Law enforcement : Capacity Building :: Japan
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Law enforcement Capacity Building: Japan

Capacity Building (Measurements in the Private Sector)

Compliance with regulations developed by the legislation such as the Water Pollution Control Law requires measurement of the quality of effluents. In Japan, continuous monitoring of public water and groundwater is the responsibility of governors, and the measurements are made by the national and local governments. However, Article 14 of the Water Pollution Control Law requires that Private sector entrepreneurs measure and record the quality of effluents from their factories and business establishments.

This has led to certification of pollution control managers. In addition, factories take environmentally certified public measurers to assure proper accuracy and precision of the measurements.

Establishment of Pollution Control Organizations

The “Law Concerning the Improvement of Pollution Prevention Systems in Specific Factories”, enacted in 1971, requires that factories form in-factory pollution control organizations for the prevention and control of pollutant emissions.

Specific factories, such as manufacturing industries and electric power plants, are among the facilities regulated under pollution control laws including the Water Pollution Control Law and the Air Pollution Control Law. These factories are required to establish an infrastructure that takes responsibility for the pollution control. The basic organization of the infrastructure for pollution control consists of the “supervisor for pollution control”, the “pollution control manager“ and the “chief pollution control manager.”

Certified Analysts for Environment

The “Measurement Law” provides the standards for measurement and ensures that they are conducted properly. Certification of water quality measurement and the accuracy of measured values require management of specific measurement devices and criteria including equipment maintenance, maintenance of measurement accuracy, improvement of measurement methods, and the practice of appropriate measurements. The Measurement Law requires registration not only for the measurement certification, but also the job descriptions as certified analysts for environment.

The public measure system qualifies and registers those who have passed the national examination as the certified analysts for environment. Only registered analysts can obtain jobs in measurement management. As noise vibration and the concentration of hazardous substances had become increasingly important in 1974, “Certified analysts for environment” were introduced. Later, because of the broad environmental fields, certified analysts for environment were divided to two categories: one for chemical parameters, and one for the physical parameters such as noise and vibration. At present there are 3 categories including, 1) “certified analysts for environment (chemical analysis),” 2) “certified analysts for environment (noise and vibration)” and 3) “general certified analysts for environment (general).

Consulting Engineer and Assistant Consulting Engineer

“Consulting Engineer” is the title that is given to the person who passed the national examination based on the Consulting Engineers Law. It is a qualification authorizing system of the technical expert to attempt a sound development of the technological consultant. “Consulting Engineer” is the most authoritative qualification for technical experts who are engaged in the specific aspects of the science and technology. This title will be help in selecting consultant company, for instance, when a corporation, or a municipal government or a national government needs assistance from a technological consultant.

“Assistant Consulting Engineer” is the title which is given to the person who passed the national examination based on the Consulting Engineers Law, and is to assist Consulting Engineer to acquire skills that are necessary to become a Consulting Engineer.

There is “Environmental sector” on this qualification system, as the technological category related to the environmental problem.

In the investigation in 1990, about 15% out of the whole Consulting Engineers are independent as consulting engineer, about 42% work at consulting companies and mainly engages in the public projects, and about 44% work at construction or manufacturing corporations as senior technological staff.

Reference: Okada M, Peterson SA.(2000): “Water Pollution Control Policy and Management: the Japanese Experience”. Gyosei, Japan, 287pp.