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23 May 2016

Japan: Olympics timber sourcing code 'inadequate and unsustainable'

On 17 May 2016, the Organising Committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics published for public comment a draft sourcing code for sustainable wood procurement. Only one week (until 24 May) was given for members of the public to submit any comments. The draft sourcing code appears to be available only in Japanese. 

On 20 May, a joint statement was issued by Friends of the Earth Japan, the Global Environment Forum, and the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, criticizing the draft sourcing code as inadequate and unsustainable. The three NGOs note that up to 12 percent of timber imported to Japan may be logged illegally, a level far higher than that in other industrialised countries. Legislation was recently adopted by the Japanese parliament that would address this situation – yet the draft sourcing code does not even appear to live up to the standards in the new Act. The NGOs also point to the lack of consultation and transparency in preparing the draft sourcing code.