Germany and Japan share a set of similarities: both countries are technological pioneers, and they are highly export-oriented and strongly dependent on imports at the same time. While Germany is primarily leading in the field of environmental technologies, Japan is advanced in strategic issues of resource management. The ongoing Japanese G8 initiative "3R" (reduction, reuse, recycle) is meeting great response. This initiative and the Japanese governance structures are interesting for German environmental policies for two reasons: First, national policy can learn from exchange. Secondly, the German EU/G8 presidencies in 2007 offer a favourable time slot for mechanisms of international cooperation and policy learning, especially as Japan takes up the G8 presidency right after Germany.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the formulation of strategies, policy programmes and concepts for a sustainable use of natural resources with reference to Japanese experiences. The legislative and economic instruments and initiatives implemented for resource conservation and material efficiency in Japan will be highlighted and analysed with particular respect to their success factors, as the Japanese government presently ranks as precursor for a proactive and resource productivity increasing industrial policy.
For the improvement of resource productivity and conservation in Germany, promising collaboration projects in selective innovation fields are to be initiated. Against the background of the German G8 presidency in 2007, two activities will serve as vital elements of the project: 1. A bilateral workshop, i.e. a German-Japanese experts dialogue, and 2. an international conference that involves politics and develops strategies and perspectives for implementation in Germany.