The Holding of a Conference for establishing "Wa-no-kuni"
-an eco-society through partnership- in the 21st Century

1 March 2001

1.Purpose of the Conference

As we enter the 21st century, in order to ensure that our planet will continue to be a healthy and hospitable place for humankind, it is incumbent upon society as a whole to address a variety of environmental issues, such as that of global warming.

Since these environmental issues arose as a result of our socio-economic activities, the government must adopt various measures from an environmental perspective, and society as a whole must review its socio-economic modalities to include consideration for the environment.

In order to do so, a conference will be convened in order to discuss policies for the creation of "Wa-no-kuni". The conference will solicit the opinions of Cabinet members as well as experts from a broad range of disciplines.

2.Meaning of Wanokuni

The term "Wa-no-kuni" is intended to convey a "recycling-based society which emphasizes simplicity, quality and sustainability" rather than the society of "mass production, mass consumerism and mass disposal" which characterized the 20th century.

On the whole the Japanese word "Wa" is meant to call to mind "eco", a "recycling"-based society, "partnership" among people, "harmonious" relationships between humankind and living things, and Japan's "links" to the world, based on the traditional Japanese concept of "Wa" (circle/cycle/harmony/partnership).

3.Composition of the Conference, etc.

The conference will include all members of the Cabinet in addition to the individuals listed below. The conference may also call upon other people as it deems necessary.

The Prime Minister will serve as the conference chair, and proceedings will be led by the Minister of the Environment.

General matters pertaining to the conference will be organized by the Cabinet Secretariat, with the cooperation of the Ministry of the Environment.

Yuko SakitaJournalist and environmental counselor
Masamitsu SakuraiPresident, Ricoh Co., Ltd.
Koichi SueyoshiMayor of Kitakyushu
Shinji FukukawaChief Executive Officer, Dentsu Institute for Human Studies
Masao MaekawaChairman, MAYEKAWA Mfg. Co., Ltd
Yoichi MorishitaChairman, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Akio MorishimaChair of the Board of Directors, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Ryoichi YamamotoProfessor, Center for Collaborative Research, The University of Tokyo
Takeshi YoroProfessor, Faculty of General Studies, Center for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kitasato University
Izumi WashitaniProfessor, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo

Note: Both the Parliamentary Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Administrative Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary will attend the conference.