, Japanese].
  • Act on Purchase of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities, 26 August 2011,to oblige electric utilities to purchase electricity generated from renewable sources (solar PV, wind power, hydraulic power, geothermal, and biomass) based on a fixed-period contract with a fixed price.
  • Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Conservation Act) No 49, 1979 (amended 1983, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008), to serve as the pillar of Japanese energy conservation policy by promoting energy efficiency and stipulating rules for the rational energy use in buildings, automobiles, and other equipment.
  • Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy and Recycled Resources Utilisation (Energy Conservation and Recycling Assistance Act), 25 June 2003 (amended 1 October 2003), to support business operators voluntarily implementing projects to promote the rationlisation of the use of energy and natural resources.
  • Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of New Energy Use (Special Measures Law for Promoting the Use of New Energy), 23 June 1997 (amended January 2002), to accelerate the advancement of the introduction of New Energy.
  • Law Concerning Promotion of Development and Introduction of Oil Alternative Energy, 1980, to promote development of alternatives to oil, including renewable energy.

Forests and Land Use

  • Agricultural Land Soil Pollution Prevention Law, No. 139, 1970 (amended Law No. 88 of 1971, Law No. 87 of 1978, Law No. 92 of 1993, Law No. 87 of 1999, Law No. 160 of 1999), to prevent the production of agricultural crops and livestock which are feared to be harmful to human health or to prevent the obstacle of the growth of agricultural crops and others to be helpful for the protection of national health or the preservation of a good living environment [Japanese, English].

Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Environmental Impact Assessment Law, No. 81, 1997 to ensure that proper consideration is given to environmental protection issues relating to a project, which changes the shape of the terrain or which involves the construction of a new structure, to ensure that present and future generations of this nations people enjoy healthy and culturally rewarding lives [English, Japanese].

National Plans, Programs and Initiatives

Government Documents

Additional Resources

  • In-Depth Country Review: Japan (International Energy Agency)
  • Japan Profile (Climate Action Tracker) (2015)
  • Market Mechanisms: Country Overview (Ministry of the Environment) (2011)
  • Climate Change and Its Impacts in Japan (Global Environment Bureau and Ministry of the Environment (2012)
  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Policy of Energy and Environment [English, Japanese]
  • Japan (Climatico, Independent Analysis of Climate Policy)
  • Publications:
    • Yukari Takamura et al., Japan, in CLIMATE CHANGE LIABILITY, 206-37 (Richard Lord et al. eds., Cambridge University Press 2011).
    • Shuzo Nishioka, A dozen challenges to be tackled by Low Carbon Society Research in Japan, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)  https://perma.cc/AQ78-9GWK
    • Joshua Meltzer, After Fukushima: What’s Next for Japan’s Energy and Climate Change Policy, Blobal Economy and Development at Brookings, September 7, 2011
    • Noriko Sugiyama, Local Policies for Climate Change in Japan, Nagoya University, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, The Journal of Environment & Development, December 2008 vol. 17 no. 4 424-441
    • Jones, R. S. and B. Yoo (2009), “Improving the Policy Framework in Japan to Address Climate Change”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 740, OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/218874608768
    • Japan’s climate change conundrum. Power in Asia no. 422
    • Dana Fisher, State-Led Collaboration in Japan, National governance and the global climate change regime. Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2004
    • Hitomi Kimura, Climate Law and Policy in Japan, Climate Change and the Law, Springer, c2013
    • YAGISHITA, Masaharu, YAMADA, Kumiko, The Development of Public Involvement in Decision Making Process of Climate Change Policy of Japan, Environmental Science (Japan), 2011, ISSN: 0915-0048, Volume 24, Issue 5, p. 422

Summaries of legislation compiled from Terry Townsend et al., The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study (3d ed. 2013).

Updated as of: March 25, 2016