June 23, 1997 |
For thousands of years, the Isahaya wetlands in southern Japan teemed with exotic birds, rare fish and a rich, delicate ecosystem that sustained more than 500 species of sea life, some of them endangered. Today, however, the parched and cracked seabed stinks with the smell of death.
February 1, 1997 |
Even atop the black, craggy cliffs that loom 250 feet above the thrashing Japan Sea, through heavy wind and lashing snow, the stench of oil here is piercing. "I can smell the oil on my own breath," said Yoshinobu Nishi, 55, a fisherman. "Come summer, I bet this beach will really stink." Nishi and his neighbors spent four days scraping noxious goop from the rocks of a wild and lovely but now oil-coated bay on the Noto Peninsula, an isolated, scenic hump on the back of western Japan.
November 6, 1995 |
Since time immemorial, spring winds have blown yellow dust from China's vast central deserts to the western shores of Japan. Now, as China's industrialization gains momentum, those same winds blow clouds of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon dioxide across the sea. Experts estimate that 50% of Japan's acid rain is caused by Chinese industrial pollution. Hiroyuki Fujimura's dream is to make money fighting that 1,000-mile stretch of toxic clouds.
June 2, 1995 |
It seemed like business as usual here last week when one of Japan's fiercest environmental controversies ended in victory for the construction industry. After 27 years of battle, the government announced that it will begin operation of a mammoth dam on the Nagara River--a project that had come to symbolize the lopsided struggle of environmentalists against developers. But this week, Japan seemed to crackle with change when Tokyo Gov.
April 20, 1993 |
They flirted with death on the high seas, battling frigid weather, wild storms and the mightiest creatures of the deep in a 400-year-old tradition that brought this town food, livelihood and a colorful legacy as the birthplace of Japan's whaling industry. But for six years now, the biggest adversary for the people of Taiji, a picturesque town of azure inlets and emerald bluffs in western Japan, has not been the whale.
July 7, 1992 |
Greener than the rice paddies and forests they have smothered, the golf courses here on Japan's "Golf Ginza" are the most expensive--and pampered--in the world. The wonder-green fairways look paradisiacal enough--until it rains. Then the courses ooze water the color of old blood. The musty-smelling runoff is laced with herbicides, pesticides, dyes, fertilizers and other pollutants. Farmers have given up trying to grow rice downstream.
June 7, 1992 |
Moving to assert itself at a major environmental summit meeting here, Japan is expected to announce the commitment of $6 billion to $8 billion in new environmental assistance for developing nations over the next five years. By contrast, the United States has pledged $1.25 billion over the same period--less than a quarter of what Japan is planning.
May 19, 1992 |
During the 1960s, Japan's economic miracle brought the nation to the brink of environmental disaster. Thousands of Japanese were poisoned by mercury, arsenic and other toxic substances that found their way into the air, water and food. Tokyo's skies were a smelly yellow haze. An explosion of public anger late in the decade, however, initiated a flurry of legislation in 1970 that forced Japanese industry to become among the cleanest in the world.
March 26, 1992 |
The Japan External Trade Organization, this nation's export trade promotion arm, typically loves to show off the latest in Japanese high-tech, high-value-added innovations. But the agency recently gave star treatment to the kind of product that would have been studiously ignored even a year ago: an adhesive tape that's totally recyclable.
November 27, 1991 |
One day after Japan's surprising decision to ban the use of high seas drift nets, international pressure mounted Tuesday on South Korea to quickly follow suit and become the last major Pacific nation to renounce the "curtains of death." Even as the U.S.