May 22, 2020
Aiming to present basic future directions of policies for a circular economy, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted surveys on the current state of and challenges in resource circulation at home and abroad and analyzed the results. As part of this effort, the Study Group on Circular Economy Vision held repeated discussions since July 2018 and compiled the discussion results into a report titled “Circular Economy Vision 2020.”
Since the early 2000s, Japan has been advancing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) effort ahead of the rest of the world and has been making achievements in a steady manner, e.g., reducing the amount of final disposal and improving the recycling rates. Meanwhile, as great changes are seen in economic and social situations at home and abroad, global society, against the backdrop of population and economic growth, faces the need to transform from a linear economy based on a mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal pattern to a circular economy.
2. Outline of the Circular Economy Vision
In addition to the need to transform to a circular economy Japan should consider development of digital technologies and growing demand for environmental consideration from markets and society as new drivers. In line with this, all industries in Japan should regard this transformation as a new business opportunity that can lead their businesses to a “virtuous cycle of the environment and growth.” which should be considered as a marked shift from the existing 3Rs initiative as a measure for addressing waste and the environment, to new business models with higher circularity as management and business strategies.
Aiming to encourage Japanese companies to exercise their strengths in mid to long-term industrial competitiveness cultivated by advancing their efforts in the 3Rs program, METI compiled the Circular Economy Vision 2020 with three different viewpoints in mind: [i] shift to new business models with higher circularity, [ii] acquirement of appropriate evaluation from the market and society and [iii] early establishment of a resilient resource circulation system to present Japan’s basic policy directions for a circular economy.
3. Announcement of the report
Division in Charge
Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau