Greenpeace appeals for scrapping of waste provision in JTEPA ahead of Thai PM's visit to Japan

Press release - March 30, 2007
Tara Buakamsri, Greenpeace campaigner said: “Greeenpeace is appealing to Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont to abstain from inking the JTEPA deal during his visit to Japan next week, unless the toxic and nuclear waste liberalization provisions in JTEPA are stricken out. Otherwise the agreement will serve as a vehicle to legitimize and encourage the dumping of Japan’s unwanted wastes in the Kingdom."

Greenpeace activists today picketed the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok with banners and barrels stating "Thailand is not Japan's waste bin" in protest against the upcoming free-trade agreement, Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) which will allow Japan to export unprecedented quantities of hazardous waste to Thailand.

"It is unfortunate that despite these lopsided provisions in the treaty, and clear intentions on the part of the Japanese government to export its waste problems to its poorer Asian neighbours, the Thai government still chose to endorse the agreement in its present form."

"Greenpeace believes that the country's existing rules and policies are not strong enough to stem the flow of toxic and hazardous wastes which an agreement like JTEPA could set off. Even without the JTEPA, Thailand is already at the receiving end of hundreds of tonnes of hazardous waste from Japan and other

countries. There is no information about how and where these dangerous wastes are dealt with in the country.

"Moreover, the country has yet to ratify the Basel Ban which is intended to prevent these immoral and unjust waste dumping practices from happening. It is

likewise shameful for Japan to use its economic might to advance its waste colonialist agenda in the region.

"We continue to hope that in the end, the government's sense of patriotism and dignity will prevail and move to have the agreement free of the controversial waste provisions.  Greenpeace will continue in its campaign to ensure that Thailand does not become a dumping ground for hazardous waste from Japan and other countries."

Other contacts: Araya Ananprakrit, Media Officer, +66816857275