The EU and Japan have developed good co-operation in the field of environment. There are frequent contacts between DG Environment and the Japanese Administration, the Ministry of Environment, METI, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as with representatives of Japanese industry based in Japan or in Brussels.
The EU and Japan have a comprehensive agenda of promoting sustainable development. The European Commission attaches particular importance to strengthening co-operation with Japan on multilateral environmental issues - including in the context of the follow-up to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Co-operation with Japan in multilateral fora has led to progress on a number of important global health and environment issues - most recently with the agreement in January 2013 to conclude the text of a Mercury Treaty. The diplomatic ceremony for the official signature of the Mercury Treaty took place on 10 October 2013 in the Japanese town of Minamata.
A structured dialogue exists between the European Commission and the Japanese Ministry of Environment in the form of High-Level Meetings on the Environment. The next meeting is expected to convene in the latter part of 2014 in Brussels.
Relations with Japan are also important in the wider context of the Asia-Europe Meeting's activities on environment.