Philippines-Japan agreement on JPEPA confirms no toxic waste

May. 24, 2007

MANILA — In a significant development to promote bilateral Philippines-Japan relations, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Dr. Alberto G. Romulo announced today (May 24) that the Philippine and Japanese Governments have confirmed that Japan will not export toxic waste to the Philippines under the Japan-Philippines Economic Promotion Agreement (JPEPA). This understanding is contained in an exchange of notes through diplomatic channels

The Japanese Government has clearly confirmed that it will not permit the export from Japan of toxic waste to the Philippines. This is a clear demonstration of Japans good faith in promoting closer economic relations with our country, said Secretary Romulo.

The diplomatic notes stipulate that Japan would not be exporting toxic waste to the Philippines, as defined and prohibited under the laws of the Philippines and Japan, in accordance with the Basel Convention. This exchange confirms this non-exportation commitment which had been given earlier to H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by H.E. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan during the lattters visit to the Philippines last December.

The two governments, therefore, have agreed that their laws prohibiting the export of toxic waste will apply when implementing JPEPA, Secretary Romulo emphasized.

This exchange of diplomatic notes illustrates the strong commitment of both our countries to address environmental concerns as well as development. It should lay to rest any lingering concerns regarding the toxic waste issue so that we can proceed with the JPEPA, which will bring considerable benefits for the Philippines both in trade and in labor, observed Secretary Romulo.

JPEPA was signed on 9 September 2006 by President Arroyo and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Helsinki, Finland. It is awaiting concurrence of the Philippine Senate.END

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