Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Recycling Policy
Eco Town Program
Overview of Eco Town Program
The Eco Town Program is an initiative whose objective is to promote local economic stimulation through fostering environmental businesses that utilize the strengths of local industries, and to create resource-recycling socio-economic systems by promoting local approaches for recycling and suppressing the generation of waste. Local governments play a central role in activities under this program, by linking local citizens and local industries in order to achieve innovative approaches to urban development that are environmentally friendly and do not duplicate existing frameworks.

More specifically, a local government first creates an "Eco Town Plan" that takes advantage of the region's local characteristics. Then, if the basic concepts and concrete projects written into the plan are judged by METI and the Ministry of the Environment as meeting a certain standard of originality and innovativeness, and judged to have the potential to serve as a model for other local governments, the two ministries jointly approve the plan. They then provide financial support for projects by local governments and private organizations to improve physical recycling facilities, and to implement "soft" (institutional/organizational) projects that can contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society.
Approved Eco Town Plans (20 zones)
FY1997 Iida City (Nagano Prefecture), Kawasaki City, Kitakyushu City, Gifu Prefecture
FY1998 Oomuta City (Fukuoka Prefecture), Sapporo City, Chiba City/Chiba Prefecture
FY1999 Akita Prefecture, Uguisuzawa Town (Miyagi Prefecture)
FY2000 Hokkaido, Hiroshima Prefecture, Kochi City (Kochi Prefecture), Minamata City (Kumamoto Prefecture)
FY2001 Yamaguchi Prefecture, Naoshima Town (Kagawa Prefecture)
FY2002 Toyama City (Toyama Prefecture), Aomori Prefecture
FY2003 Hyogo Prefecture, Tokyo, Okayama Prefecture
Funding System for Eco Town Plans
(1) Assistance for "Soft"Projects (Subsidy for Resource-Recycling Local Stimulation Project Costs)
Subsidy rate: Up to 1/2 of costs
- Eco Town Plan Development, etc., Environmental Town Development Plan, etc., Development Projects (Research Projects)
- Model projects to foster businesses that can contribute to local resource-recycling society development (model projects)
- Projects related to the development of resource-recycling communities at the local level, implemented by local governments or networking/cooperation of citizens and NPOs, etc. (networking/cooperative projects), etc.
(2) Assistance for "Hard" Projects (Subsidy for Resource-Recycling Local Stimulation Facilities Improvement Costs)
Subsidy rate: Up to 1/2 of costs or 1/3 of costs
- Recycling projects to utilize local resources to the greatest extent possible, in ways that are effective and sustainable.
Map of Approved Eco Town Zones
(20 zones as of April 2004)
Current Status of Approved Zones (pdf) (Japanese) Aplil 2004
Eco-Town Projects / Environmental Industries in Progress Environment-Conscious Type of  Town-Building Case Introduction (pdf) Jnauary 2008
3R Policies
- Overview of 3R Policies
- Key Issues and Current Status
- Japan's Progress Toward a Sustainable Society
- Eco Town Program
- Local 3R Support Program
- Awards Programs
- METI Recycling Guidelines
- Identification
- October is "3R Month" in Japan
Industrial Structure Council
White Papers and Other Report
Information materials
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Last Update: January 24, 2008
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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