HOKKAIDO, Japan, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Environmental ministers from Japan, South Korea and China met Sunday in Tomakomai City of Hokkaido, Japan to further cooperation in dealing with environmental challenges including climate change and cross-border pollution.
During the two-day meeting, the ministers held bilateral and trilateral meetings to stress the importance of regional cooperation amid growing environment concerns facing the region and the world.
Areas the countries aim to work together on include dust and sandstorms, transboundary movement of e-waste, management of chemicals, among others.
Zhou Shengxian, minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, said as a developing country, China has made mistakes in sacrificing the environment for industrial growth, however, the government has increasingly realized the importance of sustainable growth.
"The environment ministry of China has started stringent monitoring and supervising systems over pollution and we have seen remarkable improvements in many areas," Zhou said.
However, despite having brought down the energy consumption per GDP unit and reduced sulfur dioxide, China still has a lot to learn from Japan and South Korea in cutting pollution and green development, Zhou added.
Sakihito Ozawa, environment minister of Japan, repeated that Japan aimed to cut greenhouse gas emission by 25 percent by 2020 and introduced Japan's vision for a new development strategy which put emphasis on environment-friendly industries.
Lee Maan-Ee, the Korean environment minister, said by enhancing cooperation, East Asia should be a paragon and core leader in global green economy development.
The ministers also adopted a joint action plan to enhance cooperation in ten priority areas, such as raising environmental awareness and promoting public participation for the period 2010 to 2014.
The meeting is the 12th annual version since the trilateral mechanism was initiated in 1999 and the next meeting will be held in South Korea.