October 30, 2000

Establishment of the Promotion Center for Automobile Recycling

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA) and eight automobile-related organizations (Note 1) have jointly decided to establish the Promotion Center for Automobile Recycling. The meeting of promoters for the new Center took place on Friday, October 27, 2000.
Business will commence some time until the end of November when the competent ministerial agencies (Note 2) have given their official approval.

Until now, the recycling of automobiles has been carried out under the "End-of-Life Vehicles Recycling Initiative" of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and the voluntary action plans adopted by all industries concerned and individual companies which embraced a voluntary commitment to recycling from the automobile design and manufacturing to the disposal stages on the basis of the said Initiative.

However, the conditions concerning the recycling of automobiles and their appropriate disposal are showing significant changes from the situation at the time when the End-of-Life Vehicles Recycling Initiative was passed (1997) due to the enforcement and revision of relating acts such as the Basic Law for Promoting a Recycling-Based Society and the individual enforcement acts including the Container and Packing Recycling and Household Appliances and the establishment of the European Union's Directive on End-of-Life Cars.

Under these conditions, this Center has been created to give further impetus to the establishment by the automobile industry of effective recycling measures for vehicles. Its purpose is (1) to ensure greater coordination of the activities by unifying efforts of the industries concerned and to promote the smooth implementation of concrete actions, (2) to form a coordinated and unified opinion among the industries on the issues of automobile recycling and to promote a better and fuller understanding among the ministerial agencies concerned and the general public at large, and (3) to acts as an organization promoting automobile recycling measures to be undertaken by the automobile industries in the future. (Information Material 2)

This Center will engage, for the time being, in the following activities that are already being undertaken by JAMA. These activities are: (a) Printing and issue of manifests, (b) System for recovering and destroying specific chlorofluorocarbons (CFC12), (c) Studies concerning end-of-life vehicles, (d) Offering automobile recycling-related information. In the future, the system for collection and recycling airbags (currently under experimental operation at the Subcommittee of the JAMA and the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association) and the system for recovering and destroying alternative chlorofluorocarbons (HFC134a) (currently being developed) will be transferred to the Center which is also anticipated to include in its activity scope those measures that are based on the results of forecasts made about the automobile recycling system by the Subcommittee for Automobile Recycling of the Industrial Structure Council.

(Note 1) The eight related organizations are: Japan Auto Parts Industries Association, Japan Automobile Dealers Association, Japan Mini Vehicles Association, Japan Automobile Importers Association, Japan Used Car Dealers Association, Japan Automobile Service Promotion Association, Iron Recycling Industry Association, and JARI

(Note 2) The main ministries in charge are: Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Ministry of Transport

Information Material 2


The first Japanese-built cars were produced at the beginning of the 20th century, and now that almost a century has passed since then, the automotive industry is one of Japan's core sectors. It holds great expectations and has an equally heavy burden of responsibility both at home and abroad. In the course of its history it has faced and coped with the many problems that have arisen from generation to generation, with commitments such as traffic safety measures, energy and resource saving programs, and in more recent years actions to reduce environmental impacts.

Once of the major challenges we face at the dawn of the 21st century is the establishment of a "recycling-based society." The automobile-related industries have until the present taken the following actions to cope with the problems of recycling and waste treatment: Based on the "End-of-Life Vehicles Recycling Initiative" announced by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1997, measures were initiated for the recovery and destruction of specific chlorofluorocarbons, for the collection and recycling of air bag inflators, for the reduction of the amount of shredder residues, and for the operation of the Manifest System. The industries have embraced voluntary commitments to the problems mainly arising at the stage of end of life vehicles. Amidst these moves, however, there are still many significant differences among the vendors in the used car business sector, repair operators, car disassembly and demolition businesses and vehicle shredding operators in the way in which business or service approval is being handled at all stages in the waste disposal or recycling area and also in terms of the certification criteria for used cars. It is therefore recognized that a coordinated and unified effort will be needed targeting the entire automobile related industries in a common endeavor to come to terms with these problems.

In Japan, developments have taken place in more recent years with the establishment of the Basic Law for Promoting a Recycling-Based Society and the revision of the Law for Promoting the Effective Use of Natural Resources and the Waste Disposal and Public Cleaning Law. There has also been progress in the development of a legal system governing the recycling activities for each product and industrial field such as containers and packaging and household electric appliances. Abroad, the European Union has created a legal framework of end-of-life vehicle aimed at preventing the illegal disposal and promoting the recycling. This EU Directive came into effect on October 21 of this year. The situation concerning the recycling of automobiles and their appropriate disposal is changing substantially both at home and abroad from the time when the "End-of-Life Vehicles Recycling Initiative" was established.

Under these conditions, it is essential to have an industry-wide organization whose task will be to foster a coordinated approach to the basic principles and concrete action programs of their own in order to resolve the problems encountered in the "Establishment of a Recycling-Based Society" for the 21st century, and through such a concerted industry-wide approach, to bring about a smooth system for the recycling of end-of-vehicles and build mutual trust among all stakeholders, to promote a more sophisticated system for recycling automobiles, to establish unified action programs to deal with environmental problems, and to promote effective efforts to this end.

In recognition of these issues, it has been decided to establish the Promotion Center for Automobile Recycling for the purpose of contributing to a high standard of living in an endeavor to secure the interests of automobile users and ensure the sound development of the national economy through the recycling of automobiles and promoting their appropriate disposal and thereby make a contribution to the more effective utilization of natural resources and the protection of the environment.