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Conference on chemical control opens in Tokyo.

TOKYO, Sept. 9 Kyodo

A three-day international conference aimed at dealing with the release of chemicals into the environment opened in Tokyo on Wednesday, with about 200 experts from 40 countries attending.

Participants at the conference, sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), began discussions on the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), which requires companies to report the amount of chemicals they release into the environment.

Joke Waller-Hunter, director of the OECD's Environment Directorate, said the PRTR system is more effective than a regulation on chemical substances, adding that the system has benefits for companies because it allows them to reduce costs by reducing wasteful emissions.

Under the system, companies submit reports on emissions of harmful chemical substances to the central government. The information is then released to the public.

The OECD urged member nations to introduce the system in 1996.

The United States, Canada and the Netherlands have already introduced the system. Japan is still considering legislation relating to the system.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Sep 14, 1998
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