The Energy and Environment Ministerial Roundtable was held in London from March 15 to 16. Yuriko Koike, Minister of Environment, introduced the 3R Initiative in her presentation at the Roundtable. The 3R Initiative is the concept Prime Minister Koizumi proposed with President Bush at the G8 Summit held at Sea Island, Georgia last year. The Prime Minister pointed out that the “3R” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) approach is key to achieving integration of the environment and the economy through the effective use of resources and that the importance of this approach will grow in the years to come. The 3R Initiative aims to promote the 3Rs globally so as to build a sound material-cycle society.
Prime Minister Koizumi also proposed holding a ministerial meeting to formally launch the 3R Initiative in Japan, and this proposal was endorsed by the G8 leaders and agreed upon as a new G8 initiative, with the statement " Science and Technology for Sustainable Development: "3R" Action Plan and Progress on Implementation." Based upon this agreement Japan will host the Ministerial Conference on the 3R Initiative in Tokyo from April 25 to April 28.
In this approach to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, a Japanese traditional phrase “Mottainai” is very apt. “Mottainai” literally means, “What a waste (We should be grateful for what we have).” This concept bears much relevance to the 3Rs in its message of using resources effectively while creating business opportunities. After coming to embrace the idea during her visit to Japan, Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Kenya’s Deputy Minister of Environment, has been a strong advocate of this “Mottainai” approach, touting the cultural virtues embedded in this word at numerous international conferences. Minister Koike referred to the spirit of “Mottainai” at the Roundtable and Japan will continue to promote this spirit.
* Ministerial Conference on the 3R Initiative
* Embassy of Japan: Environment