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issue: March 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

China Report
China, Japan Appliance Association Exchange

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by Viloet Han, China Correspondent

The Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA) and the China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) held their fourth exchange conference in December 2005.

JEMA reported its 2005 initiatives, which include promoting environmental protection issues and promoting the building of a recycling society in Japan, in addition to improving refrigerator recycling processes. JEMA is also participating in the formulation of the national 3R (Reuse, Reproduce and Recycle) policies and offering ideas on different waste handling and reusing policies.

JEMA's 2005 initiatives also included work to promote energy efficiency through programs designed to bring more types of energy-saving electric devices to market, as well as efforts to reduce standby energy consumption. It also promoted the development of new technologies, such as household fuel-cell batteries.

A representative of JEMA's Department of Household Appliance gave a presentation on the formulation of JIS standards for Japanese household appliances. The JIS system is designed to keep Japan's appliance standards in-line with IEC standards, and JIS electrical standards are in place for vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, electric irons, electric kettles, electric cookers, washing machines, and refrigerators. Additionally, a refrigerator safety standard was put in place.

JEMA's Department of Household Appliance also updated CHEAA members on Japan's increasingly stringent appliance energy efficiency laws. In November 2004, new laws stipulated stricter energy efficiency regulations for 18 product categories, including refrigerators, air-conditioners and TVs. In 2006, electric cookers and microwave ovens are expected to join the list of products with special energy efficiency standards.

WEEE and RoHS Update

Chinese companies attach great importance to WEEE and RoHS. JEMA's executive director explained that Japan already has one of the most advanced recycling systems in the world, so the country will not take the same usage limitation measures as Europe. Japan's existing labeling requirements regarding a number of RoHS-restricted substances are embodied in the "J-Moss" law. Products falling under J-Moss jurisdiction include TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners, microwaves, clothes dryers, and personal computers. Products that do contain certain restricted substances are labeled "R." Products that do not contain restricted substances receive a "G" rating.

Is IEC Neglecting Asian Lifestyles?

CHEAA and JEMA have both put a special focus on keeping standards in-line with international standards. Still, JEMA's executive director the current international IEC standard system neglects to take into account the lifestyles of Asians. For this reason, Asian countries should make an effort to be a part of the formulation of safety standards for household appliances that originate in Asia, he says, such as the electric cooker and the two-barrel washing machine.

JEMA hopes Asian nations such as China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and others can unite to found ASIA TC161. This organization will enable Asian parties to come together to discuss and promote electrical device safety standards that are more suitable for Asian lifestyles. This multinational organization would give Asians more say in the formulation of IEC standards.


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