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article imageChina, Japan and S. Korea to collaborate on environmental issues

By Karen Graham     Apr 30, 2014 in Environment
In a rare moment of mutual commitment, environmental ministers from China, Japan and South Korea, meeting in Daegu, S. Korea on Tuesday, issued a joint statement, agreeing to unite in addressing environmental issues, particularly PM2.5 pollutants.
The 16th Tripartite Environment Ministers' Meeting (TEMM16) in Daegu was attended by Chinese Vice-Environment Minister Li Ganjie, the South Korean Environment Minister Yoon Seong-kyu and the Japanese Environment Minister, Ishihara Nobuteru.
Despite Chinese minister Li Ganjie's refusal to talk with the Japanese Environmental Minister because of ongoing political problems between the two nations, there was enough concern over PM2.5 particulates, water pollution, marine litter, climate change, and loss of biodiversity to bring the three ministers into agreement in collaborating over a common problem.
According to The Japan Times, the three countries will work together in cooperating in six categories. These include reducing air pollution, protection of the marine environment and protecting water quality, all the while collaborating at all levels with local municipalities, industries and researchers in reaching these goals.
Of prime importance to China's Li Ganjie was his country's tough environmental problems. He acknowledged that China's central government now realizes that reducing air pollution is going to be a difficult task requiring long-term work and commitment.
Li pointed out that China's new environmental protection laws, revised for the first time in 25 years, signified a major break-through in making governments at all levels responsible for taking a greater role in environmental supervision and management, as well as giving more access to information and encouraging public participation.
Yoon Seong-kyu, South Korea's environment minister, pointed out the urgency in reducing air pollution in the Northeast Asian region, proposing "air quality improvement" as a priority issue for additional cooperation among the three countries. Yoon then introduced South Korea's national policies that address trans-boundary air pollution, including PM2.5 particulates, asking that the three countries agree to cooperate .
With PM2.5 a pressing concern, the three countries agreed to the sharing of technologies and practices in reducing air pollution, including the exchange of research and studies pertaining to PM2.5. Ishihara said, “We were able to agree on specific cooperation measures against air pollution. Japan is willing to capitalize on its experience and technologies to reduce the pollution in the region.”
More about ChinaJapan relations, Environment, PM25, South Korea, Air pollution
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