Government Organisations

Environmental Dispute Coordination Commission, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

The Environmental Dispute Coordination Commission is an administrative commission whose main duties are to:

(1) resolve environmental disputes, in coordination with Prefectural Pollution Review Boards and local governments, through prompt conciliation and adjudication based on the 1970 Act on the Settlement of Environmental Pollution Disputes; and

(2) coordinate land use and adjudicate appeals relating to mining, gravel quarrying, and other industries based on the 1950 Act on Adjustment Procedures for Utilization of Lands for Mining and Other Industries.


Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA)

From April 2004, the Commissioner of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency has the authority to mobilize and control firefighting teams in the event of large-scale disasters or accidents. This includes gathering and analyzing real-time information and then instructing the mobilization of Emergency Fire Response Teams in accordance with the disaster conditions. These elite and highly-trained teams supplement and support local firefighting organizations in fighting fires, providing rescue and emergency activities, responding to natural disasters, and protecting the safety and security of local residents. The FDMA works with the Fire Defense Headquarters and Volunteer Fire Corps nationwide in order to develop the necessary regulations and organization of related equipment. FDMA assumes a coordinating role to ensure that responses to emergencies are swift and effective.


Fisheries Agency

The Fisheries Agency is one of the three principal organizations within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It consists of the: Fisheries Policy Planning Department, Resources Management Department, Resources Enhancement Promotion Department, Fisheries Infrastructure Department, and Fisheries Management Office.


Forestry Agency

The Forestry Agency is one of the three principal organizations within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It consists of the: Forestry Policy Planning Department, Private Forest Department, National Forest Department, Regional Forest Department, and Forest Training Institute.


Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

JMA operates an array of observation networks to monitor weather, climate and the environment around the clock on a nationwide scale. JMA is a pioneer in the development and use of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) systems. JMA provides aviation weather services for airlines and Japan's air traffic control authority. JMA carries out various types of observation, monitoring and research relating to global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, and climate change. JMA operates an earthquake observation network comprised of about 200 seismographs and 600 seismic intensity meters, and this data is collected and processed in an Earthquake Phenomena Observation System (EPOS) on a real-time basis. JMA maintains state-of-the-art telecommunications and computer data processing systems to support efficient and effective weather services. JMA offers a variety of meteorological data and products to the private weather service business sector and maintains cooperative relations with the media. JMA constantly engages in international cooperation through multilateral and bilateral channels.


Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB)

The mission of the JTSB is to prevent the occurence of accidents and to mitigate the damage caused by them; thereby improving transport safety and protecting lives. JTSB conducts appropriate accident investigations and urges the implementation of necessary policies and measures through issuing safety recommendations and opinions as well as providing safety information.


Japan Water Agency (JWA)

The Japan Water Agency (JWA) was established in 2001 to develop and manage the water resources in seven major river systems and to provide a stable supply of water at a reasonable cost in metropolitan zones--particularly in the Tokyo, Chubu and Kinki zones. Its mission also includes: preventing and mitigating flood hazards, crisis preparation, ensuring the integrity of facilities, natural environment conservation, and promoting international cooperation.


Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is a cabinet-level ministry responsible for overseeing the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. The primary functions of the ministry are to: set quality standards for food products, guarantee the Japanese public a safe food supply, supervise commodity markets and food sales, protect producers and workers in the food production industries, and undertake land reclamation and land improvement projects.


Ministry of the Environment

The Ministry of the Environment is a Cabinet-level ministry responsible for global environmental conservation, pollution control, and nature conservation. The ministry was formed in 2001 from the sub-cabinet level Environmental Agency established in 1971. The departments of the ministry include:

Environmental Policy:

Global Environment:

Waste & Recycling:

Air & Transportation:

Water/Soil/Ground Environment:

Health & Chemicals:

Nature & Parks:


Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Environment

The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs is a Cabinet-level ministry responsible for the country's foreign relations and is divided into ten bureaus. Within the International Cooperation Bureau are the Global Environment Division and the Climate Change Division. These two bureaus are responsible for global issues and ODA in the following areas: Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Environment, Health and Medical Care, Human Security, Maritime Affairs, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Outer Space, Science and Technology, and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shares responsibility for international policies relating to Marine Pollution, Chemicals and Hazardous Waste, Protection of the Ozone Layer, Biodiversity, Endangered Species and Illegal Wildlife Trade, Forests and Desertification, Acid Rain, The Antarctic Treaty, Sustainable Development, the 3R Initiative, Water and Sanitation, and the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). It has primary responsibility for relations with international Organizations, such as the UN Environmental Programme, International Environmental Technology Centre, and the Global Environmental Forum.


Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)

MLIT is the largest Japanese ministry in terms of employees, and it was reorganized in 2011 to unify the administration of water resources, land conservation, land planning, and urban and regional development. MLIT is organized into the following bureaus: Minister's Secretariat, Policy Bureau, National and Regional Policy Bureau, Land Economy and Construction and Engineering Industry Bureau, City Bureau, Water and Disaster Management Bureau, Road Bureau, Housing Bureau, Railway Bureau, Road Transport Bureau, Maritime Bureau, Ports and Harbours Bureau, Civil Aviation Bureau, Hokkaido Bureau, Director-General for Policy Planning, Director-General for Policy Planning, and Director-General for International Affairs.

MLIT also oversees the following external agencies: Japan Transport Safety Board, Japan Tourism Agency, Japan Meteorological Agency, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, Japan Coast Guard, National Institute for Sea Training, and the National Parks of Japan.


National Parks of Japan

National Parks are administered as an external agency of MLIT. As of 2020, there were 34 parks designated as National Parks. The Natural Park Act was enacted in 1957, leading to the establishment of the present-day classification of: national parks, quasi-national parks, and prefectural natural parks. National parks are designated by the Minister of the Environment in accordance with the Natural Parks Act and are subject to the systems and structures which aim to promote protection and optimal usage of natural resources. This serves two purposes:

(1) it restricts development projects and other human activities with a view to protecting the exceptional natural landscapes that are characteristic of Japan; and

(2) it fosters a joyful experience of nature, including an appreciation of landscapes.


Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Japan (NRA)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is an administrative body of the Cabinet of Japan and is within the Ministry of the Environment. The NRA was formed by merging the Nuclear Safety Commission, which came under the authority of the Cabinet, and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), which was under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). After the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the March 11, 2011, earthquake, the government's safety measures were seen to be inadequate. Also, NISA, being under the umbrella of METI, which was also responsible for promoting the use of nuclear power, was seen as having a conflict of interest. As a consequence, the new agency was established under the Ministry of the Environment.

NRA’s Core Values and Principles, stated in 2013, are that the NRA was established to absorb and learn the lessons of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident of March 11, 2011. Such nuclear accidents should never be allowed to happen again; restoring public trust, in Japan and abroad, in the nation’s nuclear regulatory organization is of utmost importance; and the nuclear safety system and management must be rebuilt on a solid basis, placing the highest priority on public safety and a genuine safety culture. NRA's stated fundamental mission is to protect the general public and the environment through rigorous and reliable regulations of nuclear activities.