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.
August 9, 1991 |
Concrete dikes the height of small castle walls encircle this town, actually a man-made island where the ground lies as much as 9 feet below sea level and is sinking, inexorably, into Ise Bay. The community has had a precarious history of flooding and misery in its more than two centuries of existence.
April 22, 1991 |
American firms are streaming to the Middle East in a frantic quest for up to $100 billion in construction contracts to repair war-torn Kuwait over the next five years, a rebuilding program touted as the most expensive in history. However, amid recent announcements by Taiwan, the Kuwaiti reconstruction effort may not even be the most expensive building program of the 1990s.
February 5, 1991 |
Isolation saved this small subtropical island from the kind of relentless development that has systematically obliterated natural seacoasts and virgin forests throughout the Japanese archipelago. At first glance, dry and scrub-covered Anijima is hardly the stuff of picture postcards. But for those who appreciate the subtlety of unique subtropical grasses or exotic varieties of snails, it is the "Galapagos of the northwest Pacific" and an ecology fieldworker's dream.
June 5, 1990 |
Suzuko Ishizaki and her family moved from the center of Tokyo to this rural town of 70,000, an hour's train ride from the capital, three years ago, searching for a better junior high school for her son. She wanted a school in a natural setting, where the education would be more free-spirited than the Japanese urban norm, with its stress on cramming for next-level entrance exams.
August 16, 1989 |
Deep in the range of small mountains north of Kyoto is a small Buddhist temple where for the past 11 centuries monks have been praying to assuage the capricious spirit of the Kamo River, protecting the ancient capital in the basin below from floods. The modern successor to that tradition has taken on a new duty: fighting a flood control project he believes will devastate these wooded hills and fill the river with silt.
April 27, 1989 |
In an attempt to boost Japan's image in environmental matters, government officials announced Wednesday that they will scrap plans to build a landfill airport near a rare stand of blue coral off a remote island in Okinawa prefecture. Junji Nishime, the governor of Okinawa, told a news conference that the prefectural, or state, government was responding to international criticism and vociferous local protest in deciding to move the airport project to a new site about two miles north of the original site.
July 21, 1988 |
The men from the local post office put up a good fight, but they were no match for the fishermen's wives paddling furiously across the finish line to the frenzied beat of gongs and drums. It was the first time in village history that a women's team had ever competed in haarii , or the dragon boat races, traditionally held during the annual Sea God Festival in the southern Ryukyu Islands.