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[Group 11] Japan's overcoming severe pollution in the period of 1950s-1970s and experiences for V

Methylmercury contained in drained water from

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Methylmercury contained in drained water from chemical factories that killed and disabled many people in Kumamoto in the 1950s and Niigata in the 1960s. Accumulated dirt created by water drained from pulp/paper factories polluted rivers and coastal waters. Not only industrial but also household emissions made the situation of water pollution much worse. 9
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Diseases Caused by Environmental Degradation Environmental pollution caused serious diseases in various regions in Japan. Even confined to officially recognized cases, the estimated number of patients of diseases related to air pollution such as asthma in Yokaichi City, Mie, surpassed 100 thousand in 1988. VI. JAPANESE GOVERNMENT’ S SOLUTIONS Environmental pollution in Japan has accompanied industrialization since the Meiji period. The starting point of environmental pollution was Ashio. In 1878, mineral poisoning incident of Ashio copper mining led to massive fish death in the Watarase River and damage to agricultural crops along the riverbank. In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, because of the high speed of economic growth, Japan faced many environmental problems like water pollution, air pollution, and so on. In 1958, the beginning of pollution problems happened with Urayasu incident. Fishermen stormed the Edogawa factory of former Honshu Paper Company 10
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to protest against the damages to the fishery caused by effluent flowing into the fishing grounds. In addition, the four major diseases caused by pollution in Japan included Niigata Minamata Disease, Itai Itai Disease, Minamata Disease, Yokkaichi Asthma from 1912 to 1965 negatively affected thousands of people and damaged hundreds of billion yen. Therefore, there was a dramatic increase of social concerns regarding pollution problems in the 1960s. For example, between 1960 and 1970, coverage of environmental issues in newspapers rose moderately from 0.4% to 2.8%. In 1971, opinion poll on the choice of pollution and industrial development showed that 49% of answerers did not allowed at all while that number was just 27% in 1966. That increase led to the establishment of many legal systems to overcome pollution problems such as Pollution Prevention Service Corporation in 1965 to promote pollution control activities and support companies under regulation or Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control in 1967 to establish environmental standards and pollution control plan. Not all of the government’s solution worked immediately. Even though in 1958, two laws were enacted in order to protect water quality from factory emissions, they were almost ineffective. Around 1970, pollution problems were getting more serious, such as “sludge problem” in Tagonoura Bay, photochemical smog, and lead pollution caused by emission gas from vehicles. This time Japan decided to seriously prevent pollution, a far more powerful Law that introduced a strict liability principle to water pollution was enacted. The authority established Pollution Control Office headed by the Prime Minister in July 1970, amended the Basic Pollution Control Law
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