Addressing marine litter is one of the highest priorities for the Japanese Government. This is in line with UN Environment’s work on oceans and seas. The Government appreciates UN Environment’s work on this issue and they will continue to be proactively engaged in the Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics. My discussions with Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of the Environment focused on the country’s efforts to propose practical and effective implementation plans in line with its role as host of the G20 in 2019 and on how UN Environment can support the Japanese Government in this regard.
The Minister has high expectations from the fourth Environment Assembly to advance our collective work on marine litter including the global partnership on marine litter, the links between sustainable consumption and production, and the circular economy. I look forward to Japan’s leadership in taking this critical environmental agenda forward.
My visit took place as super-typhoon Jebi, the strongest tropical cyclone to come ashore in 25 years, hit Kansai area (western Japan) causing tremendous damage. While the public is becoming more aware of the impact of climate change on their everyday lives, the Government emphasized the urgency of climate action.