Japan's Environmental Cooperation with China During the Last Two Decades
Up until now, Japan's environmental cooperation with China has principally been in response to requests by the Chinese government, with Japan making major contributions in the areas of environmental policy, human resource development, and environmental management systems, and the construction of physical infrastructure. Unlike some other Western donors, Japan is heavily engaged in resolving various environmental problems throughout the whole of China, and these contributions will continue to play a powerful role in improving China's environment for many years to come. Moreover, Japan has also made a major contribution to the raising of environmental awareness among the general public throughout China, and has been instrumental in empowering Chinese environmental citizen's groups. Specifically, Japan has been providing the Chinese government with yen loans and technical cooperation, and has supplied it with many new concepts and mechanisms in the areas of environmental policy, management systems and physical infrastructure, as well. Japan has also provided a foundation for the development of China's environmental industry by means of technology transfer and human resources development. By supplying grant aid to different parts of China, Japan has played a pioneering role in the field of environmental protection in China, enabling the expansion of training and educational facilities and programs to which the Chinese government failed, due to putting a premium on a high economic growth, to allocate sufficient budget despite its awareness of the gravity of the problems that it faces. NGO environmental cooperation programs that use Japanese government grassroots and NGO grant aid and assistance of the Japan Fund for Global Environment have been highly significant factors in the resolution at the regional level of the serious environmental problems that have arisen throughout China. The role that these have played in intensifying exchanges and friendly relations at the grassroots level between Japan and the Chinese people has been highly commendable. In particular, environmental cooperation programs with China through the ten-year-old Sino-Japan Friendship Centre for Environmental Protection (SJC) have not been confined solely to solving China's environmental problems, and have accordingly helped to build a foundation for environmental cooperation with China's various neighbors and thus helped to enhance China's standing internationally.