Environmental pollution in
* 1 Environment deterioration in the 1960s
* 2 Current Issues
* 2.1 Waste management
* 2.2.1 Coral reef
* 2.3 Nuclear power * 2.4 Fishery and whaling * 2.5 Urban planning * 2.6 Electronic waste management
* 3 Past issues * 4 References * 5 Further reading * 6 External links
ENVIRONMENT DETERIORATION IN THE 1960S
Current Japanese environmental policy and regulations were the
consequence of a number of environmental disasters in 1950s and 1960s.
In Yokkaichi , a port in Mie Prefecture , air pollution caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions led to a rapid increase in the number of people suffering from asthma and bronchitis . In urban areas photochemical smog from automotive and industrial exhaust fumes also contributed to a rise in respiratory problems. In the early 1970s, chronic arsenic poisoning attributed to dust from arsenic mines occurred in Shimane and Miyazaki prefectures .
Consumers Union of Japan was founded in 1969 to deal with health problems and false claims by companies, as Japan's rampant industrial development was seen as causing problems for consumers and citizens. In the 1970s, Consumers Union of Japan led the opposition to nuclear power, calling for a nationwide Anti-Nuclear Power Week Campaign.
In the 1990s, Japan's environmental legislation was further tightened. In 1993 the government reorganized the environment law system and legislated the Basic Environment Law (環境基本法) and related laws. The law includes restriction of industrial emissions, restriction of products, restriction of wastes, improvement of energy conservation, promotion of recycling, restriction of land utilization, arrangement of environmental pollution control programs, relief of victims and provision for sanctions. The Environment Agency was promoted to full-fledged Ministry of the Environment in 2001, to deal with the deteriorating international environmental problems.
In 1984 the Environmental Agency had issued its first white paper . In the 1989 study, citizens thought environmental problems had improved compared with the past, nearly 1.7% thought things had improved, 31% thought that they had stayed the same, and nearly 21% thought that they had worsened. Some 75% of those surveyed expressed concern about endangered species , shrinkage of rain forests , expansion of deserts , destruction of the ozone layer , acid rain , and increased water and air pollution in developing countries . Most believed that Japan, alone or in cooperation with other industrialized countries, had the responsibility to solve environmental problems. In the 2007 opinion poll, 31.8% of the people answered environmental conservation activity leads to more economic development, 22.0% answered the environmental activity does not always obstruct the economic, 23.3% answered environmental conservation should be given preference even if it may obstruct the economic and 3.2％ answered economic development should place priority than environmental conservation.
The OECD's first Environmental Performance Review of
In the 2006 environment annual report, the Ministry of Environment reported that current major issues are global warming and preservation of the ozone layer , conservation of the atmospheric environment, water and soil, waste management and recycling , measures for chemical substances, conservation of the natural environment and the participation in the international cooperation.
Main article: Climate change in Japan
As a signatory of the
Kyoto Protocol , and host of the 1997
conference which created it,
In January 2017 the Japanese environment ministry said that 70% of the Sekisei lagoon in Okinawa, the Japan’s biggest coral reef, had been killed by a phenomenon known as bleaching.
See also: Nuclear power in Japan
The treatment of radioactive wastes also became a subject of discussion in Japan. New spent-nuclear-fuel reprocessing plant was constructed in Rokkasho in 2008, the site of the underground nuclear-waste repository for the HLW and LLW has not yet been decided. Some local cities announced a plan to conduct an environmental study at the disposal site, but citizens' groups strongly oppose the plan.
FISHERY AND WHALING
In the Japanese diets, fish and its products are more prominent than other types of meat. Because of the depletion of ocean stocks in the late 20th century, Japan's total annual fish catch has been diminishing rapidly. Japan, along with the United States and the European Union, occupies the large part of international fish trade. Japanese fish catches were the third in the world in 2000, following China and Peru. The United States, Chile, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and India were other major countries.
By 2004, the number of adult Atlantic Bluefin Tuna capable of
spawning had plummeted to roughly 19 percent of the 1975 level in the
western half of the ocean.
Whaling for research purposes continued even after the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986. This whaling program has been criticized by environmental protection groups and anti-whaling countries, who say that the program is not for scientific research.
Densely packed buildings in Hamamatsucho, Tokyo.
The massive nationwide rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of World
War II, and the development of the following decades, led to even
further urbanization and construction. The construction industry in
* ^ The Ashio Copper mine pollution case: The origins of
environmental destruction, Yoshiro Hoshino et al., United Nations
University , 1992
* ^ 環境問題に関する世論調査,
* ^ OECD asks how green is Japan?,
Japan Times , June 2, 2001
* ^ Environmental Performance Review of Japan, Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development
* ^ Annual Report on the Environment in
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