Climate Change Adaptation Act ( 2018 / Adaptation Framework )

This Act aims at enhancing adaptation efforts in Japan. It enshrines into law the 2015 National Adaptation Plan and sets updated obligations. It charges authorities to take effective measures in various fields based on "reliable scientific information". It further promotes international cooperation and the involvement of private entities in adaptation efforts. Climate change impact assessments…read more

Act on Promoting Generation of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources Harmonized with Sound Development of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ( 2015 )

This Act aims at “rejuvenating rural areas” by promoting there the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources harmonized with the sound development of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. The competent minister is to issue a « basic policy » to translate the Act into facts.…read more

Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons ( 2015 )

The purpose of this unenforced Act is to establish guidelines for the Rational Use of Fluorocarbons and the Proper Management of Fluorocarbons used in Specified Products, and to set forth the responsibility, etc. of Manufacturers, etc. of Fluorocarbons and Products Using Fluorocarbons and Managers of Specified Products, as well as to take measures, etc. for…read more

Act on the Improvement of Energy Consumption Performance of Buildings ( 2015 )

This Act provides for 1) regulatory measures for mandatory compliance with energy efficiency standards for large-scale non-residential buildings, and 2) incentive measures such as a labeling system displaying compliance with energy efficiency standards and exception of floor-area ratio regulation for certified building. The incentive measures were implemented on April 1, 2016, and regulatory measures on…read more

Basic Act for National Resilience Contributing to Preventing and Mitigating Disasters for Developing Resilience in the Lives of the Citizenry ( 2013 )

This law defines the Japanese government's responsibility for making the country as a whole more resilient to large-scale disasters. It also defines the basic legal principles of resilience and mandates the government to develop a range of policies to implement resilience initiatives. Most importantly, it stipulates that the government must create a Fundamental Plan for…read more

Act on Purchase of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities (Law No. 108 of 2011) ( 2012 )

This Act obliges electric utilities to purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources (solar PV, wind power, hydraulic power, geothermal and biomass) based on a fixed-period contract with a fixed price. Costs incurred by the utility in purchasing renewable energy sourced electricity shall be transferred to all electricity customers, who pay the “surcharge for renewable…read more

Act Partially Amending the Law on Special Tax Measures (Tax Reform Act 2012) (Law No. 16 of 2012) ( 2012 )

Part of the tax reform implemented by this amendment Act is the introduction of a carbon tax for climate change mitigation purpose, beginning in October 2012. The tax builds onto the pre-existing tax regime on crude oil, gaseous hydrocarbon and coal imports (JPY2,040, JPY1,080 and JPY700 (USD17.33, USD9.17 and USD5.95 respectively). The amount of tax…read more

Low Carbon City Promotion Act (Eco-city Law) (Law No. 84 of 2014) ( 2012 )

The Law is designed to establish a recognition system for low carbon buildings that contribute to the reduction of CO2 in cities, and to give preferential treatment to the buildings of high-performance evaluation through incentives such as tax reduction. Local government is required to make a Low Carbon City Development Plan, and the government gives…read more

Law Concerning the Promotion of Contracts Considering Reduction of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases and Others by the State and Other Entities (Environment Consideration Contract Law) (Law No. 56 of 2007) ( 2007 )

This law aims to enable public authorities, such as the State and local governments, when making a contract, to maintain a fixed level of competition, while evaluating bids in terms of environmental performance as well as cost, and to make contracts with suppliers of products and or services that offer the best environmental performance. The…read more

Fundamental Law on Energy Policy (Basic Act on Energy Policy) and its Strategic Plans (Law No. 71 of 2002) ( 2002 )

A lawmaker-initiated legislation, this Law sought to set out the country’s fundamental and overall energy policy direction after the approval of the Diet. It sets the principles on the use of market mechanisms to encourage a secure and more environmentally friendly supply of energy. It provides that the State has a responsibility to create overarching…read more

Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures (Law No. 107 of 1998) ( 1998 / Mitigation Framework )

This Law is one of the two key climate laws in Japan along with the Energy Conservation Law. The purpose of the Law is to reduce emissions of GHGs derived from anthropogenic activities. GHGs are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, HFC, PFC and sulphur hexafluoride. The Council of Ministers for Global Environmental Conservation is established…read more

Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of New Energy Use (Special Measures Law for Promoting the Use of New Energy) (Law No.37 of 1997) ( 1997 )

The Law aims to accelerate the advancement of the introduction of New Energy. This Law, while clarifying the role of each area for the overall advancement of new energy usage, provided financial support measures for utilities that use new energy. New energy is non-fossil energy, as defined in the Law Concerning the Promotion of Development…read more

Law Concerning the Promotion of Development and Introduction of Oil Alternative Energy (Law No. 71 of 1980) ( 1980 )

After the oil price crises in the 1970s, the government enacted this Law and implemented measures for the development and introduction of alternatives to oil, including renewable energy. Oil Alternative Energy is defined in this law as following: • Energy other than fossil fuel used for burning (as provided by Ministerial Order by the Ministry…read more

Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Conservation Act) (Law No.49 of 1979) ( 1979 )

The Law is the pillar of Japanese energy conservation policy as well as one of the two key climate law. It was enacted in 1979 in the light of the oil shock with a purpose of promoting effective and rational use of energy. It covers the following sectors: energy management in the industrial, commercial, residential…read more

Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act ( 1961 )

This law describes the overall framework for disaster prevention, response, and recovery in Japan. It establishes and defines the roles of disaster prevention councils at the national, subnational, and local levels. Importantly, this law also requires that each council and publicly owned corporations create and implement disaster prevention plan.…read more

Act on Provision of Disaster Relief Expenses (Law no. 82) ( 1948 )

This law establishes criteria for regulating the provision of disaster relief funds. It allows the Disaster Relief Fund to make loans to people and local governments affected by disasters, sets a cap on the total amount of disaster relief an individual can receive, and defines the responsibility of the national and prefecture governments in funding…read more

Disaster Relief Act (Law no. 108) ( 1947 )

The main purpose of this law is to protect victims of disaster and maintain social order by mandating that the government provide disaster relief. The law defines disaster relief, stipulates that prefecture governors are responsible for disaster planning, establishes emergency powers during disaster situations, establishes a Disaster Relief Fund and defines its scope, and establishes…read more

Basic Environment Plan ( 2018 )

Japan's Basic Environmental Plan defines the principles that govern the implementation of environmental policies in Japan, especially with respect to climate change policies. It also outlines the current policy frameworks in place for government environment- and climate change-related policy matters and proposes new areas of priority for the government. The policy priorities related to climate…read more

Fundamental Plan for National Resilience ( 2018 )

This plan defines four overarching principles governing resilience in Japan: preventing loss of life, maintaining state and society functions, minimizing property damage, and achieving swift recovery. The policies planned for by the Japanese government place special emphasis on combining "hard" and "soft" adaptation measures. Examples include developing disaster management facilities, resilient construction, emergency drills, and…read more

Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures ( 2016 / Mitigation Framework )

The Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures was released by the Cabinet in order to promote global warming countermeasures comprehensively and strategically, based on the Paris agreement and Japan's INDC. The Plan is the legal and administration backbone for domestic implementation of Japanese emission reduction goals. The plan defines a path to achieve a mid-term target…read more

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Climate Change Adaptation Plan ( 2015 )

The Japanese government's plan for addressing climate change adaptation in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors outlines the overarching principles that should be applied to adaptation in these sectors, as well as the risks each sector faces from climate change. It describes the current and future measures the government plans to implement to adapt each…read more

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Climate Change Adaptation Plan ( 2015 )

The Japanese government's climate change adaptation policy governing land use, urban development, transportation, housing, and construction outlines the overarching principles of adaptation. These include dealing with uncertainty, considering future risk, considering hard and soft adaptation measures, mainstreaming climate change in business planning, considering green solutions, and considering local and regional contexts. It also outlines the…read more

National Plan for Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change ( 2015 / Adaptation Framework )

Japan’s Adaptation Plan was approved by the Cabinet in November 2015 to provide the government with a sectoral and cross-policy framework to prevent and counter adverse effects of climate change. The Plan details “basic adaptation directions” and “measures” including regarding agriculture, water environments and fisheries, other ecosystems and economic activity. It further discusses sectoral disaster…read more

Strategic Energy Plan ( 2014 )

The Strategic Energy Plan aims at setting the government’s strategy on energy policy. The third version, released in 2014, sets emissions and other energy-related targets for 2030. The Plan notably defines an increased role of renewables in the medium and long terms, and determines the nuclear policy post Fukushima. The Long Term Energy Supply and…read more

Disaster Prevention Basic Plan ( 1982 )

The Disaster Prevention Basic Plan, mandated by the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act and produced by the Central Disaster Prevention Council, outlines the Japanese government's policy towards disaster prevention, response, and recovery. It clarifies a number of important points in the original act, such as the contents and timelines of disaster prevention plans, the meaning behind…read more


NDC Laws and National Policies

26% reduction in GHG emissions by fiscal year (FY) 2030 compared to FY 2013, or 25.4% reduction compared to FY 2005, equivalent to approximately 1.042 billion t-CO2eq in 2030

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: Multiple base years

Source: NDC

Long-term goal to pursue 80% reduction by 2050 against a 2013 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Plan for G... (2016 / Executive)

26% GHG emission reduction by 2030 compared with a 2013 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Plan for G... (2016 / Executive)

More than 3.8% reduction by FY2020 compared to by 2020 against a 2005 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): Plan for G... (2016 / Executive)


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

GOJ continues expanding subjects of Top Runner Program, and regarding highly efficient lighting equipment (e.g. LED lighting and organic EL lighting), we aim to achieve a penetration rate of 100% on a flow basis by 2020 and on a stock basis by 2030 by 2020, 2030 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Strategic ... (2014 / Executive)

100% diffusion of high efficient light such as LED by FY2030 on stock base by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): Plan for G... (2016 / Executive)

Storage battery business will capture a share of 50% in the global storage battery market (20 trillion yen) by 2020 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Storage | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Strategic ... (2014 / Executive)


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Makes sales of electric vehicles, FCV etc. sales account for 50 to 70% of new automobile sales by 2030

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): Plan for G... (2016 / Executive)


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies

25.1% reduction compared to 2013 level (4.5% increase compared to 2005 level) (approximately 28.9 million t-CO2eq.)


Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies

The target for removals is set as approximately 37 million t-CO2 (corresponding to 2.6% reduction of total emissions in FY 2013), approximately 27.8 million t-CO2 by forest carbon sinks measures and 9.1 million t-CO2 by cropland management, grazing land management and revegetation.

LULUCF/Forestry: General

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.


NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Japan is an Annex-I country and submitted its Sixth Communication to the UNFCCC in 2013. The Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures was enacted in 1998 as the first climate-dedicated law. This law initially stipulated obligations to create the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan in accordance to reduction commitments. This ended in the fiscal year 2012 following the decision to withdraw from Kyoto Protocol in the second commitment period. The Act was amended to mandate both central and local governments to formulate the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures from 2013. The new Plan obliges the government to produce a plan containing reduction targets and detailed actions that government entities, business sector and citizens within the jurisdiction shall take to achieve the targets.

Targets for emission reduction have been set by The Fourth Basic Environment Plan (adopted in 2012), stipulating an 80% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050. In 2012, the gov­ern­ment also formulated the Innovative Strategy for Energy and Environment, which was to be followed by a Global Warming Action Plan for the period from 2013. However, after the change of administration at the end of 2012, the government approved a new target of 3.8% reduction below the 2005 baseline. This new target was announced at the Warsaw COP19 Conference in 2013, recalling the previous target of 25%. This new reduction target is a tentative figure that does not take into account the emissions reduction impact of nuclear power use. Based on studies of energy policy and energy mix, the figure will be reviewed and a final target will be set.  In late 2014, the Ministry of the Environment (MOEJ) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) were working on Japan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) ahead of COP21 in late 2015.

Climate change issues are approved at the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters, comprised of all members of the cabinet and led by the Prime Minister.

Energy supply

According to the International Energy Agency, the energy mix in 2012 was 47% oil, 24% natural gas, 23% coal, 3% hydro, 2% renewable energy and 1% nuclear power. Before the shutdown of the nuclear reactors in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, nuclear power accounted for approximately 13% of primary energy (2010 figures). Oil, coal and natural gas are mostly imported.

The triple disaster in 2011, including the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, triggered a heated public debate on nuclear power. The government set up the Energy and Environment Council, tasked with examining a redefinition of national energy strategy and climate change countermeasures. In 2012, the Council examined three nuclear dependency scenarios (0%, 15%, 20–25% nuclear power ) and advocated the lower dependency scenarios and an increased ‘green energy’ share in their Innovate Strategy for Energy and Environ­ment.

The change of administration in late 2012 led to prominent voices calling for nuclear power to be acknowledged as an important baseload power source, which contributes to the stability of energy demand structure. Accordingly, the Energy Basic Plan was revised in April 2014, to re-include nuclear energy in the energy mix; however, it aims to lower the dependence on nuclear power as much as possible by the promotion of energy savings, the introduction of renewable energy, and the promotion of the efficiency of thermal power plants.

It has been stipulated that operations at nuclear facilities will resume, but that reactors must pass the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspections and meet the most severe regulatory standard in the world. It remains to be seen how the December 2014 elections (in which the Liberal Democratic Party administration kept power) will influence the nuclear energy strategy.

Zero-carbon power plants are viewed as essential to achieve the long-term goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050; a project by the Ministry of Environment to promote CCS in coal-fired power plants was started in 2014 and budgeted at JPY1.2 bn (USD10.2m) for the fiscal year 2014.

Energy demand

Energy efficiency has been widely practised in Japan. An energy conservation law was introduced as early as 1979 following the oil crises in the 1970s. The law has served as the foundation of energy demand policy; it has been revised numerous times, lastly in November 2014. The Energy Conservation Act concerns energy efficiency in building structures and reporting by companies.

The 2003 amendment to the Basic Act on Energy Policy promotes energy demand and supply related policies in a long-term, compre­hensive, and strategic manner. Subsequently, voluntary energy efficiency and conservation measures have expanded widely. The MOEJ-led campaigns since 2005, COOL BIZ and WARM BIZ, have encouraged people to dress down so that use of air conditioning could be limited (keeping building temperature at 28°C in summer and 20°C in winter).

Numerous subsidies have been introduced by MOEJ, METI and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to support investment for energy efficiency in buildings, housings and business as well as use of renewable energy and introduction of cogeneration. This includes the subsidy on interest payment (maximum 1% annually) for so-called “eco-loan” businesses, which reduced the amount of CO2 emission by more than 5% within the 5 years of the start of the loan. Eco-point schemes have been introduced for various sectors, allowing consumers of verified green products and services to attain eco-points that could be exchanged to other products and services. The MOEJ-led home electronics eco-point scheme (2009 -2011) was available to consumers of home electronic appliances that attained level 4 energy efficiency and above (green home electronics). The housing eco-point scheme (2009-2014) was jointly led by the MOEJ, METI and MLIT, by which the issued eco-points could also be donated to support the reconstruction of areas damaged by the 2011 disaster.

In 2012 the Low Carbon City Promotion Act entered into force, establishing a recognition system for low-emitting buildings, as a part of a plan to incentivise low carbon cities.

Carbon pricing

The Act on Purchase of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities, approved in 2011, introduced a feed-in tariff system for renewable energy and a carbon taxation system. The carbon tax is designed to help reduce emissions of GHGs and builds on the pre-existing tax regime on crude oil and coal imports. The intro­duction of the carbon tax is one of the items of the Tax Reform Act 2012.

In 2005, Japan’s Voluntary Emission Trading Scheme (JVETS) was established by the Ministry of the Environment Japan. There is also a carbon offset credit system called Japan-Verified Emission Reduction (J-VER), which started in 2008. At subnational level, Tokyo launched a mandatory carbon reduction scheme which includes the Tokyo ETS. The Saitama prefecture also has a voluntary ETS.

The sixth communication to the UNFCCC (2013) states that the government will aim to increase the share of highly energy-efficient next-generation vehicles in the new car sales from 50% to 70% by 2030. Tax incentives for low-polluting and next-generation cars, though not explicitly designed to cut CO2 emission, are expected to increase the share of next-generation vehicles that would contribute to carbon reduction. There are two types of automobile tax schemes: green tax on motor vehicles and eco-car tax reduction scheme. The green tax (introduced 2002) provides a tax break for low-polluting vehicles and increases tax rates for petroleum-based vehicles more than 13 years old and diesel vehicles more than 11 years old. The eco-car tax reduction (introduced in 2009) is applicable for vehicles meeting emission standards, including EVs. The tax reduction is 50-100% for automobile weight tax and 60-100% for automobile acquisition tax (as of 14 January 2015). Consequently, new generation cars accounted for 23.3% of new car sales in 2013 as opposed to 3% in 2008.

The government also announced it will support bulk purchases of EVs that will lead to a price reduction, support research and development to extend a cruising range and reduce cost. Efforts are being made to review regulations and support release of fuel-cell vehicles to the market in 2015 – hydrogen infrastructure will be expanded and supported. Additional initiatives are mentioned in the communication to the UNFCCC, such as supporting modal shifts and public transportation, improved flow of traffic and environmentally friendly usage of vehicles.

In January 2015 the cabinet partially amended the Law on Special Tax Measures. The amendment reduces tax rates and extends the types of automobile subject to green taxes. Newly introduced car includes clean-diesel automobiles (that meet 2009 gas emission standard), for which the tax is reduced by 75%. This reform will also extend tax reduction for new light automobiles. A planned tax increase for two wheelers will be postponed from 1 April 2015 to 1 April 2016.


Japan is highly vulnerable to the following impacts of climate change: sea level rise leading to serious and frequent high tides and coastal erosions; more intense typhoons leading to more serious and frequent floods and sediment disasters; and a variation in precipitation and earlier snow melt changing river flow and water use patterns and leading to droughts in summer. Most adaptation measures are taken at subnational level. Several prefectures have established measures, for example, alert systems to floods and heat strokes in the Kyoto prefecture, a task force for adaptation in the Nagano prefecture and coastal protection and water resource management in the Okinawa action plan.

At the national level, the main efforts have focused on research identifying challenges in light of a future adaptation plan. A key element in this was the 2010 report published by a cross-sectoral Committee on Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation, compiled by scientists, professionals from the main sectors and local and national government representatives. In 2012 a new comprehensive report on observation and prediction of climate change was published. The main findings are to be discussed in early 2015, and a national adaptation plan is expected by summer 2015.

To date, Japan does not have any litigation listed.

The National Diet is the sole law-making organ of the State based on the Constitution promulgated in 1946. The Diet comprises two houses: The House of Representatives (the lower house) and the House of Councillors (the upper House). The House of Representatives has 480 members elected for a four-year term by a combination of single-seat constituency system and proportional representation. The Lower House may be dissolved at any time by the Emperor on the advice of the Prime Minister. The last general election for the House of Representatives took place in December 2014 upon the Prime Minister’s decision to dissolve the Lower House. The next Lower House election is expected to take place late 2018 unless it is dissolved. The House of Councillors (the Upper House) has 242 members, elected for a six-year term – every three years half of the Upper House members are elected. The last Upper House election took place in July 2016 and the next is expected for 2019.

Japan is a parliamentary cabinet system, and more than half of cabinet members are selected from MPs by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is elected by MPs through a resolution of the Diet. MPs and the Cabinet are qualified to submit bills, and all the bills are passed to a committee for deliberation, which sometimes includes open hearings. After the committee votes on the bill, it is passed for approval to Diet plenary session in both houses. If the two chambers’ votes are at odds, a conference committee is convened in an attempt to reach a compromise. After a law is passed it is promulgated by the Emperor and announced in the government gazette. The Diet also has the authority to approve the budget, ratify treaties and amend the Constitution.

Last modified 27 October, 2019