Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 29, 2004


2004 White Paper Focuses on Illegal Waste Dumping

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

In May 2004, Japan's Ministry of the Environment published the 2004 White Paper on a Sound Material-Cycle Society, which is issued annually in accordance with the Fundamental Law for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society, enacted in 2000.

This year's report describes various efforts to help realize a sound material-cycle society, with the focus on waste management and recycling. The 2004 White Paper deals thoroughly with the issue of illegal dumping, which obstructs the establishment of a sound material-cycle society, and describes in detail the present status of illegal dumping, its environmental impacts, and various related activities being undertaken by national and local governments, businesses and citizens.

In many cases, illegal industrial waste dumping causes not only environmental damage but also large financial losses. Two specific cases involve Teshima, a small island in Kagawa Prefecture, and another area along the border of Aomori and Iwate Prefectures. In the case of Teshima, about 470,000 cubic meters of industrial waste was illegally disposed of on this small island; the site is presently being cleaned up, at a projected cost of about 45 billion yen (about U.S. $413 million). In the case of the area on the border of Aomori and Iwate prefectures, removing the approximately 880,000 cubic meters of industrial waste dumped there will cost about 65.5 billion yen (about U.S.$601 million).

Complaints about illegal dumping have been on the rise in recent years, with about 14,000 cases reported in fiscal year 2002. Of these, 74 percent were related to general waste, reflecting an increase in the illegal dumping of large household items discarded by homeowners.

The Ministry is making every effort to eliminate illegal dumping, giving it top priority. The White Paper states that national and local governments, businesses and citizens all need to raise their awareness, and to join hands in tackling this issue as a team.

Posted: 2004/10/29 05:05:17 PM
Japanese version