Act on the Promotion of Environmental Conservation Activities through Environmental Education

Link to law: http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail_download/?ff=08&id=2317
Published: 2011

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Act on the Promotion of Environmental Conservation Activities through Environmental Education (Tentative translation)

Table of Contents

Chapter I General Provisions (Articles 1 to 6)

Chapter II Basic Policy, etc. (Articles 7 to 8-3)

Chapter III Promotion of Environmental Conservation Activities by Citizens

Section 1 - Promotion and Encouragement of Willingness to Support Environmental Conservation, Environmental Education, etc. (Articles 9 to 20-10)

Section 2 - Promotion of Collaborative Efforts (Articles 21 to 21-6)

Chapter IV Miscellaneous Provisions (Articles 22 to 28)

Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General Provisions

(Purpose)

Article 1

The purpose of this Act is, in light of the importance of environmental conservation activities undertaken by business operators, citizens, and private organizations consisting of business operators or citizens (hereinafter referred to as "Citizens and Private Organizations, etc."), of the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation, of environmental education for promoting such activities, and also of the importance of collaborative efforts in promoting the aforementioned activities effectively, to establish a sustainable society that realizes sound economic development with reduced environmental loads, while maintaining a healthy and productive environment (hereinafter referred to as a "Sustainable Society"), to provide the basic principles on environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, and to clarify the responsibilities of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., the State, and the local governments, while establishing the basic policy and other necessary matters for promoting environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, thereby contributing to ensure healthy and cultured living for both the present and future generations.

(Definitions)

Article 2

(1)

The term "environmental conservation activities" is defined as voluntary activities aimed mainly at global environmental conservation, environmental pollution control, and protection and maintenance of the natural environment. These activities include efforts focused on conservation of biodiversity, a formation of a sound material-cycle society, and other environmental conservation activities, including the creation of a good environment (hereinafter referred to as "environmental conservation").

(2)

The term "encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation" as used in this Act means offering information on environmental conservation and providing opportunities to experience environmental conservation, which lead to a deepened understanding of environmental conservation and encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation activities.

(3)

The term "environmental education" as used in this Act means education and learning about environmental conservation at home, school, workplace, a local community, or any other place, with the aim of establishing a Sustainable Society. The purpose is to deepen the understanding of the link between environment and society, economy and culture, and other aspects of environmental conservation.

(4)

The term "collaborative efforts" as used in this Act means environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation, environmental education, and other activities for environmental conservation conducted collaboratively by Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., the State, or the local governments, with each sharing appropriate roles as equals.

(Basic Principles)

Article 3

(1)

Environmental conservation activities and encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education shall be carried out in a collaborative manner between various entities in society, where each plays their own role in the creation of a Sustainable Society, while honoring the voluntary intent of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. By doing so, each recognizes the importance of enjoying the blessings of the global environment in a sustainable manner, of establishing a local community that conserves, nurtures, and coexists with plentiful nature, of establishing a sound material-cycle society and reducing the environmental load, and of promoting environmental conservation and the development of economy and society in an integrated manner with a global point of view.

(2)

Recognizing the importance of deepening understanding and interest in environmental conservation through nature-based activities and other hands-on experience in forests, the countryside, parks, rivers, lakes, shores, oceans, etc., environmental conservation activities and encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education shall be carried out with the aim of nurturing the attitudes of setting a high value on lives, treasuring nature, and contributing to environmental conservation. The participation and cooperation of local residents and other various entities that comprise society shall be encouraged and shall be conducted on a continuous basis, while securing the transparency of the operation.

(3)

Environmental conservation activities and encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education shall be carried out by giving necessary consideration to deepening the understanding of the general public concerning the importance of nurturing and maintaining natural environment in locations such as forests, the countryside, parks, rivers, lakes, shores, oceans, etc. Consideration should be given to the conservation of national land and other public interests, and to the harmonization of agriculture, forestry, fishery, and other local industries with the natural environment. In addition, the stability of local residents' lives and the maintenance and improvement of their welfare, along with respect for the culture and history of environmental conservation in the region should be considered.

(Responsibilities of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc.)

Article 4

In accordance with the basic principles mentioned in the preceding Article (hereinafter simply referred to as the "Basic Principles"), Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. shall make efforts to voluntarily undertake and cooperate with those who undertake environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts at home, school, a local community, etc., while making efforts to cooperate with environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts undertaken by others.

(Responsibilities of the State)

Article 5

(1)

In view of the growing importance, along with the changing economy and society, of the roles of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts undertaken by the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., for the establishment of a Sustainable Society, the State shall, pursuant to the Basic Principles, give consideration to appropriate cooperation to be implemented together with the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., engaged in environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts when formulating and implementing the measures for environmental conservation.

(2)

In accordance with the Basic Principles, the State shall formulate and implement basic and comprehensive measures for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(Responsibilities of Local Governments)

Article 6

In accordance with the Basic Principles, for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, local governments shall make efforts to formulate and implement measures suitable to the natural and social conditions of their jurisdiction, while sharing appropriate roles with the State.

Chapter II Basic Policy, etc.

(Basic Policy)

Article 7

(1)

The government shall establish the basic policy for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts (hereinafter referred to as the "Basic Policy").

(2)

The Basic Policy shall address the following matters, taking into consideration the trend and other factors of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts:

(i)

Basic matters for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts;

(ii)

Basic policy concerning the measures to be implemented by the government for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts; and

(iii)

Other important matters for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(3)

When establishing the Basic Policy, due consideration must be given to securing international collaboration for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, collaborative efforts, and the promotion of economic and social activities contributing to the establishment of a Sustainable Society.

(4)

The Minister of Environment and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology shall prepare a draft of the Basic Policy, and seek cabinet approval.

(5)

The Minister of the Environment and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology shall work with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to carry out affairs for preparing a draft of the Basic Policy, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, respectively.

(6)

When preparing a draft of the Basic Policy, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology shall consider the opinions of the general public.

(7)

After the cabinet decision is made under the provision of paragraph (4), the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology shall make the Basic Policy public without delay.

(8)

The provisions of paragraph (4) to the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to any revision of the Basic Policy.

(Action Plan of Prefectural and Municipal Governments)

Article 8

(1)

The prefectural and municipal governments shall make efforts to formulate an action plan, taking into consideration the Basic Policy, for the promotion of the environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, suitable to the natural and social conditions of the jurisdiction of such prefectural and municipal governments (hereinafter referred to as the "Action Plan").

(2)

The Action Plan shall mainly stipulate the following matters:

(i)

Basic matters for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts;

(ii)

The measures to be implemented for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, and

(iii)

Other important matters for the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(3)

When formulating the Action Plan, the prefectural and municipal governments shall make an effort to take necessary measures to reflect on the opinions of the residents and other persons concerned in advance.

(4)

After formulating the Action Plan, the prefectural and municipal governments shall make an effort to make such Action Plan public without delay.

(5)

The prefectural and municipal governments that formulate the Action Plan shall make an effort to make the status of implementation of the measures based on the Action Plan public once each year.

(6)

The provisions of the preceding three paragraphs shall apply mutatis mutandis to any revision of the Action Plan.

(Council for Promotion of Environmental Education, etc.)

Article 8-2

(1)

The prefectural and municipal governments that intend to formulate the Action Plan may organize a council for the promotion of environmental education, etc. (hereinafter referred to as the "Council"). The purpose of the Council will be to discuss the formulation of the Action Plan and to coordinate the implementation of it.

(2)

The Council shall consist of the following members:

(i)

The prefectural or municipal governments that intend to formulate the Action Plan;

(ii)

The board of education of said prefectural or municipal government;

(iii)

Persons concerned in school education and social education; and

(iv)

Relevant Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., persons with relevant knowledge and experience, or other persons deemed necessary by said prefectural or municipal government.

(3)

When selecting the members listed in item (iv) of the preceding paragraph, the prefectural or municipal government shall make efforts to select such members by open recruitment.

(4)

The members of the Council shall cooperate with each other for the purposes of implementing the Action Plan. With respect to matters agreed upon at the Council, the members of the Council shall, while respecting the conclusion of the discussion, make efforts to promote environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(5)

The competent minister may give necessary advice if requested by any member of the Council, for successful formulation and implementation of the Action Plan.

(6)

In addition to what is provided for in each of the preceding paragraphs, matters necessary for the operation of the Council shall be prescribed by the Council.

(Proposal of Formulation, etc. of the Action Plan)

Article 8-3

(1)

A person listed below may make a proposal for formulating or revising the Action Plan to the prefectural or municipal government. In this case, such person shall prepare and present a rough draft of the Action Plan pertaining to said proposal, conforming to the Basic Policy:

(i)

Persons concerned in school education and social education, and

(ii)

Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., or persons with relevant knowledge and experience who are involved in the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(2)

Upon receipt of the proposal under the provision of the preceding paragraph, the prefectural or municipal government shall, without delay, make efforts to make public whether it will formulate or revise the Action Plan based on said proposal.

In this case, if the prefectural or municipal government decides not to formulate or revise the Action Plan, it shall make efforts to provide its reasons for not doing so.

Chapter III Promotion of Environmental Conservation Activities by Citizens

Section 1 Promotion and Encouragement of Willingness to Support Environmental Conservation, Environmental Education, etc.

(Support, etc. concerning Environmental Education in School Education, etc.)

Article 9

(1)

The State and the prefectural and municipal governments shall take necessary measures to promote environmental education in school education and social education so that citizens can deepen their understanding and interests in environmental conservation, through various opportunities from during childhood, as appropriate for each developmental stage.

(2)

The State shall take steps to enrich environmental education in schools, such as by implementing hands-on learning of environmental conservation, by enriching training of the teaching staff and other measures to improve the quality of teaching staff involved in environmental education, and other necessary measures. Other necessary measures may include providing information materials, etc. for reference and developing teaching materials, etc., so that systematic environmental education for each development stage can be promoted through each subject or other educational activities in school education. These measures should be geared towards providing a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the environment and humans.

(3)

The State shall, for the purpose of reducing the environmental load, promote the improvement of school facilities, including school buildings and playgrounds, and other facilities. At the same time, school facilities should be used as a structure for environmental education, and concurrently take necessary measures to promote environmental conservation activities through education by utilizing said facilities.

(4)

The prefectural and municipal governments shall make efforts to take necessary measures to promote environmental education in school education and social education, in accordance with the measures of the State prescribed in the preceding two paragraphs.

(5)

The State shall make efforts to give necessary advice and other assistance to the prefectural and municipal governments with regard to the measures prescribed in paragraph (1) and the measures prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

(6)

In taking the measures mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the State shall give due consideration to ensuring that the prefectural and municipal governments extensively utilize human resources with knowledge, experience, etc. concerning environmental conservation in the course of implementing environmental education in school education and social education. The State shall offer information under the provision of Article 17 (including information on the registered services of human resource certification, etc. prescribed in Article 11, paragraph (7)) and other information contributing to the promotion of environmental education.

(7)

The State and the prefectural and municipal governments shall conduct research on the content and method of environmental education, and make efforts to improve them based on the results of that research.

(Encouragement of Willingness for Environmental Conservation and Environmental Education at Workplace)

Article 10

(1)

Private organizations organized by business operators or citizens (hereinafter referred to as "Private Organizations" in this Article, Article 21-3, paragraphs (1), (2), and (4), and Article 23, paragraph (1)), business operators, the State, and local governments shall make efforts to encourage their employees' willingness for environmental conservation, and to provide them with any environmental education necessary for improving their knowledge and skills with regard to environmental conservation.

(2)

The State and the prefectural and municipal governments shall make efforts to support Private Organizations or business operators that encourage their employees' willingness for environmental conservation or provide them with environmental education, by offering information on human resources who provide instruction or guidance concerning environmental conservation, or materials pertaining to the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or by providing other necessary support.

(3)

The Private Organizations, business operators, the State and the prefectural and municipal governments shall make efforts to provide students with opportunities for gaining work experience and other necessary experiences at their workplaces aimed at the enhancement of knowledge and skills of the citizens with regard to environmental conservation.

(Supporting Organizations of Environmental Education, etc.)

Article 10-2

(1)

The competent minister may designate a specified non-profit organization mentioned in Article 2, paragraph (2) of the Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities (Act No. 7 of 1998) or other non-profit private entity that is found to meet the standards listed in the following items. The entity must meet the standards listed with regard to the services prescribed in the following paragraph (hereinafter referred to as the "Support Services" in this Article and Article 25, paragraph (1), item (i)) as a supporting organization of environmental education, etc. (hereinafter referred to as the "Supporting Organizations" in this Article and Article 25, paragraph (1), item (i)), subject to an application from such entity:

(i)

To conform to the standards specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry as an entity having sufficient financial basis and technical capability for providing the Support Services in a reliable manner, and

(ii)

In addition to what is provided for in the preceding item, to conform to the standards specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry as an entity capable of performing the Support Services fairly and properly.

(2)

The Supporting Organizations shall provide the following services in whole or in part to support Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., engaged in environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts:

(i)

To collect, organize, and provide information and materials concerning environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts;

(ii)

To conduct research and studies on environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts (including those pertaining to the policies concerning the same), and provide the results of such research and studies;

(iii)

To prepare and provide manuals and other materials, etc. for environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts;

(iv)

To respond to inquiries and requests for consultation, and give necessary advice on environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts;

(v)

To recommend or introduce instructors and other persons necessary for conducting environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts, and

(vi)

Any services incidental to the services listed in each of the preceding items.

(3)

The competent minister shall provide support to Supporting Organizations, such as providing information on environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts related to Support Services.

(4)

Based on the status of the implementation of the Support Services, the Supporting Organizations may submit their opinions as necessary to the competent minister with regard to the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts.

(5)

If the competent minister finds that it is necessary to improve the state of assets or the operation of Support Services of Supporting Organizations, such competent minister may order said Supporting Organizations to make the necessary improvements.

(6)

If the supporting entity violates the order issued under the provision of the preceding paragraph, the competent minister may rescind the designation mentioned in paragraph (1).

(7)

In addition to what is provided for in each of the preceding paragraphs, the designation procedures under paragraph (1) and other necessary matters concerning the Supporting Organizations shall be specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Registration of Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.)

Article 11

(1)

Enterprises, persons who establish universities or other business operators, citizens, and private organizations comprised of these persons or organizations (hereinafter referred to as the "Private Organizations, etc." in paragraph (7) and Article 17) engaged in services for training or certifying human resources with knowledge and instructional ability on environmental conservation, or those with necessary capabilities to promote collaborative efforts (excluding the services pertaining to the granting of an academic degree prescribed in Article 104 of the School Education Act (Act No. 26 of 1947)), or services for developing and providing educational materials on the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education (hereinafter referred to as the "Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.") that are specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry, may be registered by the competent minister for said Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.

(2)

A person or entity who intends to apply for the registration mentioned in the preceding paragraph (hereinafter simply referred to as the "Registration" in this Article and Articles 13 through 15) shall submit an application form describing the following matters to the competent minister, as specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry:

(i)

The name and address of the person or entity and, if the applicant is a juridical person or other organization, the name of its representative;

(ii)

The content of the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., and

(iii)

Other matters specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(3)

A person or entity who falls under either of the following items may not apply for the Registration:

(i)

A person who has committed an offense prescribed in Article 26 and has been punished, where two years have not elapsed since the day on which the execution of the sentence was completed, or since the day on which such person ceased to be subject to the execution of such sentence;

(ii)

A person or entity whose Registration has been rescinded pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 14, where two years have not elapsed since the day on which such rescission was made, or

(iii)

A juridical person or other organization with an officer (or representative in the case of an organization without juridical personality) who falls under either of the preceding two items.

(4)

If the competent minister finds that such services as applied for the Registration conforms to each of the following items, such competent minister shall register the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.:

(i)

The services are appropriate in light of the Basic Policy;

(ii)

The services conform to the standards specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry, as having sufficient financial basis and technical capability for performing the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc. in an appropriate and reliable manner.

(5)

If the competent minister grants the Registration, such competent minister shall, without delay, notify the applicant to that effect and publicly notify to that effect.

(6)

If the competent minister finds that the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc. as applied for the Registration fail to conform to the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (4), such competent minister shall, without delay, notify the applicant to that effect by indicating the reason.

(7)

If the Private Organizations, etc. engaged in the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc. that have been registered (hereinafter referred to as the "Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.") (such Private Organizations, etc. shall be hereinafter referred to as the "Registered Private Organizations, etc.") has made any change in the matters listed in each item of paragraph (2) or has abolished the Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., it shall notify the competent minister to that effect without delay, as specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(8)

If the competent minister receives the notification under the provision of the preceding paragraph, such competent minister shall, without delay, notify the public to that effect.

(Reports, Advice, etc.)

Article 12

The competent minister may require the Registered Private Organizations, etc. to submit reports or materials on the Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc. performed by such organizations, etc. to the extent necessary for securing proper performance of the Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., or give necessary advice to the Registered Private Organizations, etc. to facilitate proper operation of their Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.

(Restrictions on Displays)

Article 13

A person or entity engaged in Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., shall not use any displays in connection with said Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., that are likely to be mistaken as a person or entity engaged in the Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., where it has not been granted such Registration.

(Rescission of Registration)

Article 14

(1)

The competent minister may rescind the Registration if either of the following items is applicable:

(i)

If the Registered Services of Human Resource Certification, etc. does not conform to the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (4) of Article 11;

(ii)

If the Registered Private Organizations, etc. falls under either of the items described in Article 11 (3);

(iii)

If the Registered Private Organizations, etc. fails to submit reports or materials or submits false reports or materials in response to the requirement of reports or materials under the provision of Article 12, or

(iv)

If the Registered Private Organizations, etc., have been registered by deception or other illicit means.

(2)

If the competent minister rescinds a Registration pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph, such competent minister shall, without delay, notify the person or entity whose said Registration has been rescinded to that effect, by indicating the reason, and issuing a public notification to that effect.

(Delegation to Ordinance of the Competent Ministry)

Article 15

In addition to what is provided for in Article 11 to the preceding Article, matters necessary for the Registration shall be specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Provision, etc. of Information for Activities of Prefectural or Municipal Governments for Training or Certification, etc. of Human Resources)

Article 16

If the competent minister finds that it is necessary for the prefectural or municipal governments to engage in activities to train or certify human resources for environmental conservation or develop and provide educational materials concerning environmental conservation, such competent minister shall provide information, give advice or take other necessary steps.

(Collection, Provision, etc. of Information on Activities to Train or Certify Human Resources, etc.)

Article 17

The competent minister shall collect, organize and analyze information on the activities of Private Organizations, etc. to train or certify human resources for environmental conservation, or develop and provide educational materials concerning environmental conservation, and provide the results thereof.

(Enhancement of Quality of Manuals and Other Materials for Training of Human Resources)

Article 18

(1)

The competent minster shall give necessary advice at the request of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. engaged in the production and provision, etc. of manuals and other materials for the training of human resources for environmental conservation.

(2)

For enhancement of the quality of the manuals and other materials mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the competent minister shall collect, organize and analyze information related to such materials, and provide the results thereof.

(Development of System with Functions as the Base for Encouragement of Willingness for Environmental Conservation, etc.)

Article 19

(1)

The State shall make efforts to develop the system equipped with the following functions as the base to promote the activities of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. for environmental conservation effectively, in concert with environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation, environmental education and collaborative efforts undertaken by the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., as well as the activities of the prefectural and municipal governments to promote the same:

(i)

To collect and provide information on environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts undertaken by the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. and other information and materials concerning environmental conservation;

(ii)

To give advice on the manuals and other materials for training human resources for environmental conservation, or to respond to inquiries and requests for consultation and give necessary advice on environmental conservation;

(iii)

To provide opportunities and other accommodation for exchange of information and mutual communication among Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. engaged in environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts, and

(iv)

To further promote environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(2)

The prefectural and municipal governments shall make efforts to develop the system designed to function as the base for promoting the activities of Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. for environmental conservation effectively (referred to as the "Base Functions Development" in the following paragraph) according to the natural and social conditions of the jurisdiction of such prefectural and municipal governments, in concert with environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts undertaken by the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. as well as the activities of the State to promote the same.

(3)

The State shall make efforts to provide necessary support for the Base Functions Development undertaken by the prefectural and municipal governments.

(Certification of Place for Experience Opportunities)

Article 20

(1)

In light of the importance of deepening the understanding and interest in environmental conservation through nature-based activities and other hands-on experiences, if a land or building owner, or a person or entity (limited to Citizens and Private Organizations, etc.) who has the right to make use of and take the profits of said land or building (excluding the rights apparently created for the purpose of using any temporary facilities or for any temporary use) provides said land or building as the place for nature-based hands-on experiences or other places for hands-on experience opportunities for the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation suitable for being provided to many persons (hereinafter referred to as the "Place for Experience Opportunities"), such owner, person or entity may receive the certification of the prefectural governor that the content and other elements of the services provided at said Place for Experience Opportunities meets each of the requirements listed in the following items:

(i)

The content of the services is appropriate in light of the Basic Policy;

(ii)

The content of the services is appropriate in light of the Action Plan in the case of a prefectural government that has formulated said Action Plan;

(iii)

The content of the services provided at said Place for Experience Opportunities for the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation conforms to the standards specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry, and

(iv)

Said land or building conforms to the standards specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(2)

If a prefectural government finds that it is necessary in view of its natural and social conditions for effectively promoting the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation, such prefectural government may prescribe in its ordinance that the requirement be applicable in addition to the requirements listed in each item of the preceding paragraph, taking the Basic Policy into consideration.

(3)

A person or entity that intends to apply for the certification mentioned in paragraph (1) (hereinafter simply referred to as the "Certification" in this Article to Article 20-3, and Articles 20-5, 20-6, 20-9, and 20-10) shall submit an application form describing the following matters to the prefectural governor, as specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry:

(i)

The name and address of the person or entity and, if the applicant is a juridical person or other organization, the name of its representative;

(ii)

The name and location of the Place for Experience Opportunities;

(iii)

The services performed at said Place for Experience Opportunities for the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation; and

(iv)

Other matters specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(4)

Any person or entity falling under either of the following items may not apply for the Certification:

(i)

A person or entity whose Certification has been rescinded pursuant to the provision of Article 20-6, paragraph (1), and two years have not elapsed since the day on which such rescission was made; or

(ii)

A juridical person or other organization with an officer (or representative, in the case of an organization without juridical personality) who falls under the preceding item.

(5)

If the prefectural governor intends to grant the Certification, such prefectural governor shall consult with the prefectural board of education in advance.

(6)

If the prefectural governor grants the Certification, such prefectural governor shall, without delay, notify the applicant to that effect.

(7)

If the prefectural governor finds that the content and other elements of the services provided at the Place for Experience Opportunities, as applied for the Certification, fail to conform to the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (1) (including the requirements of the prefectural ordinance, if said requirements are specified pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2)), such prefectural governor shall, without delay, notify the applicant to that effect by indicating the reason.

(8)

If the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., providing a Place for Experience Opportunities that has been certified (hereinafter referred to as the "Certified Place for Experience Opportunities") (such Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. shall be hereinafter referred to as the "Certified Private Organizations, etc.") make any change in the matters listed in each item of paragraph (3) or discontinue the provision of such place, such Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. shall, without delay, notify the prefectural governor to that effect, as specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Effective Period of Certification)

Article 20-2

(1)

In granting the Certification, the prefectural governor shall fix the effective period thereof not exceeding five years from the day on which said certification was granted.

(2)

A person or entity who intends to apply for the renewal of the effective period mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall submit a complete application form to the prefectural governor, as specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Dissemination, etc. of the Certified Place for Experience Opportunities)

Article 20-3

(1)

If the prefectural governor grants the Certification, such prefectural governor shall make efforts to make public the matters listed in each item of paragraph (3) of Article 20 through the use of the Internet, distribution of printed material, or by other appropriate means.

(2)

The Certified Private Organizations, etc. may indicate that the land or building concerned is the Certified Place for Experience Opportunities.

(Reports, Advice, etc.)

Article 20-4

(1)

The Certified Private Organizations, etc. shall report the status of their operation to the prefectural governor every year, as specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(2)

The prefectural governors may require the Certified Private Organizations, etc. to submit reports or materials to the extent necessary for securing proper provision of said Certified Place for Experience Opportunities, or give necessary advice to the Certified Private Organizations, etc. to facilitate proper operation of said Certified Place for Experience Opportunities.

(Restrictions on Displays)

Article 20-5

A person or entity providing the Place for Experience Opportunities shall not make any display that is likely to be mistaken that the land or building provided as the Place for Experience Opportunities has been certified, where it has not been granted such Certification.

(Rescission of Certification)

Article 20-6

(1)

The prefectural governor may rescind the Certification if any of the following items is applicable:

(i)

If the content and other elements of the services performed at the Certified Place for Experience Opportunities do not conform to the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (1) of Article 20 (including the requirements of the prefectural ordinance, if said requirements are specified pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2) of the same Article);

(ii)

If the Certified Private Organizations, etc. fail to make notification under the provisions of Article 20, paragraph (8) or make false notifications;

(iii)

If the Certified Private Organizations, etc. fail to submit reports or materials or submit false reports or materials in response to the requirements of reports or materials under the provisions of Article 20-4, paragraph (2); or

(iv)

If the Certified Private Organizations, etc., receive the Certification by deception or other illicit means.

If the prefectural governor rescinds the Certification based on the provisions of the preceding paragraph, such prefectural governor shall, without delay, notify the person or entity whose Certification has been rescinded to that effect by indicating the reason.

If the prefectural governor rescinds the Certification based on the provisions of the preceding paragraph, such prefectural governor shall, without delay, notify the person or entity whose Certification has been rescinded to that effect by indicating the reason.

(Special Provisions for Large Cities, etc.)

Article 20-7

(1)

In the case of affairs that are specified as being under the authority of the prefectural governors, pursuant to the provisions of Article 20, Article 20-2, Article 20-3, paragraph (1), Article 20-4, and the preceding Article, to the extent that the entire land or building provided as the Place for Experience Opportunities is located in the jurisdiction of the designated city defined in Article 252-19, paragraph (1) of the Local Autonomy Act (Act No. 67 of 1947) (referred to as the "Designated City" in Article 21-5, paragraph (6)), the core city defined in Article 252-22, paragraph (1) of the same Act (referred to as the "Core City " in Article 21-5, paragraph (6)) or a municipality whose head has consulted with the prefectural governor concerned in advance to process such affairs on behalf of the prefecture (hereinafter such municipality shall be referred to as the "Designated City, etc." in this Article and Article 20-9), such affairs shall be carried out by the head of such Designated City, etc. In this case, the provisions concerning the prefectural government or prefectural governor in Article 20, Article 20-2, Article 20-3, paragraph (1), Article 20-4, and the preceding Article shall apply to the Designated City, etc. or the head of the Designated City, etc., as if they were the provisions concerning the Designated City, etc., or the head of the Designated City, etc., as appropriate.

(2)

In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, the phrase "the prefectural board of education" in Article 20, paragraph (5) shall be replaced with "the board of education of the designated city, etc."

(3)

The municipality that has consulted with the prefectural governor to process the affairs prescribed in the same paragraph on behalf of the prefecture, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) shall publicly notify to that effect and the date of commencement of processing of said affairs, as specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Certification, etc. in a Case Where the Land or Building Provided as Place for Experience Opportunities Extends Over Two or More Prefectures)

Article 20-8

For the application of the provisions of Article 20 (excluding paragraphs (2) and (5)), Article 20-2, Article 20-3, paragraph (1), Article 20-4, and Article 20-6, where the land or building provided as the Place for Experience Opportunities extends over two or more prefectures, the phrase "the prefectural governor" in these provisions shall be replaced with "the competent minister"; the phrase "the following items" in Article 20, paragraph (1) shall be replaced with "the following items (excluding item (ii))"; the phrase "the applicant" in paragraph (6) of the same Article shall be replaced with "the applicant and the governor of the prefecture where the land and building pertaining to said certification is located"; the phrase "the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (1) (including the requirements of the prefectural ordinance if said requirements are prescribed pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2))" in paragraph (7) of the same Article shall be replaced with "the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (1) (excluding item (ii))"; the phrase "the requirements listed in each item of paragraph (1) of Article 20 (including the requirements of the prefectural ordinance if said requirements are prescribed pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2) of the same Article)" in Article 20-6, paragraph (1), item (i) shall be replaced with "the requirements listed in each item of Article 20, paragraph (1) (excluding item (ii))." In this case, the provisions of Article 20, paragraphs (2) and (5) shall not apply.

(Provision, etc. of Information by the State for Certification, etc.)

Article 20-9

If the State finds that it is necessary when the prefectural governor or the head of the Designated City, etc., grants the Certification, the State shall provide information, give advice, or take other necessary measures while taking necessary measures to promote the provision and utilization of the Place for Experience Opportunities.

(Delegation to Ordinance of Ministry)

Article 20-10

In addition to what is stipulated in Article 20 to the preceding Article, matters necessary for Certification shall be specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry.

Section 2 Promotion of Collaborative Efforts

(Dissemination of Roles, etc. of Collaborative Efforts)

Article 21

The State shall make efforts to take measures necessary for making public the roles of collaborative efforts, the effective and appropriate way to implement such collaborative efforts, and the roles for mutual cooperation among collaborative efforts.

(Reflection, etc. of Public Opinions on Policy Formation)

Article 21-2

(1)

For the purpose of reflecting public opinion on the formation of policies concerning environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts, the State and the local governments shall actively make information on the formation of policies public, while asking for the opinions of the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. and other diversified bodies, and shall make efforts to facilitate the development and utilization of the system for forming the policies after sufficiently considering such opinions.

(2)

The Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. may make proposals to the State or the local government concerning policies to contribute to the formation of policies prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

(Expansion etc. of Opportunities of Private Organizations to Enter the Public Service Sector)

Article 21-3

(1)

The State and incorporated administrative agencies, etc. (referring to incorporated administrative agencies, etc., prescribed in Article 2, paragraph (3) of the Act on Promotion of Contracts Considering Reduction of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases and Others by the State and Other Entities (Act No. 56 of 2007); hereinafter the same shall apply in this Article), shall, in carrying out public services for environmental conservation (meaning the provision of services for the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., concerning environmental conservation or other services contributing to the promotion of environmental conservation, conducted as the affairs or services of the State and incorporated administrative agencies, etc., such as the operation or management of facilities for promoting the activities of the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., for environmental conservation, research, and studies on the activities for environmental conservation (including those pertaining to the policies on such activities); hereinafter the same shall apply in this Article), make efforts to facilitate the expansion of opportunities for the Private Organizations to enter the public service sector in the fields where said Private Organizations are able to make use of their expert knowledge or the regional characteristics.

(2)

If it is deemed effective to carry out public services concerning environmental conservation in the fields where the Private Organizations are able to make use of their expert knowledge or the regional characteristics through collaborative efforts, the State and incorporated administrative agencies, etc. shall make efforts to promote contracts under which the effect of said public services conducted through collaborative efforts is sufficiently demonstrated, while considering economic efficiency as well as elements other than the price.

(3)

Matters to be considered when conducting the affairs concerning the execution and performance of contracts prescribed in the preceding paragraph and other matters necessary for the promotion of such contracts shall be specified by Ordinances of the Ministry of the Environment.

(4)

The local governments shall, in accordance with the measures prescribed by paragraphs (1) and (2), make efforts to promote contracts under which the effect of the expansion of opportunities for Private Organizations to enter the public service sector and of such public services conducted through collaborative efforts is sufficiently demonstrated.

(Execution, etc. of Agreements on Environmental Conservation)

Article 21-4

(1)

The State or the local governments and the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., may establish a council for the execution of an agreement, providing for the sharing of roles for promoting collaborative efforts, and for discussion on the preparation of said agreement and for liaison and coordination pertaining to the performance thereof.

(2)

In the case of executing an agreement under the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the State shall make public the contents of the agreement and other matters specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry through the use of the Internet or by other appropriate means.

(3)

In the case of executing an agreement under the provisions of paragraph (1), the State and the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. shall faithfully perform the matters provided for in the said agreement, while evaluating the status of the performance of the matters provided for in the said agreement and making public the results of such evaluation.

(4)

In the case of executing an agreement under the provisions of paragraph (1), the local governments shall make efforts to take the necessary measures, in accordance with the measures of the State as prescribed in the preceding two paragraphs.

(5)

The Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. may make a proposal to the State or the local government, as specified by Ordinance of the competent ministry, that they engage in collaborative efforts with the State or the said local government, if such collaborative efforts are necessary.

(6)

If the State or the local government receives a proposal under the provisions of the preceding paragraph, and such a proposal is deemed appropriate in light of the standards specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry, the State or the local government shall make efforts to engage in collaborative efforts.

(Notification, etc. of Agreements by the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc.)

Article 21-5

(1)

If the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. execute an agreement on the promotion of collaborative efforts, said Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. may notify the prefectural governor (or the competent minister, if the said collaborative efforts extend over two or more prefectures; hereinafter the same shall apply in this Article, excluding paragraphs (3), (6), and (7)) of said agreement.

(2)

The prefectural governor shall make efforts to make public the content of the agreement that has been notified under the provisions of the preceding paragraph (such notifications shall be hereinafter simply referred to as "Notification" in this Article) and other matters specified by the Ordinance of the competent ministry, through the use of the Internet or by other appropriate means, if the prefectural governor finds that the contents of the agreement are effective for environmental conservation and do not violate laws and regulations.

(3)

If the prefectural governor receives prior notification from said Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. or otherwise finds it necessary at the time of the execution of the agreement prescribed in paragraph (1), such prefectural governor may request the competent minister to confirm with the head of the administrative agency concerned whether said agreement complies with laws and regulations.

(4)

The Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. that have made the Notification shall faithfully perform the matters provided for in said agreement.

(5)

The prefectural governor shall make efforts to give necessary advice or instructions to the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. that have made the Notification so that the matters provided for in the agreement notified will be implemented smoothly.

(6)

In the case of affairs that are pursuant to the provision of each preceding paragraph (excluding paragraph (4)) as being under the authority of the prefectural governors, to the extent that collaborative efforts prescribed by paragraph (1) are limited within the jurisdiction of the Designated City, the Core City, or the municipality whose head has consulted in advance with the prefectural governor concerned to process said affairs on behalf of the prefecture, said affairs shall be carried out by the head of said Designated City, Core City, or municipality.

(7)

The provisions of Article 20-7, paragraph (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis to any municipality that has consulted with the prefectural governor to process the affairs prescribed in the same paragraph on behalf of the prefecture pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

(8)

In addition to what is provided for in each preceding paragraph, matters necessary for the Notification and the abolishment of agreements prescribed in paragraph (1) shall be specified by an Ordinance of the competent ministry.

(Provision etc. of Information for Collaborative Efforts)

Article 21-6

(1)

The Minister of the Environment shall collect, organize, and analyze information concerning collaborative efforts, and provide the results thereof.

(2)

The Minister of the Environment may request the head of the administrative agency concerned to cooperate if the Minister finds that such cooperation is necessary to facilitate further promotion of collaborative efforts.

Chapter IV Miscellaneous Provisions

(Promotion of Actions of Citizens Giving Due Consideration to Environmental Conservation through a Structure under which Economic Value is Added)

Article 22

The State and the local governments shall make efforts to promote the actions of citizens giving due consideration to environmental conservation, through the dissemination of a structure under which economic value is added to said action.

(Financial Measures, etc.)

Article 22-2

(1)

The State and the local governments shall make efforts to take financial, taxation, or other measures for effectively implementing the provisions of the Certified Place for Experience Opportunities, the establishment of activities contributing to environmental conservation as consistent services, the development of human resources for environmental conservation, and other activities that are important for promoting environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(2)

The competent minister may commend the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc., that are engaged in environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts that are found to have made remarkable contribution specifically to the establishment of a Sustainable Society.

(Active Disclosure, etc. of Information)

Article 23

(1)

The State, local governments, Private Organizations, and business operators shall make efforts to actively disclose information on the content of their encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation, and other information on environmental conservation, to promote the participation of the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. in activities concerning the encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and other environmental conservation activities.

(2)

The State shall make efforts to collect, organize, and analyze information mentioned in the preceding paragraph, and provide the results thereof.

(Consideration, etc.)

Article 24

In implementing the measures based on this Act, the State and local governments shall give due consideration so that said measures will not obstruct the autonomy of the Citizens and Private Organizations, etc. engaged in environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation or environmental education, or collaborative efforts, while taking necessary measures to ensure the fairness and transparency of said measures.

(Conference for Promotion of Environmental Education, etc.)

Article 24-2

(1)

The government shall establish a conference for the promotion of environmental education, etc. Participants shall include officials from the Ministry of the Environment; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and other administrative agencies concerned, and liaise and coordinate to facilitate comprehensive, effective, and efficient promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(2)

The conference for the promotion of environmental education, etc. shall establish an expert committee for the promotion of environmental education, etc., consisting of persons with expert knowledge on the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(3)

The expert committee for the promotion of environmental education, etc., shall give advice and make proposals to the conference for the promotion of environmental education, etc. concerning the matters pertaining to the promotion of environmental conservation activities, encouragement of willingness for environmental conservation and environmental education, and collaborative efforts.

(Competent Minister, etc.)

Article 25

(1)

The competent ministers under this Act, shall be the Minister of the Environment; Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; and Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, provided, however, that for the matters listed in each of the following items, the competent ministers shall be the ministers listed in each item concerned:

(i)

Matters pertaining to the Supporting Organizations:

the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who has jurisdiction over the Support Services provided by the entities to be subject to the designation under the provision of Article 10-2, paragraph (1), and the Minister of the Environment and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology;

(ii)

Matters pertaining to the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc.:

the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; or Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who has jurisdiction over the Services of Human Resource Certification, etc., provided by the entities to be subject to the registration under the provisions of Article 11, paragraph (1), and the Minister of the Environment;

(iii)

Matters pertaining to the provisions of the Place for Experience Opportunities:

the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who has jurisdiction over the services provided at the Place for Experience Opportunities, to be subject to the certification under the provisions of Article 20, paragraph (1), and the Minister of the Environment and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and

(iv)

Matters pertaining to agreements on the promotion of collaborative efforts:

the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who has jurisdiction over matters provided in the agreements prescribed in Article 21-5, paragraph (1), and performed by the entities executing said agreements, and the Minister of the Environment.

(2)

Each competent minister shall make efforts to maintain close contact and cooperation with the others to facilitate precise and smooth implementation of the provisions of this Act.

(3)

The Ordinance of the competent ministry under this Act shall be an order issued jointly by the Minister of the Environment; Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; and Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

(Penal Provisions)

Article 26

Any person who falls under either of the following items shall be punished with a fine of not more than 300,000 yen:

(i)

A person who has obtained Registration under Article 11, paragraph (1), by deception or other illicit means; or

(ii)

A person who has failed to submit reports or materials under the provisions of Article 12, or submitted false reports or materials.

Article 27

If a representative of a juridical person, or an agent, an employee, or any other worker of a juridical person or of an individual commits a violation under the preceding Article, with regard to the business of the juridical person or the individual, then not only the offender but also the juridical person or the individual shall be punished and have to pay the fine prescribed in the preceding Article.

Article 28

Any person who falls under either of the following items shall be punished by a non-criminal fine of not more than 100,000 yen:

(i)

A person who has failed to make notification under the provisions of Article 11, paragraph (7) or Article 20, paragraph (8), or made false notification;

(ii)

A person who has violated the provisions of Article 13 or Article 20-5;

(iii)

A person who has obtained certification under Article 20, paragraph (1), by deception or other illicit means; or

(iv)

A person who has failed to submit reports or materials under the provisions of Article 20-4, paragraph (2), or has submitted false reports or materials.