The Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) is held in Yokohama on August 28-30. Concurrently with the conference, the Second General Meeting of the African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP) was held on August 26-27 and various views were exchanged under the theme of ‘Sustainable Waste Management toward Clean and Resilient Cities’. I made a speech on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment as one of the co-hosts of the meeting. Japan’s cooperation with African countries ranges over diverse activities and I have been involved in many of them. From these experiences, I have had an impression that the people in African countries are very seriously tackling the environmental issues including the waste management, and thus facing many struggles within their countries.
When it comes to waste management, ‘Fukuoka method’ was repeatedly referred to in their speeches. It is a waste disposal technique invented by Professor Yasushi Matsufuji of Fukuoka University. With the cooperation of Fukuoka Municipal Office and Fukuoka Prefectural Government, the method is promoted in and out of Japan. The term ‘Fukuoka method’ is now commonly used internationally. I am from Fukuoka, and I was proud to hear the name of ‘Fukuoka’ at the general meeting of the ACCP.