|Japan, U.S. to Cooperate on Mercury, Climate Change|
In an agreement signed August 24, top environmental officials from the U.S. and Japan have agreed to cooperate on issues that include combating global mercury poisoning and working toward an international pact to fight climate change. The agreement came after a meeting in Tokyo between Japan's Minister of the Environment Yoshio Mochizuki and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Mochizuki and McCarthy told reporters that they would emphasize support to developing countries that need help reducing mercury poisoning and finding alternatives to the production and distribution of mercury as supported by the Minamata Convention on Mercury, named after the Japanese city where industrial pollution caused widespread mercury poisoning. Mochizuki said the two countries would jointly improve mercury monitoring through forums like the Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network. He also said Japan would launch a mercury reduction program to support developing economies.
In addition, Mochizuki and McCarthy told reporters they agreed that the U.S. and Japan should cooperate on regional air quality management, environmental education, decontamination of tainted materials, child environmental health issues and environmental impact assessment.