Biodiversity / Food / Water

January 7, 2014


Minamata Convention on Mercury Signed by Japan and 91 Other Countries

Keywords: Government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle Water 

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on October 10, 2013, at a diplomatic conference held in the city of Kumamoto, that 92 countries, including Japan, had so far signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which establishes comprehensive regulations to reduce the risk of mercury pollution that may cause damage to human health and the environment. The agreement was reached in January 2013 after five rounds of government-level talks first started in 2010.

After the conference, Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida issued a statement on assistance for developing countries to tackle environmental pollution from mercury, saying that Japan will provide U.S.$2 billion of overseas development assistance (ODA) over the next three years in the areas of air pollution, water pollution, and waste management, and launch a capacity building program specifically designed for the prevention of mercury pollution to encourage developing countries to also conclude the Convention.

Japan has been actively contributing to efforts to establish a convention, based on its experience with Minamata disease, and will continue to strengthen measures against mercury pollution in cooperation with the international community.