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The 1st Asian Automotive Environmental Forum held in Korea

The 1st Asian Automotive Environmental Forum was successfully held in Seoul, Korea, attended by about 15 representatives of carmakers, government organizations responsible for the environment, universities and automobile recyclers in China, Korea and Japan. The international forum ended with fruitful results through in-depth discussions, while it showed greater differences among the three countries, the Daily Automotive News Shinichi Aoyama reported.

Korea to raise recycling rate to 95% in 2015
Korea is currently seeing about 500,000 end-of-life-vehicles (ELVs) annually. That figure is expected to increase to 740,000 units in 2010. Under the automobile recycling law, the Korean authorities will raise the recycling rate from its original target of 85% for 2015 to 95%.

China eyes competitiveness in the global market
China has also been preparing for the launch of its automobile recycling law. Chinese representatives seem to have much interest in how strict automotive regulations which developed countries promote have an impact on the Chinese automotive industry, rather than tackling issues for processing ELVs in China. At present, China is focusing heavily on how to raise the competitiveness of its domestic industry in the world market. This is a similar situation to the move that Japan took in the early 1970s, when Japan made much effort to respond to the U.S. air pollution act so as to secure export business, at the same time it began to see issues for ELV processing at home.

China, Korea watch EU’s move in regard to environmental regulations
Both China and Korea are cautiously focusing on the environmental regulations taken by the EU. Japanese representatives made a report on the framework and current status of the Automobile Recycling Law which was introduced in 2005. The law, which focuses in a limited way on the processing of airbags, Freon gas and shredder dust (ASR), does not represent the standard rule in the world market.

Meanwhile, Japanese recycling technology has been developing. In recent years, many persons from China and Korea have visited Japan to see dismantling facilities and auto-parts recycling firms in Japan.

China questions about Japan and Korea about used car exports
In a panel discussion held on the first day, a Chinese representative asked if Japan and Korea aim to place responsibility for ELV processing on third countries by exporting used vehicles. A Korean representative answered, “It is a difficult issue but we need to resolve it by talking about it together.”

Everyone encounters the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in discussing issues for the environment.
The automotive recycling industry in Asia is coming to the point where they think about auto recycling on a global basis. Amid growing concerns of the environmental conser-
vation in the world, the three countries need to join forces as the center of the Asian market. The next forum is scheduled to take place in Japan in 2009.

–Daily Automotive News November 12, 2008