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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 22 (March 12, 2010)

Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(provisional translation of the Japanese version of the Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine, which is delivered on Thursdays)

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

"Environment -- from the home to the region"

Have you ever heard the term "venous industry"? It is a term that describes the industry in which various used products are recycled so that they can be used again or new materials are produced through recycling.

Last Saturday, I visited Super Eco Town in Jonanjima, Ota City, Tokyo, a site where venous industries are concentrated to resolve the waste issue in the Tokyo metropolitan area and realize a recycling society.

The task of manually taking apart collected cellular phones and digital cameras that are no longer in use and sorting the parts so that gold, silver, and precious rare metals, such as palladium, can be easily extracted from them gave me the impression of a future "urban mine." One of the other companies I toured produces electricity sufficient to supply 2,400 households everyday by using methane gas generated from food waste. Touring these companies reminded me of the importance of recycling.

Consuming in the local region foods produced in the same region is called "local production for local consumption." Recycling activity is just the same; I heard that making a system for recycling to be completed within the region, called "chi-cycle*," is important. I also learned how these companies struggle as they gather material for recycling and bear the burden of costs. Hearing them, I thought that the government should support the venous industry and put more efforts into creating recycling systems nationwide.

Just this Monday, acceptance of applications for the eco-point system for housing started. The system is applicable not only for new homes but also for renovations such as for heat insulation for windows. I hope that this system will facilitate building of housing that is friendly to both the environment and the household economy, such as by reducing utility expenses.

Even the significant goal of preventing global warming can be accomplished through the buildup of ingenious innovations and efforts taken at each individual household, company, and region.

The government is advancing the Challenge 25 Campaign with the goal to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, by 25% by 2020. I would once again like to ask each and every one of you to take on various challenges, at home, in the workplace, and in the region.

* "Chi" in this context stands for region in Japanese.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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