As the Japanese cherish nature, mother uxy

Japan's defeat in World War II had the effect of strengthening the focus on production, as in the national memory etched into the desire to build power so that Japan would never again could be defeated. In this process affected all: the environment, quality of life, the legal system, financial system, traditional culture. It was part of the policy of "poor people, strong state", which gave the Japanese economy a huge competitive force. However, sacrificing everything for the sake of some future high GDP, was born on policies that harmed the different methods of mountains, rivers and seas of the country.

One of these policies — state-sponsored logging and planting native understory commercial cedar, the other, which was even more serious effects — Close eye on industrial pollution.

Foreign analysts were enthusiastic about the population, trained to obey the bureaucracy and the largest industrial corporations in Japan. But it also means that the country has no brakes. Once started, the engine begins to rotate policy, it is moving forward as an unstoppable tank. It can be said that the reason for this "failure to stop" is at the root of the disaster of the Second World War and the destruction of the environment of post-war Japan.

Shortly after the war, the Forestry Agency of Japan has introduced a program to clear the mountain slopes and plant their cedar. The goal was to replace the native forest broadleaf something more profitable, which will serve as the industrial growth in Japan. Tens of billions of dollars flowing into this long project, as a result, by 1997 Japan has replaced 43 percent of its entire wooded area monoculture of conifers, mostly «sugi» or Japanese cedar.

Thus, the rural landscape of Japan has been completely transformed. Today, across the country the high walls of cedar, planted in neat rows, embedded in what is left of the bright green feathery native understory. It is almost impossible to find a pristine landscape of the place, which for millennia has been the essence of traditional Japanese art and literature: a combination of maple, cherry trees, autumn grasses, bamboo and pine trees.

In addition to the aesthetic and cultural harm monoculture pine devastated wildlife as dense rows of cedar wood displace and destroy habitat for birds, deer, rabbits, badgers and other animals. Anyone who has hiked through these plantations of cedar, knows how deadly they are quiet, devoid of grass, shrubs and lush foliage dzhungleyskoy that characterize the native forest of Japan. Devoid of grass, slopes no longer hold rainwater and mountain streams dry up. In the Iya Valley drought has affected the river in my village, so much so that many of them remain dry for months. The villagers call it "Cedar drought." Erosion of cedar plantations leads to landslides and silting of rivers, making these slopes and river facilities for the fatal field of the Ministry of Construction.

That's not all. Allergy to cedar pollen — a disease almost unknown a few decades ago, now affects 10 percent of all Japanese. The IEC Dr. Saito, an allergy specialist at Tokyo Medical University, said that while there is no treatment to eliminate allergies to pollen, so he recommends wearing protective equipment such as masks and goggles. Indeed, masks and goggles — that is what you see on the streets of Tokyo in the spring. Only some of the owners of masks trying to avoid spread of the disease or the common cold, but hundreds of thousands of others are trying to protect themselves from the plague of artificial cedar pollen.

The final touches to the picture — the roads that the Forestry building, to provide within easy reach of vehicles to haul wood from pine plantations. The agency has spent billions of dollars on forestry roads in each remote wilderness areas, including national parks — and they, too, have suffered in order to free up the slopes of cedar. It needs to be seen to be believed. In Yamagata Prefecture, supported by the government, the Forestry Development Corporation in 1969, put forward a plan to build 2,100 kilometers of roads in the mountains of the cost? 90 billion. Residents and environmental groups have opposed the project, and the technical problems have captivated him for many decades. "If it were in our possession that kind of money," — said the mayor of Nagai, Yamagata city — "we would have done something else — but if the national government insisted [on the construction of forestry roads], we are happy to cooperate." Fatty government subsidizes the continuation of the program.

All this for an industry that brings in less than 1 percent of GDP! The economy of the reforestation has been a complete failure. Debt Service Forestry is about? 3.5 trillion as a result of his decades of subsidies to support reforestation and build roads. Wood prices have decreased over the years, and Japan's dependence on foreign timber is now 80 percent (with 26 percent three decades ago). Back in the 1940s, when the policy of reforestation was set in motion, the planners had expected that mountain residents will thin out and harvest pine trees, but today no one wants to do hard work that requires chopping wood on the slopes of Japan. Villages wiped out, and the Forestry Agency has reduced its workforce from a peak of 89 000 people in 1964 to just 7,000 by March 2001. A recent survey concluded that few Japanese mountain village, not postradavishie from extinction, where villagers can earn a living from the harvest shiitake mushrooms, wild herbs, charcoal and hunting of wild animals native deciduous forests have a low percentage of pine plantations.

One would expect that this will cause the Forest Service to seriously think about. This is what happened in China after a similar reforestation programs: In 1996, the Ministry of Forestry of China made a sharp turn, asking the State Council revised the logging and processing of wood to make the preservation of heritage "more important than production." But in Japan, the program continues. Today vyrubkadevstvennogo cedar forests and planting continues in the strong pace. Forestry Agency has promised to bring a new cedar "low-pollen", although even with such an innovation would require decades, perhaps even centuries, before the pollen counts begin to drop. And in place of human labor, the government sees the mammoth "machine logging", which brings down, chopping and hauling. Eight of these are already in operation.

What awaits future — this mechanized mountain — with giant machines, walking along the ground through the concrete strip of forest roads that have been carved through the slopes. This is — a scene from the movie "War of the Worlds." Naoki Inose social critic commented: "We went into another dimension entirely. Hardly matters what people say: as long as the current system remains unchanged, the forests disappear, as the ranks of heads, sloping bulldozers. " Shitei Tsunahid, an expert on forestry and the former president of Kyoto Prefectural University, adds: "The policy of reforestation has been a failure. For years, high-growth Forest Service dragged into an atmosphere of rapid growth and focus only on commercial issues … They completely ignored the fact that the forest has a value other than business. Tree exists not only for the economic benefits. " Alas, Professor Shitei have the greatest difficulty in the modern cultural malaise in Japan, not only the forest but all was sacrificed to economic benefits.

The history of poisoning by Japan of its environment is not new. It refers to two known cases of Minamata disease and Itai-Itai (beriberi) in the 1950s and 1960s. Minamata disease takes its name from the bay near Kumamoto, Kyushu, where more than a thousand people died of fish contaminated with mercury discharged into the Gulf Corporation Chisso. Itai-Itai, which means "hurts badly" was a bone disease which earned farmers, who have eaten with rice fields in Toyama Prefecture, polluted with cadmium. The accumulation of cadmium makes bones brittle, they broke inside the body, causing excruciating pain.

Industry and government worked together for forty years, to hide the fact of the disease and prevent its compensation was paid to victims. At the beginning of the scandal Minamata company Chissonanimala gangsters to threaten the victims, filed a petition; thugs blinded Eugene Smith, pioneering photographer who has registered on the photos flour and gnarled limbs sufferers of Minamata. Doctors involved in the investigation at the University of Kumamoto, frozen funding for research. Already in 1993, the Ministry of Education ordered publishers of textbooks to remove the names of companies responsible for the Minamata, Itai-Itai and other industrial poisoning, even though they were part of the public record.

Despite persecution, victims groups failed to file their first claim for compensation in 1967, but since everything depended on the courts, the government won. As eloquently stated by Karel van Volferenom, Japan does not have an independent judiciary. The Secretariat of the Supreme Court judges holding strictly within the limits and they do not dare to convict the government; police have broad powers to imprison without evidence and obtain recognition methods on the verge of torture. An incredible 95 percent of the lawsuits against the state apparatus resulted not in favor of the plaintiffs.

The main tool of the government — the delay. Court cases in Japan, especially against the government, take decades for them to consider. The citizen is suing the government or big industry gets an excellent opportunity to die before his case comes to sentencing. Exactly what happened in Minamata. In July 1994, the Osaka District Court finally gave the decision in a lawsuit filed in 1982 by fifty nine plaintiffs. By that time, sixteen of them are dead. The verdict was as follows: the court did not see any negligence on the part of the national government or from the Kumamoto Prefecture in that they did not prevent the Chisso merge mercury into the bay. The court turned twelve claims of the surviving plaintiffs because under the statute the court case was over because of limitations. The judge ordered that Chisso reimbursed surprisingly small losses? 3.8 million to each of the remaining plaintiffs. Only in 1995 the main group of sufferers of Minamata, represented by two thousand plaintiffs, were established by the government compensation — after almost forty years after doctors diagnosed the first poisoning.

On two separate occasions, in October 1994 and December 1996, the courts have considered the claims of air pollution, which was more than ten years, providing that losses should be compensated for the residents, but rejecting the demand to oblige the company to stop toxic emissions. In other words, according to Japanese law, you must (after take decades) to pay for the pollution that you call, but the courts will not require you to stop.

You could, if you wanted to bring something that happened in the 1950s or 1960s to haste and ignorance newly developing country. But Japan is already in the new millennium with the same primitive regulation of toxic emissions.

There are more than thousands of dangerous substances which are controlled by the United States, the production and processing of which fall under the strict rules that require computer control and free access to all records regarding the storage and use. In Japan, since 1994, only a few dozen substances were subjected to state control — a list that is not significantly changed since 1968 — and there is no automated system to manage even with them. In July of the same year, the Agency for the Protection of the Environment announced that the anticipated creation of a registration system, similar to the U.S. — but the computer control and open access to the records was not on the agenda. It would be too much to ask that the company ceased to dump these materials. They would simply have to inform the agency about the amount of these chemicals from which they are delivered.

Japanese law does not call for a study of the environmental impact of cities and prefectures approve industrial projects. There is no law on the assessment of the effects on the environment, and Japan, as one of the twenty-eight members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), these estimates have been offered eight times during the past quarter century. In October 1995, the U.S. air base in Atsugi Tokyo complained about the cancer-causing emissions neighboring factory waste incinerators, only to find out that there are no rules to reduce the risk of cancer in Japan. "It's hard to deal with a case if there is no violation of Japanese law," said an official of the Agency for Environmental Protection.

Despite the serious incidents, such as arsenic poisoning of hundreds of farmers in the 1970s in Miyazaki Prefecture, the government also has no rules regulating emissions of arsenic. Slightly rules on toxic emissions that do exist have been revised in 1977 and the new rules do not have any strict requirements. Only in 1990 they appeared.

Japan began to be standards for dioxins, which are some of the most deadly poisons on earth. In August 1997, led the protest after the shocking discovery of high concentrations of dioxins from incinerators, the government finally approved the new rules to control dioxin and added it to the list of hazardous substances. However, officials were so unprepared that the first study done in 1996, had to rely on foreign data to judge the toxicity, and the new rules affect only the steel mills and large-scale incinerators. Operators of small incinerators huge amounts of waste were to reduce dioxin output only "in case of emergency," according to the norms of the Agency for Environmental Protection. The situation in Japan and more particularly low point because, unlike other developed countries, Japan burns most of its waste instead dispose blocked. In April 1998goda researchers found that the land around the incinerator in Nosecho, near Osaka, contained 8,500 picograms of dioxin per gram of the highest recorded concentrations in the world. Only in November 1999, Japan has made changes to its rules of dioxin contamination of the soil in accordance with the norms of the rest of the developed world — but the country is still far from carrying them out.

Why so long to make decisions on dioxin? "In order to qualify as a toxic substance dioxin, we need more data," explained manager control air pollution requirements of the Agency for Environmental Protection. Yet it is hard to understand why the agency so needed more data if the research around the world have clearly established the toxicity of dioxin. In 1986, California established that there is no safe threshold for dioxin emissions, and there is a state law requires that operators of waste incineration plants have reduced emissions to the absolute lowest possible level using best available technology. The real reason for the delay of Japan in this matter was simple: the problem of dioxin was new, and Japan's bureaucrats, as we see, bad ugly able to solve new problems. Solving the problem of dioxin were planned within the Ministry of Health and Social Security, and there were no officials who profit from this business cartels or aspiring to it, and therefore, the ministry did not feel the urgency to reach a solution to this issue.

Japanese tradition of hiding unfavorable evidence suggests to us that is impossible to detect the true extent of toxic emissions in Japan. March 29, 1997 TV Asahi did a special report on dioxin contamination in Tokorozawa, a suburb of Tokyo. Studies have shown that dioxin levels in the milk of mothers there was nearly twenty times greater than that which Japan considers safe even for babies. Team news footage showed the methods of waste disposal experts in Germany who were stunned. Each of them commented that these methods are "antediluvian", but the program explained that they are standard for Japan. A study in Fukuoka showed approximately the same levels of dioxin, and there is every reason to believe that the situation is that of the whole country.

Part of the study was the following interview with the head of the section of social security in the Ministry of Health (MHW):

Interviewer: Is there any policy of the Ministry of Health and Social Security in order to control dioxin?

Chair: There are generally no policy.

Interviewer: MHW conducted any research on dioxin?

Chair: I do not know.

Interviewer: You have any idea how much there is dioxin?

Chair: No, no.

Interviewer: You set any guidelines for dioxin?

Chair: No.

Interviewer: You want to do this?

Chair: There are no plans.

Interviewer: Do you have any control over the emission of dioxin?

Chair: No.

It is good that the head section of the general gave this interview. The interview was given before a public concern about the situation of dioxin has become so strong that the Ministry of Health and Welfare had to hear about it. If the head of the section there was any suspicion that the dioxin situation was embarrassing or scandalous, the TV crew would never have entered the front door. MHW was so unconcerned about dioxin that head wondering, "Why are you asking me this — how do I know?"

Indiscriminate reporting hinders the realization of scale vast unexplored issue of toxic dumping in Japan. In September 1997, the media revealed that the city of Tokorozawa and prefectural colluded to withhold data on dioxin emissions from local incinerators, and that the levels of 1992-1994 were higher limits by 150 times. In one notorious case Cooperative Sewage Yatozava, a public agency representing twenty seven municipalities in Tama, near Tokyo, continues to deny the data on water supply and the extent of contamination, despite the fact that the court ordered him to read out the data. In December 1995, the Agency for Environmental Protection announced that examined the spot in the water, found carcinogenic substances in excess of permitted levels in forty-one of forty-seven prefectures of Japan. Among the serious cases, the index case — Tsubama, Niigata Prefecture, which contained trichlorethylene (metal solvent) at 1600 times the safe level. Although trichlorethylene — a known carcinogen, however, its level increased to 293 locations across the country, and any rules or orders to control its use did not exist at the national level.

The problem of toxic waste raises the question of "modern technology", in which Japan is believed to be a world leader. Unfortunately, the ultra-modern methods studied by experts, are relevant only to the goods for industrial use. Meanwhile, Japan skipped past a world of modern technology, who quietly developed in the West since the 1960s. This world includes the science of environmental protection. Even though it is challenging the established image of the "advanced Japan", the country limped creeps forward at a primitive level, in ecology for decades behind the West.

From 1987 to 1989 I was engaged in the development of associations between Trammell Crow, the real estate company based in Dallas, Texas, and Sumitomo Trust Bank, located in the building of high fashion in Kobe. The designers from the United States were amazed to learn that plans to use a local contractor offering asbestos-containing plastic tile hallways. "There are no rules zapreschayushih asbestos flooring," — said the architect. "In fact, these tiles are standard. Most of the buildings in Japan is using them. "

The results of long-term use of asbestos became apparent after the earthquake in Kobe in 1995, when tens of thousands of destroyed buildings was released asbestos and other carcinogens in the environment. Company to remove the effects of the Kobe earthquake rushed to sign lucrative contracts that required them to get rid of the rubble quickly — without respirators or other medical remedies. Although the national government and the government of Kobe most of the money allocated for disaster, they stayed away from the management actions. Kobe city official says that recycling has approved a thousand contracts per day. "We were in a hurry because we believed that the removal of debris will help to recover quickly," — he said.

While cleaning the debris continued for the next two years, the amount of asbestos in the air rose to fifty times higher than the normal level, and more than two hundred grams of cancer-causing dioxin (enough to kill millions of people in a concentrated form) have been absorbed into the soil and the atmosphere in the affected earthquake areas. Geological Survey of Japan sent the group, which found cancer-causing chemicals in 55 of the 195-minute studied sites Kobe. "We are surprised by the results. The situation is very bad, "said Suzuki Yoshikezu, head of the task force. But a formal review of the earthquake affected area, made Hyogo prefectural government found carcinogens in only six locations. Kazuhiko Kawamura, responsible for the protection of the soil at the Agency for Environmental Protection, assured that it is not necessary to worry about the chemical leak into the soil from Suzuki concerns with the comment: "Even if the ground water is contaminated in Kobe and chemicals, few people drink the water."

It's time to do a little tour of the countryside, according to the weekly magazine «Friday» in May 1995. We'll start with the small town of Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture with a pile of 30 000 rusty metal barrels with sign of poisonous substances … Anzena Deyichi says, "Security prevyvshe everything." In 1989, low-cost treatment plant reached a peak point of the seven-year gap with the plan of waste processing, after which the operators started to dump the extra waste during the night in an abandoned mine to the south of the city. By 1992, when the illegal dumping ended, useless pile was more than 48,000 barrels. The owner could not pay the bill of $ 6,000,000 for the cleaning and the prefecture, not wanting to set a precedent, removed only 17 percent of the disorder. Near the mine, just a few yards from the house standing close by, buried waste containing radioactive thorium. In response to complaints from residents, responsible company, scattered by a thin layer of mud buried the debris, and after that there was no government and no legal investigations continue.

Of Iwaki we go to the mountains of Nara, where we can see the Showa Shinzan, "Showa New Mountain". This fifty-meter hill got its name from the origin. While the construction company Osaka (1983-1989) illegally dumped garbage, there was formed a new mountain. The president of the company later sold the land and disappeared, and since then has Nara Prefecture, nor the national government had no business with him. Recently, farmers have noticed a strange orange sludge in their rice fields. «Friday» reported that in 1992 the police uncovered 1,788 cases of illegal dumping, was 2.1 million tons of waste in Japan. Even in this case the level of arrest for illegal dumping of not more than 1 percent to 200 million tons of emissions each year remaining undetected. The fines are ridiculously small, as in the case Tamotsu Yoshizawa, who was found guilty of cutting down 3,000 trees, cypress and then dumping 340,000 cubic meters of waste construction site in the state-owned forest. Despite the fact that Yoshizawa made about $ 6 million on the business, he paid a fine of $ 5,000.

The same scene as described above, thousands of repeat across the length and breadth of Japan. Oheshi Mitsuo, head of the Japanese web landfill in Tokyo, said that the city dump industrial waste in rural areas for many decades. "If this goes on, then some areas will be turned into a garbage dump for the big cities," — he warns.

In one famous case, the company Teshima Sogo Kanko Kaihatsu dumped half a million metric tons of toxic waste on the island of Teshima in the Sea of Japan. For this the company has paid a fine of about $ 5,000, and the island's inhabitants have left to live next to a pile of trash fifteen-height, filled with dioxin, lead and other toxins. As a common refrain in the decade Kagawa Prefecture refused to take responsibility for the waste or dispose of them. Suzuki Yukichi, managing director of the National Association of recycling, said: "Nearly all of the waste disposal — a very small operation. Companies are not willing to foot the bill for the proper recycling. If consumers will not pay for waste removal, this work will be done. "

Of course, consumers are not to blame. The problem stems from the government's policy that favors "industry at any cost." "Why do we have to take a fee for the destruction of illegally dumped garbage, while the government seems to be going on about the licensed agents who illegally dump waste wherever they want?" — Asks Hedzhaym Ohta, director of industrial affairs bureau Keidanren, Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations. "Japan's economy is supported illegal dumping" — corresponds to the operator of one of the treatment plant. And it is true that the central government and local authorities to cover the series of industrial pollutants. A typical example — the city of Nasu near Utsunomiya (place of ninety-four landfills, presumably, non-toxic). When the animals began to die in Nasu, the villagers asked to conduct analyzes, and the government continued to insist that there is no problem with water. Private research firm then found high levels of mercury, cadmium, and lead in the water supply.

This accumulating clutter — and lack of expertise to deal with it — there is because there is responsible for the creation of a national industrial policy for recycling industrial waste. Take some legal or monetary costs to deal with the poisoning of the environment, and Japanese companies, therefore, does not feel the need to develop methods of waste management. And they are not the only ones who missed the past this problem. Foreign commentators praised as "effective Japan's economy," never thought to ask where the plants were buried waste or why the government can not (and will not!) To monitor toxic chemicals. You would think that the waste disposal and control of industrial poisons have a connection with the true efficiency of the modern economy, and evidence of rampant pollution confirm this. This is a case of what some economists call "development on steroids." High GDP achieved without strict controls on toxic emissions is significantly different from that which has facilities such control.

Nepodvergaemye doubt in his state and basking in the praise lavished them abroad, Japan's bureaucrats in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Agency for Environmental Protection relaxed and calmed down. They have only the most vague plans to test the methods and management of hazardous wastes that have become the norm in many developed countries. The central government and local authorities simply have no idea how to check for the presence of contamination of the environment or to get rid of toxic chemicals. The reason is that the disposal of waste after the Kobe earthquake occurred on such a scale that the responsible agency did not know the incineration of waste, and they did not know about the boards (sarcophagi), they did not know how to control toxic fumes.

In September 1994, the Agency for Environmental Protection announced compression standards in the industrial waste disposal. The current rules unchanged since 1977, did not touch the chemicals produced in the 1990s, and dumps were still mostly unprotected pits in the ground without flashing, and no devices that handle wastewater. There are 1,400 such unprotected wells, representing more than half of all industrial waste places that are reported in Japan. (There are tens of thousands of seats, which are not reported). What were the "tight Agency standards for the protection of the environment"? Study of twenty seats occupied for several years.

The lack of environmental technology has become evident January 2, 1997, when the Russian tanker "Nakhodka", carrying 133,000 barrels of crude oil, ran aground and broke in two off the coast of Ishikawa Prefecture, west of Tokyo. Although biological control (using microbes to collect oil on the surface of water) was the standard for cleaning oil spills in other parts of the world, the Japanese government has not yet approved its use. Therefore, the Agency for Environmental Protection is not applied the method to a 300-meter oil slick, and it ended intractable assessing damage to marine flora and fauna of the region. Then a group of fishermen took matters into their own hands and used a drug germs produced by Americans, as they were told to "experimental basis".

In addition to biological control, there is another common technique for oil spill when the surfactant is sprayed from planes or ships or pre-insulated, set fire to the oil surface. None of these technologies was not available in Japan. Although the tanker ran aground within the prescribed route, which often go to trial different countries, there were no plans for any major rescue and salvage ships stationed in the Sea of Japan. We had to swim from the Pacific coast of Japan, which took days. Actor Kevin Costner has donated $ 700,000 to the organization of cleaning oil-based high-tech in the affected areas. And, in the end, the women from the farms scooped oil on the beaches of old wooden bucket. As reported in the Evening Tetsuo Yamada novostyahAsahi, "At this time the old-fashioned buckets hishaku — something like a museum piece in our modern society — suddenly became a symbol of painstaking cleaning."

In April 1997, Marine forces discovered a huge oil spill in the forty kilometers long and ten kilometers wide, which threatened to reach the west coast of Tsushima Island for two days. Two culprit, according to the newspapers, urgently come up with a solution, "a large number of blankets will absorb a lot of oil, but you can also use plastic buckets and barrels." Here's a picture of the oil spill cleanup in the technologically advanced modern Japan: the old lady using wooden buckets, blankets, and plastic buckets. This raises the fundamental question of what we should include in the definition of modern technology. In general, economists have used a very limited definition, based only on the national level of technology and its ability to produce cars and chips or its academic resources in advanced science. But there are still many areas of human endeavor with high degrees of qualification, to be called technology. What types of skills and knowledge are really important to the modern state, and how high the price for ignoring them?

Consider a simple example of forestry. In the United States, thousands of people are learning its intricacies, and tens of millions of dollars annually infused in many disciplines of forest science. In Japan, the best — billions of yen each year — in support of the old scheme of monoculture pine. While Canada has 4,000 foresters, Japan has only 150 without training, while the United States spends the equivalent of £ 190 billions to control a public park, and Canada? 50 billion, Japan — most? 3.6 billion. Forestry management — only one of the technologies with which Japan has been unable to cope, and there are hundreds more.

From a strictly economic point of view, Japan did not calculate the cost of environmental cleanup. Environmental mess for the next generation of Japanese people will be standing in front of an unpaid bill of trillions of yen. And it is possible that not. The solution of such problems is very low on the list of priorities for Japan, which is now polutorastoletney priverzhenitsey concrete. When we see the Agency for Environmental Protection, considers that it does not matter whether the contaminated ground water, because, after all, "a few people drink the water," we can predict that the environment — it's the Japanese industry, which is likely will never be established.

It should be noted, however, has recently been talking about the strengthening of controls over exports of waste, because the government is beginning to understand that this — the industry with growth potential. In 2000 the government established a new law requiring that domestic electrical goods such as televisions and refrigerators are disposed of in the event of a breakdown or old age, for the processing of pay consumers who buy the coupons processed in post offices. This is a big step forward, but it leaves open the question of who will pay for the cleanup of pollution that do not involve consumers directly. Japanese business has built its global competitiveness due in part to the freedom of action, it has become a problem of environmental destruction. Now that the Japanese economy slowed to crawling and exports only "an evil person" of the newly industrialized Asian countries, it will be very difficult to suddenly force the industry to pay for the costs.

The best that the Agency for Environmental Protection has made for contaminated soil, a secret group organized in 1992 to study a similar scheme of the United States, how to make sure that the industry would pay for cleaning up toxic waste sites. But the influential business leaders and bureaucrats opposed the scheme as being too expensive, so the agency quietly sent the idea to bed. The group still exists, but it does not go on to discuss the very same group. One participant said, "If we bury garbage, it is clear that we are polluting the environment. But if we use security measures that should be applied to the landfill will need a huge amount of money. It's just unreal. "

The Japanese public does not show much political pressure on the government to address the problems of industrial pollution, and several lawsuits mostly ineffective and tightened in decade delay. The central government and local governments in large debt after decades of funding the massive construction and occupation boondoggle, and can not afford the responsibility for the control and disposal of toxic wastes. Agency for Environmental Protection gave up before it even start to fight. There will be no cleaning.

You can address this issue directly as a toxic by-product of Education of Japan. Students in Japanese schools forced to memorize a lot of facts, much more than is required of students in other countries, and they also learn to be obedient and diligent workers. A system that teaches students too many facts and unquestionable obedience, was a surprise and envy of many authors who write about Japan. But there are huge gaps. Low priority of important things in the national list for the success of the production. Environmental consciousness is not in the Japanese curriculum. And what is the result? Mason Florence, a U.S. resident and author of the Kyoto City Guide Kyoto, says: "In the States, there is a disincentive to litter. If you throw a cigarette pack or anything out of the window, there is a good chance the guy or girl next to you says, "Hey, what are you?! '" In Japan, it's not that. Bottles and old refrigerators, air conditioners, cars and plastic bags filled with junk lines the back roads. Plastic bottles cluttering up the beaches. As Mason says, "Go to the hills Kitayama [north of Kyoto], and you will see the garbage everywhere. This would be unthinkable, for example, CO ". Or in rural areas of most European countries. Or Singapore or Malaysia.

Another subject that is definitely not teach Japanese school is a social activity. In groups of people in Japan have a pathetically small society and budgets. For example, Greenpeace 400,000 members in the United States, 500, 000 in German, and only 5400 in Japan. At the World Wildlife Fund least 20,000 members in Japan against the millions in the United States and Europe. This determines the general helplessness. As pointed out by Professor Koichi Hasegawa, Tohoku University: "Group of the Environment of Japan is not so influential, to work on the strategy process, in contrast to their Western counterparts."

On the other hand government agencies to support the promotion of a high level at the public expense, to support the program, as we have seen in the case of construction. In October 1996, the newspaper said that the River Bureau of the Ministry of Construction has collected? 47 million from ten nationally funded funds under its own jurisdiction, to pay for public relations, which included advertisements in magazines warning of the risk of massive rains and floods, a series of events commemorating the centenary of modern methods of management potokamii in Japan. And also for Financing the two international symposia on water resources and flood control. Needless to say, it was not said that retired bureaucrats River Bureau served in the commissions of those funds. Nor is it mentioned that those same officials hold shares in companies that have contracts to operate the dams, sending billions of yen directly into their own pockets.

Full page color advertisement sponsored by the Electric Resource Development Company, a popular weekly Shukan Shincho in December 1995, was typical of the propaganda. Before the image of a large hydroelectric dam stands attractive Ms. Aoyama, Yoshi, traveling in the mountains of the picturesque Wakayama. "Oh," — says Ms. Aoyama in the text. "What a beautiful cedar trees! They were so well looked after, their trunks devoid of hollows, rising high, straight to the sky. And here is rich in water! Of course, this result vysokogrnogo shower. It's just perfect for the power! "When it reaches the end point of his journey, Ikehara Dam, she exclaims:" My God! Not a drop of water in the river on the other side of the dam. When I became interested in what happened to the water, I was told that she now cuts a path across the river on the other side of the dam. Where was the old river, "- she says with admiration, -" now sports a garden and a place to stay. " One of these places to stay — a golf course, which electricity company kindly introduced to the village, where a dam built. "If I knew the golf course, I would have come a day earlier," — concludes Ms. Aoyama.

Japanese school children vaccinated thinking, in which each dam is gorgeous, every new road — the path to a happy future. This leaves Japan for a long time in the category of "developing countries". When the U.S. Department of the Interior ordered the dismantling of the dam Maine's Edwards Dam (which stood for the past century), the ringing of church bells, thousands of people welcomed the river, returning to freedom. In Japan, where civil society organizations continue to raise flags and beat drums to announce the new monuments of civil engineering, such a reaction would have been just incredible. "Welcome to the Hiyoshi Dam!" Announces Ninomakhi, a local magazine Kameoka citizens of my city. We see the glossy pictures of smoothed concrete slopes of the mountain, and we know that Hiyoshi — "multipurpose" dam, which not only provides flood control, but is also a visitor center, which allows the public to learn and play, "We expect that it will play a big role in the improvement of the local culture, not only in his hometown of Hiyoshi, but also in the surrounding regions. "

Dam, just like Hiyoshi, where Japanese children go to learn and play, and they certainly do contribute to the culture, they are fast becoming a cultural mass, with schools, courts and industry, of which the operation of "all as one" tied into a single unit . Allan Stupes who teaches environmental studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, told me that his students want to subscribe to journals published by "green" groups, such as the "Friends of the Earth" and "Greenpeace", but they do not dare for fear of the university, that the company will know about it and dismiss them when they get a job. Citizens' groups, such as those who fought with the cases Minamata and Itai-Itai for four decades, in fact, have the right to be called heroes.

Millions of Japanese people who clearly do not understand the mechanism of the development of the country, however, mourn the steady disappearance of all that was once so beautiful in their environment. Ever since I started writing ten years ago, my inbox was full of emails from people who share my concern: one of them tells me that his hometown was ugly, and the other describes how she returned home to see her favorite waterfall buried in a concrete coffin. The letters often say, "I feel the same as you, but I never dared to speak of this before." In a typical letter I wrote Ms. Kimoto Yoko: "I see that the Japanese are doing with them, not realizing what was their ugly surroundings. I was, of course, one of these people and did not realize it. When I talked to the people around me about the things that are discussed in your book, I realized that they have no idea about it. While the place where I live is not the Iya Valley, it is still a rural village. Yet here, as I see it — that's already been ugly, is becoming more and more ugly. "

People feel the beauty in their environment is doomed, and that they are powerless to stop it. Artist — landscape Arad Taiho, who was interviewed in the newspaper Nihon Shimbun Keizaya, said: "Whenever I find a small village, I rush to her on my aching feet. It's like a landscape runs away from me, and I feel I have to capture it quickly or it will disappear. When I find a wonderful place, I worry that someone will come and take it away from me. "

Decline in domestic tourism in Japan and the explosive growth of foreign tourism in recent years points to a significant measure of national malaise. I think, perhaps, most Japanese know somewhere deep in their hearts that they rob their own country, but also it is difficult to think of anything deliberately, given the myriad of government ideologies and disinformation that is configured against them. Other factors also point out that the destruction of the environment is unlikely to become the dominant political issue. Whether it's a deep Japanese concentration or a small detail, as in the poem, haiku. It is beautifully expressed in the paintings on the sliding doors in the Temple Rioyandzhi in Kyoto a few parrots with feathers, brightly painted in red and green colors, sitting on a gray landscape is painted in black and white colors. Post Zen painting — what parrots — the center of our attention, therefore, we see them in color, while the secondary black and white trees almost invisible to the mind's eye. Architect Tekeyama, This says that it is this ability to "shrink Center outlook" forcing the Japanese to ignore the ugliness in their environment. You can admire the mountainside and not see that the giant power lines going through it and enjoy the rice fields without being worried aluminum factory, looming on their background.

While the man (the artist or writer) can paint everything in the color that wants to see and leave a description in writing of the camera is not an easy task. Photographers and film makers in Japan should think carefully about how to create each frame to preserve the illusion of natural beauty. The Japanese are surrounded by books and posters that show exactly carved images of nature — mostly close-ups of details, such as a passage in an old temple or a sheet, swirling in a mountain basin — with accompanying comments about the Japanese love of nature, seasons, etc. Often, the very agency whose work "sculpt" landscape, produce and pay for such advertisements.

Well-chosen words and images reminiscent of the Japanese daily newspaper that they live in a beautiful country. They also inspire foreigners who buy books about gardens, flowers, architecture, Kyoto, Japan that is blessed, being the only country in the world, with its graceful "love the four seasons." Neither of which country in the world has such a rich heritage of characters and literary glorification of nature. Writing out a check in a restaurant or bar reads: "Maple Leaf", "Firefly", "Autumn Grasses", the main bank before Teyio Kobe Mitsui Ginko (Sunny Bank Mitsui), once changed its name to Sakura Ginko (Bank of Cherry Blossom). Countless ceremonies, such as Mitsutori, providing spring water in the temple Nigatsu-up in Nara, the survivors of the traditional culture, people perform such rituals in private homes and in temples or watch, as is broadcast in one form or another almost every day on TV . From spring rice ceremony at the palace in Tokyo, set emperor, to the admiration moon parties in the autumn, millions of people are celebrating the passage of the seasons. Trading halts the ranks of plastic cherry blossoms in the spring and plastic maple leaves in autumn. And these seasonal traditions obscure the devastation taking place everywhere in Japan. It is easy to forget or overlook that replaces the Forestry Agency of Japan maple and cherry cedar that fireflies do not go up the concrete river banks.

It is impossible for a full day in Japan do not see the image — in the newspaper, on plastic, chrome, neon or celluloid — autumn leaves, spring flowers, flowing rivers and coastal pines. But it is even possible to walk for many months or even years without seeing at least one of these real things in their unspoiled form. Covert propaganda and symbols supported to meet the public and aimed at the bureaucracy autopilot, lines of tanks go further: imposing concrete along the rivers and the coast, planting trees, hills and dumping industrial waste. Moving inexorably as well as "moving finger" Omar Khayyam, the bureaucracy cuts their "concepts" on the ground, and "neither our piety nor wit will not turn our back on it halfway or all of our tears will not wash away that."

Alex Kerr 

from the book Dogs and Demons

Have a look at Fukushima in the eye, all of God's dew

Like this post? Please share to your friends: