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Japan Tightens the Control over Mercury Pollution: New Regulations Effective in 2025

from CIRS by

On November 28, 2023, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that the cabinet has approved the partial amendment to the Act on Preventing Environmental Pollution of Mercury. It aims to respond to the Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, where new regulations for specified mercury-containing products were established. Act on Preventing Environmental Pollution of Mercury mainly aims to regulate the mining of mercury and the manufacturing of mercury-containing products to prevent environmental pollution.

The amendment includes the following five products being newly listed as specified mercury-containing products:

1. Strain gauges for pulse monitors;

2. Vacuum pumps;

3. Wheel balancing weights;

4. Photographic films and papers; and

5. Propellants for spacecraft (including artificial satellites).

According to the METI, this decree was published on December 1, 2023, and will officially come into effect on January 1, 2025 . This amendment reflects the Japanese government's strong support for international environmental commitments and its efforts to reduce the threat of mercury to the environment and human health.

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