Yet today's environmental problems are too critical to be dealt with solely through measures to prevent industrial pollution. If we are to minimize the load on the environment from, for example, waste disposal and water pollution generated in cities, society itself must be fundamentally changed. We must radically revise various social and economic systems, such as the layout of cities and the arrangement of transport networks, and we must also upgrade social infrastructure and, indeed, raise the consciousness of citizenry.
On the international agenda are such world-scale problems as global warming, the depletion of tropical rain forests, desertification, acid rain, and pollution of the oceans. The international community's response to the problem of global warming in particular will be having profound effects on our ways of life and business. Naturally, there must be overall measures taken, but technological breakthrough will also be necessary. The problems are such that no country alone can come up with all the answers.
The task before us is not merely one of rethinking the problems caused by the pursuit of affluence in a culture that encourages mass consumption; we must also come to grips with the global problems of poverty and population increase, aiming to hand over to future generations a healthy environment that allows sustainable development on a global scale. The governments, companies, and people of each nation must become more aware of their roles in this endeavor. People throughout the world must join hands to create new social and economic systems that allow the advancement of the welfare of all human beings and the conservation of the whole world's environment.
Japan must not rest content with its good record in pollution control thus far. The business world, academic circles, and government must pool their resources to create innovative technologies for preserving the environment, conserving energy, and cutting back on resource consumption.
While drawing on the Japanese experience in reconciling economic development with environmental protection, we must actively participate in international environmental undertakings. Concerning such problems as global warming, we should support the efforts on more scientific research into their causes and effects and also begin work immediately on the feasible countermeasures.
By showing that it takes environmental problems seriously, the business world can gain the trust and sympathy of the public. This will foster a mutually beneficial relationship between producers and consumers, thereby encouraging the healthy development of the economy. With the above situation in mind, Keidanren offers the guidelines outlined below to its members. It is to be hoped that each member, always consulting with and seeking the understanding and cooperation of consumers, government officials, and others, will conduct its business in conformity with these guidelines.