White Paper

Quality of the Environment in Japan 1994

 (2) Monitoring Effluent

  In pursuance of their obligations under the Water Pollution Control Law to ensure the discharge of effluent from factories and other places of business is in compliance with effluent standards, prefectural governors and city mayors of the designated cities order factories and other industries to undergo spot inspections. Based on these surveys, the prefectural governors and mayors have been conducting necessary administrative actions such as orders for improvements and so on. The Environment Agency subsidizes the costs of these activities and also assists local governments with the installation of telemetric monitoring systems.

7-3-6 Purification Measures

  (1) Purification of River Water

  River purification projects carried out to improve water quality included projects to divert water from larger rivers and other sources and/or introduce treated water into polluted rivers with low volumes of water flow (as in the cases of the Shin-Arata River and Uchi River), projects to purify extremely polluted rivers through the rock-contact aeration and oxidation method (as in the case of the Edo River), projects to dredge the bottoms of rivers and remove sludge which is the main cause of foul odors and pollution (as in Kasumigaura and Nakaumi). The total costs of these projects was ¥19,072 million in the initial government budget (¥8,720 million in the supplementary budget) and they were carried out in 98 locations (33 projects conducted directly by the Ministry of Construction and 65 projects for which subsidies were provided)
  Additionally, the Ministry is conducting a number of projects toimprove the quality of water in inner-city rivers. Under the City River Revitalization and Purification Model Projects, water from outside rivers and water that has been treated at sewerage treatment plants is introduced into inner-city rivers to maintain water volumes and river sizes. To separate the flow of water from polluted and unpolluted water-courses in inner-city areas, the Ministry is carrying out Clean Water-Course Construction Projects. In lakes and reservoirs, dredging and local environment clean up projects have been combined and executed under Lake Front Maintenance Projects.
  In measures to reduce water pollution in dam reservoirs, such as muddiness and eutrophication, the Ministry is conducting projects to improve the circulation and aeration of the water in these reservoirs. Four new projects, including the Kawaji Dam, were started in 1993, bringing the total number of projects conducted to date to 14. The total budget for these projects was ¥2,728 million (¥1,657 million in supplementary budgets).

  (2) Improvement of Water Flow in Rivers

  The water flow patterns of rivers in Japan experience drastic changes throughout the course of a year. Measures to regulate the flow of river water are needed to control the rapid downstream flow of large volumes of water that occur during floods, and in the other extreme, to preserve water quality and ensure an adequate water supply for public, industrial and agricultural use in times of water shortages. The Agency is conducting a number of projects, including the construction of multi-purpose dams, to regulate the water flow of rivers for the purposes outlined above.
  Through the end of fiscal 1992, the Ministry of Construction had completed 345 dam construction projects, and an additional 303 projects were conducted in fiscal 1993, which included dams constructed as part of environmental protection measures for the riparian environment. Thus the Ministry of Construction is active in implementing projects to preserve the riparian environment, and ensure stable water supplies.

  (3) Measures to Improve the Quality of Coastal Waters

  The following projects to improve the quality of coastal waters were performed.
 (1) Clean-up projects (in 52 locations) run by prefectural governments to remove the build up of surface waste material and improve the marine environment in coastal fishing grounds.
 (2) Rehabilitation projects (in 47 locations) such as dredging, plough. ing, and planting in coastal fishing grounds to improve the marine environment by removing sediment pollution to improve water quality.
 (3) The removal of organic sludge from heavily polluted coastal areas. This has been done on the Fujisawa and three other sea coasts.

  (4) Measures for the Removal of Sediment Polluted with Mercury Compounds and PCBs

  As of July 1990, measures to remove mercury from sediment had been completed in 42 locations in Japan where levels exceeded provisional standards. It was recognized that mercury levels exceeded provisional standards due to natural causes at one location.
  As of July 1991, measures to remove PCBs from sediment had been completed in 75 out of 79 locations where levels exceeded provisional standards. Removal measures were yet to be completed at Sasebo Harbor (Sasebo City) and three other locations.

  (5) Measures to Improve Water Quality in Channels and Elsewhere

  There are many areas where it is not expected that sewerage and other domestic effluent disposal facilities will be constructed in the immediate future, even though they have been designated as priority areas under the Water Pollution Control Law because of the serious state of pollution. Since fiscal 1992, the Environment Agency has begun conducting various projects under the Program for the Installation of Purification Facilities of Channels Polluted by Household Effluents, in polluted channels and streams in areas that do not come under the jurisdiction of the River Law or the Sewerage Law.
  In fiscal 1993, such projects were being carried out in 12 prefectures and 14 cities, with a total budget of ¥ 1,116 million, of which state subsidies amounted to ¥292 million.

7-3-7 Water Pollution Control Measures for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  (1) Measures Against Pollution of Agricultural Water

  The following measures with a view to preserving the quality of water used for agricultural purposes were carried out.
  * Analyzing the quality of water in sources used for agricultural purposes, such as watercourses, reservoirs, and groundwater.
  * Conducting surveys on the quality of water in large scale agricultural reservoirs, and research on the major causes of pollution in these reservoirs.
  * Research on methods to reduce the amount of pollutants in agricultural wastewater.
  * Establishing farming community wastewater disposal projects to develop facilities for the disposal of wastewater from these communities. Projects are being carried out in 1,229 districts.
  * In areas where urgent pollution prevention measures are needed, projects such as the separation of drainage and sourcing channels and changing to different water sources. Projects in one district are under direct management and assistance is provided to projects in 68 other districts.

  (2) Fisheries-Related Pollution Control Measures

  The following fisheries-related pollution control measures were carried out.

  (A) Studies on Pollution of the Fishing Environment

  * Studies on the impact of pollution caused by mercury, PCBs, dioxins and other toxic chemical substances on fish and shellfish.
  * Studies on methods for the early detection of contamination of fish and shellfish by newly introduced pollutants and measures to counter this type of pollution.
  * Studies to establish methods to determine the impact on fish of exposure to toxic chemical substances for a short period of time.
  * Studies on the process of the effects of contamination on the constitution of fish.
  * Studies on the impact on fisheries caused by acid rain and the consequent acidification of lakes and reservoirs, and measures to counter these effects.
  * Developing methods to predict the build up of toxin levels in shellfish.
  * Studies on the impact on fishery resources produced by the discharge of large volumes of effluent from power stations situated close to bays and other shallow coastal waters.
  * Studies on the impact of changing compositions of nutrient salts on fisheries.
  * Research to establish quantitative methods to measure the role of tidal lands in the purification of water. In addition to the above, monitoring coastal waters across an increasingly wider area that is covered by Japanese fishing trawlers was carried out.

  (B) Prevention of Fishing Ground Pollution and Related System for Providing Guidance

  To prevent the deterioration of fishing ground environments the Fisheries-Related Agency is assisting in activities being conducted by prefectural governments such as the surveillance of fishing grounds by officials responsible for guidance, providing advice to fishermen on conservation matters, and supplying equipment to measure and prevent oil pollution.
  Other projects in this area include the successful development of technology to remove the build up of tuff loam/red clay in coastal fishing grounds in Okinawa prefecture, the development of technology and processes using plankton to dispose of oil pollution, and the production of educational materials including movies and television programs. The Agency has conducted successful water environment cleanup campaigns together with prefectural governments, and assisted in planning programs to properly dispose of fishery-related waste such as fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats, nets, and other fishing equipment.

  (C) Measures to Prevent Red Tides

  In this area the Agency has conducted studies to understand the mechanisms which trigger the phenomena of various types of red tides, particularly research into the life cycle of plankton, and has successfully cooperated with related organizations on projects to collect and exchange information in this area.
  The Agency is developing a system to predict the occurrence of red tides using an information data base. Additionally, studies have been conducted into the causes behind and prevention of blue tides-large water masses with low oxygen levels-and research into the composition of sediment matter that dissolves into the water and into ways to reduce pollution from this source.

  (D) Measures to Improve the Quality of Waters in Fishing Ports

  The Agency has conducted fishing-port community wastewater disposal projects in 76 districts to develop facilities for the processing of wastewater from these communities and purification of water in ports and surrounding areas.

  (3) Damage Relief Measures

  To provide assistance in cases of oil pollution caused by unidentified sources, the Agency subsidizes the Fishing Ground Oil Pollution Relief Fund. The Agency also provides funds to groups engaged in cultivation of fish to assist them in meeting net premiums for insurance that includes special clauses to cover damage caused by red tides.

7-4 Measures to Preserve Water-Quality in Enclosed Water Areas

  Considering the current status of water pollution in Japan, it is apparent the attainment of EQS in enclosed water areas, such as narrow frontage bays, mediterranean seas, lakes and reservoirs, is still in lower level than other water areas. Eutrophication also seems to become more serious in those areas because of successive influent of nutrients including nitrogen or phosphorus. A major reason for this is their inherent characteristics, which facilitate the accumulation of pollutants. The introduction of pollutants containing high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous contributes significantly to the deterioration of water quality by stimulating the growth of algae and other marine vegetation, which in turn results in eutrophication.
  As for the water quality indicated by COD in such enclosed water areas, the ratio of satisfying EQS in fiscal 1992 was improved to 74% in Tokyo Bay, compared with 63% in fiscal 1991 ; however, those in Ise Bay, the Osaka Bay area of the Seto Inland Sea, and other areasremained low ; and especially low attainments of 44.6% were found in lakes and reservoirs.
  In fiscal 1992, there were 38 red tide occurrences in Tokyo Bay, and 62 in Ise Bay. In 1993, there were 87 occurrences in the Seto Inland Sea (survey by the Fisheries Agency), and in Tokyo Bay and other locations, blue tides (aoshio) were also observed. There are also some lakes and reservoirs where water-blooms (aoko) and freshwater red tides have been detected.
  In order to take countermeasures with these phenomena, further surveys, studies and measures should be promoted to conserve water quality in enclosed water areas.

7-4-1 Promotion of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls

  With the Water Pollution Control Law revision of 1978, Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls were institutionalized for overall reduction in the loads of pollutants flowing into waters.
  Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls are applied to water areas where it is judged that the current effluent standards including the prefectural reinforced effluent standards are insufficient to attain the EQSs. Under this system, Seto Inland Sea, Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay have been designated as specified water areas.
  The COD level, a representative index for organic pollutants in coastal seas, lakes and reservoirs is specified as the item for Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls.
  The first series of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls (with the target year set at 1984) and the second series of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls (with the target year set at 1989) were carried out, but further improvement of the water quality in these areas is needed. Therefore, the third series of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls was implemented with the 1994 fiscal year as the target year, based on the Basic Policy for Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls, which was formulated in January 1991, and on the Programs for the Reduction of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls, which was formulated in March 1991. Details of pollutant reduction targets are set out in Figure 7-4-1.

Fig. 7-4-1 Pollution Loads and Reduction Targets by Source for Three Sea Areas under Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls

Fig. 7-4-1 Pollution Loads and Reduction Targets by Source for Three Sea Areas under Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls

Remark : Figures for FY 1979, 1984, and 1989 are actual and those for FY 1994 are targets.

  The third series of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls states targets for reducing pollutants (industrial, domestic, and other) by type of emission source. Goals set included the reduction of pollutants, by 1994 in comparison with 1989 levels, by 13% in Tokyo Bay, 8% in Ise Bay and 9% in the Seto Inland Sea for an overall reduction in the three areas of 10%. By source of pollution, targets were set for a reduction of 12% for household effluent, 9% for industrial effluent, and 2% for others (refer to Figure 7-4-1). In efforts to achieve the targets under these plans, the Agency is promoting a comprehensive program of construction of sewerage systems and other facilities such as effluent treatment facilities for agricultural hamlets, combined treatment and purification tanks and so forth, industrial wastewater measures, including the strengthening of areawide total pollutant load control standards, such as at factories, and various measures are being implemented in a comprehensive manner.
  The procedures for improving water quality of these areas are under study with surveying the enforcement of a third series of Areawide Total Pollutant Load Controls.

7-4-2 Measures to Conserve Lake and Reservoir Environments

  The relative ease with which pollution accumulates in lakes and reservoirs and the serious limitation on water usage caused by the occurrence of eutrophication means it is particularly important that adequate measures are adopted to preserve the water quality in these bodies of water. The Special Measures Law for the Conservation of Lake and Reservoir Water Law was enacted in 1984, and came into effect in March 1985. The main thrust of this legislation is to preserve the water quality of lakes and reservoirs and promote the formulation of measures to increase and maintain the number of lakes and reservoirs in which water meets environmental quality standards. The nine lakes and reservoirs which have been designated for protection under this act are outlined in Table 7-4-1. In addition, a second-stage plan for conservation of water quality in lakes and reservoirs that covers reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous has been prepared and adopted as of March 1992 for Lake Biwa, Kasumigaura and three other lakes and as of March 1993 for Kamafusa Dam Reservoir and Lake Suwa.

7-4-3 Measures to Prevent Eutrophication

  Originally, eutrophication was understood as a natural phenomenon when nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, flow into water areas in run off from watersheds, increasing fertility and hence the growth of algae and marine vegetation.
  More recently, this phenomenon has been promoted by the sharp increase in pollutants containing nitrogen and phosphorous form urban areas, extending the problem of eutrophication to bays and other enclosed coastal waters, in addition to lakes and reservoirs. The consequent deterioration of water quality in these areas has become a major environmental problem.
  Eutrophication not only lowers the clarity or mars the appearance of lakes and reservoirs, but also creates various problems such as filtration problems and abnormal odor or taste, etc. It also contributes to occurrences of red or blue tides in coastal waters, resulting in damages to the fishing industry.
  In consideration of these problems caused by eutrophication, the following measures have been taken against nitrogen and phosphorus which are the substances causing the problems.

Table 7-4-1 Outline of Designated Lakes and Reservoirs

Table 7-4-1 Outline of Designated Lakes and Reservoirs

  In 1982, environmental quality standards were established for nitrogen and phosphorous levels in lakes and reservoirs. As of fiscal 1992, these standards were applied to 44 lakes and reservoirs, including the 2 water areas of Lake Biwa, that were among 48 water areas.
  Standards for nitrogen and phosphorous levels in effluent were established in 1985. Regulations are in place to enforce compliance with these standards at 1,066 lakes and reservoirs with respect to effluent containing phosphorous, and 78 of those lakes and reservoirs with respect to effluent containing nitrogen.
  Additionally, with respect to seven lakes and reservoirs, including Lake Biwa, pollutant load controls have been implemented for effluent containing nitrogen and phosphorous under the Special Measures Law for the Conservation of Lake and Reservoir Water. These regulations only apply for phosphorous in the case of the Kamafusa Dam Reservoir.
  As regards coastal waters, prefectural governments are providing guidance to industry on the methods to reduce effluent containing phosphorous and phosphorous compounds in accordance with the Special Measures Law for Conservation of the Seto Inland Sea Environment.
  With respect to Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay, the prefectural governments concerned have undertaken measures since 1982 to prevent the occurrence of eutrophication in these waters. In fiscal 1991, the third Direction for the Reduction of Nutrients commenced. In addition, in August 1993, environmental quality standards and effluent standards were established for nitrogen and phosphorous in coastal waters. Also, in October 1993 effluent controls were enforced for public bodies of water emptying into 88 coastal water areas which are enclosed and in danger of eutrophication. At present both national and prefectural governments are considering a type classification for environmental quality standards related to nitrogen and phosphorous in coastal waters.

7-4-4 Measures for Conservation of the Seto Inland Sea Environment

  The Seto Inland Sea is a scenic region that is home to an abundance of marine life. However, from the 1960s, water pollution in the sea has been escalating at a considerable rate. To preserve the water quality, temporary legislation, the Law Concerning Temporary Measures for Conservation of the Environment of the Seto Inland Sea, wasenacted in 1973, and followed in 1978 by a permanent act, the Law Concerning Special Measures for Conservation of the Environment of the Seto Inland Sea. Today, programs to preserve the water quality are progressing under this law.
  Looking at water quality from the perspective of COD levels, at the end of fiscal 1993, 72% of the total area of the Seto Inland Sea had attained environmental standards, indicating the success of water quality programs. An exception to this general improvement was the water quality in Osaka Bay, where the attainment rate for COD remained particularly low. Also, attainment of COD levels in Class A water areas, which make up a substantial part of the sea, remained low at 35%.
  With respect to eutrophication, evidence indicates that algae volumes are increasing in tandem with larger inflows of nutrient salts into sea waters. The phenomena of eutrophication is accompanied by the occurrence of red tides, and in 1994, 96 cases of red tides were reported by the Fisheries Agency. Between June and October 1994, 2 cases of water pollution associated with red tides were reported.
  Turning to oil pollution, the Maritime Safety Agency reported 101 incidents in fiscal 1994, down from 874 in fiscal 1972. Despite the large decrease, th~is number still accounted for 27% of the total number of accidents in Japanese waters.
  The 13 prefectures which border on the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Inland Sea Prefectures) are taking the following water conservation measures under the Law Concerning Special Measures for Conservation of the Environment of the Seto Inland Sea.

  (1) Proniotiort of Prefectural Progrants

  Recognizing the importance of conservation measures to preserve the environment of the Seto Inland Sea, Prefectural Governors are implementing comprehensive environmental protection measures in accordance with prefectural program plans.

  (2) Permission for the Installation of Specified Facilities

  A licensing system has been introduced for the installation of specified environmental conservation facilities. 375 licenses were issued for the installation of these types of facilities in fiscal 1993, and there were 425 cases in which licenses were changed.

  (3) Promotion of Areawide Total Water Pollution Controls

  Implementation of the third series of areawide total water pollutant load controls is currently in progress, with 1994 set as the date by which target levels are to be achieved. (Refer to Section 7-4-1 on areawide water pollution load controls for further details)

  (4) Reduction of Phosphorus and Phosphorus Compounds

  In 1980, the Agency began its second guidance program to reduce levels of phosphorus and phosphorus compounds. Based on the results of this program and the present water quality of water in the Seto Inland Sea, the Agency formulated its third guidance policy and is presently carrying out guidance programs in accordance with this policy.

  (5) Conservation of the Coastline

  Urbanization of the coastline along the Seto Inland Sea is progressing at a rapid pace and large areas which remain untouched by development are used for a variety of recreational purposes such as swimming and water sports, and clamming. In 1993, the number of people who used 61 bathing beaches along the coastline numbered 7.05 million.
  Ordinances have been enacted by 10 prefectures to preserve the remaining natural coastline, and as of December 31, 1994, 91 areas had been designated as natural coastline conservation areas.

  (6) Environmental Considerations Related to Land Reclamation

  At the Seto Inland Sea Environmental Conservation Council Convention in May 1974, the concerned prefectural governors concluded a basic policy to promulgate regulations governing the granting of licenses for land reclamation projects in the Seto Inland Sea area. Subsequently, regulations have been enacted specifying that adequate consideration must be given to the special environmental characteristics of the Seto Inland Sea area and the environmental consequences of any projects when making a decision whether to grant a license for land reclamation projects. Since the enactment of the Law Concerning Temporary Measures for Conservation of the Environment of the SetoInland Sea, as of November 1, 1994, 3,804 licenses covering a total land area of 9,274 hectares had been granted for land reclamation projects. Of this number, 121 licenses covering an area of 462 hectares had been granted in the one year period since November 2, 1993.

  (7) Implementation of Environmental Conservation Projects

  The following projects have been implemented for the protection of the Seto Inland Sea Environment:
 (A) Under the Seventh Five-Year Sewerage Development Program, public sewerage systems, catchment basin sewerage systems and special public sewerage facilities for environmental conservation purposes, are being promoted on a priority basis by the 13 Seto Inland Sea prefectures. And the development of community plants, effluent facilities for agricultural hamlets, combined treatment and purification tanks are being promoted.
 (B) As of December 1994, construction of disposal facilities for waste oil from ships was under way at 39 places in 24 ports. Of this number, projects at 24 locations in 16 ports were for facilities to dispose of waste diesel oil.
 (C) The Maritime Safety Agency coordinates aircraft and boat patrol operations as part of its monitoring activities of the Seto Inland Sea, and in 1994 conducted three Clean-up Campaigns for the Seto Inland Sea and the Uwa Sea as part of determined efforts to ensure that effluent discharge and waste disposal regulations were being complied with.
 (D) In addition to conducting continuous surveys on water pollution levels since 1972, the Agency has carried out numerous studies to better understand the mechanisms behind the generation of red-tides and measures to combat eutrophication.
 (E) In fiscal 1994 the Agency continued to work with the Seto Inland Sea Environment Conservation Association in sponsoring lectures and training programs for residents and companies to spread awareness of and improve the knowledge of environmental issues in the region.

7-5 Pollution of Groundwater Present State and Countermeasures

7-5-1 Present Quality of Groundwater

  Surveys carried out by the Environmental Agency in 'fiscal 1982 and 1983 showed that pollutants, such as trichloroethylene, were present in many groundwater locations. Also, in general conditions surveys on the quality of groundwater carried out over a five-year period from fiscal 1984 to fiscal 1988, local governments found that out of a total of 27,000 wells surveyed, the ratio of the wells for which the levels of water quality exceeded the standard values concerning each substance were trichloroethylene, 7.7%, and tetrachloroethylene, 4.1%.
  From fiscal 1989, it was decided that a regular surveillance system would commence in accordance with the provisions of the Water Pollution Control Law, and that national government and local authorities would monitor the quality of groundwater.

Table 7-5-1 Findings of Survey of Groundwater Pollution

Table 7-5-1 Findings of Survey of Groundwater Pollution

Note : Levels of substances other than those in the table were all below the levels of standard values.

  Hazardous substances that were found to have concentrations in excess of standard values in the general conditions survey (a survey to understand the general conditions of groundwater quality in each area) performed in 1,506 municipalities in fiscal 1992 are listed in Table 7-5-1.
  Additionally, the vicinity wells contamination survey (a survey carried out on areas surrounding polluted wells to determine the extent of pollution in areas where pollution was newly discovered in thegeneral survey) showed the following substances exceeded standard values.
Substance  Number of wells surveyed and the percentage where concentrations are in excess. of standard values
Arsenic  3.0% or 4 out of 133 wells
Total mercury  6.0% or 4 out of 67 wells Trichloroethylene  3.5% or 72 out of 2,076 wells
Tetrachloroethylene  6.3% or 137 out of 1,171 wells
1, 1, 1-Trichloroethane  0.3% or 5 out of 1,942 wells
Carbon tetrachloride  0.8% or 4 out of 523 wells
  Findings of regular monitoring surveys-those conducted on areas surrounding polluted wells of part of general monitoring activities -were as follows :
Substance  Number of wells surveyed and the percentage where concentrations are in excess of standard values
Lead  0.8% or 5 out of 609 wells
Hexavalent chrome  1.3% or 8 out of 616 wells
Arsenic  2.3% or 16 out of 708 wells
Total mercury  2.3% or 14 out of 622 wells
Trichloroethylene  9.0% or 293 out of 3,247 wells
Tetrachloroethylene  19.7% or 651 out of 3,306 wells
1,1,1-trichloroethane  0.4% or 12 out of 2,874 wells
Carbon tetrachloride  1.1% or 12 out of 1,099 wells
  In the above surveys, no other hazardous substances were found with concentrations in excess of standard values.

7-5-2 Measures to Improve the Quality of Groundwater

  Once groundwater is polluted, it is very difficult to restore its original water quality. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures before the pollution advances. The Environment Agency has established provisional guidelines concerning the controls on discharge of three substances including trichloroethylene, etc., and has been providing guidance to factories and other business establishments that have been handling these substances since August 1984. The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry have instructed the concerned industries, and the Ministry of Construction has been conducting investigations on groundwater.
  However, the state of groundwater pollution by substances such as trichloroethylene has not improved. In 1989, the "Water Pollution Control Law" was partially revised in order to promote measures to prevent pollution caused by hazardous chemicals. With this revised law, measures such as the prohibition of the infiltration of water containing 11 hazardous substances such as trichloroethylene, etc., into the ground, the regular survey of the quality of groundwater by the governor of a prefecture or metropolis, etc. were taken in 1989 (Figure 7-5-1).

Fig. 7-5-1 Restriction System per "Water Pollution Control Law"

Fig. 7-5-1 Restriction System per "Water Pollution Control Law"

  (Concerning groundwater)

  Financial aid has been provided by the Environment Agency toward the expenses incurred in the water quality surveys which are conducted in accordance with the groundwater quality measurement program formulated by the governor of a prefecture or metropolis.
  In December 1993, the restrictions were tightened by adding another 13 substances including 1, 1, 1 trichloroethane, etc. to the designated hazardous chemicals.
  It can be seen then that regulations under the Water Pollution Control Law regarding groundwater are gradually being strengthened to prevent the spread of pollution in this area. The Environmental Agency will continue to conduct surveys to gain a clearer understanding of the major causes of groundwater pollution and work to develop more efficient methods to improve the quality of groundwater that has become polluted.

7-6 Marine Pollution-Present Levels and Countermeasures

7-6-1 Present Levels of Marine Pollution

  (1) Ports, Harbors, and Surrounding Coastal Waters

  Although the quality of water and sea bed sediment in bays and surrounding waters is gradually improving, pollution is still occurring in a number of places as a result of effluent from domestic and industrial sources that is being discharged either directly into these waters, or that is reaching these waters through river flows. Moreover, occurrences of red tides are still being recorded in the waters of Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay, and the Seto Inland Sea.

  (2) Japanese Sea Waters

  In efforts to gain a better understanding of marine pollution levels in the waters and sediment of the seas surrounding Japan, and the types of substances accounting for this pollution, the Environment Agency carries out a variety of tests and surveys. These surveys are concentrated on a monitoring line which delineates Class A sea areas -those areas a specified distance from the coast where, under the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disasters, it is permissible to dispose of solidified sludge, waste and other pol1utants containing heavy metals.
  The results of surveys conducted by the Maritime Safety Agency on waters and seabed in the seas surrounding Japan confirmed there was no progress in the reduction of levels of oil-based pollution, PCB's, or other pollutants containing heavy metals.
  Additionally, surveys conducted in 1993 indicate that the amount of waste oil slicks floating in Japanese sea waters as well as the amount that is being washed up on the Japanese coastline had increased from the previous year. Additionally, in 1993, regular surveys conducted to monitor levels of surface pollution indicated that 70% of this type of pollution consists of petrochemical products such as styrene foam and vinyl materials. As in the previous year, the amount of pollution off the Southern Honshu coast was considerable.
  In contrast to this data, figures compiled by the Maritime Safety Agency on the number of incidents generating marine pollution, listed in table 7-6-1, show that 762 incidents which resulted in marine pollution occurred in 1993, 47 less than 1992. This is the lowest figure since compilation of statistics began in 1971.

Table 7-6-1 Changes in Numbers of Confirmed Marine Pollution by Sea Area

Table 7-6-1 Changes in Numbers of Confirmed Marine Pollution by Sea Area

Remarks : Surveyed by the Maritime Safety Agency. The "other" category under "Pollution by other substances" includes industrial effluents and certain other substances.

  Looking at the sources of oil pollution in 1993, there were 357 cases of spillage from ships, the largest cause. Of this number, 152 were caused by careless acts and 188 were deliberate. In the case of non-oil pollution, there were 158 incidents, almost all of which were deliberate acts.
  The Meteorological Agency performs background pollution surveys on the waters in the seas surrounding Japan and the northwest Pacific ocean to monitor the concentration of different pollutants in these waters. According to these surveys, concentrations of mercury and cadmium have remained constant, while the incidence of waste oil slicks has continued at low levels since 1982. Plastic and other surface pollution has been at low levels in the open seas, but distributed in dense concentrations off the southern and eastern coasts of Honshu island. Oil slicks were detected in surveys until 1992, but none were detected in 1993.
  The Fishery Agency is monitoring pollution in all waters which are used by Japanese fishing boats and other vessels.

7-6-2 Marine Pollution Prevention Measures

  (1) Measures to Prevent the Escalatien of Pollution

  (A) Controls on Pollution from Ships

  The disposal from ships of waste oil and hazardous liquids and the incineration of fuel are regulated under the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disasters. In addition to enforcing these regulations, inspections of ships are carried out to ensure they comply with technical standards relating to structure, equipment, and other items, and certificates are issued to certify that ships comply with pollution prevention regulations.

  (B) Assessment of Effluents Whose Environmental Impact Is Unknown

  At the same time as executing regulations on toxic effluent, the Environment Agency conducts tests on substances whose environmental impact has yet to be assessed. As of March 1994, the Environment Agency had assessed aad made announcements on 126 substances.

  (C) Guidance on Prevention of Marine Pollution

  The Ministry of Transport and the Maritime Safety Agency conduct lectures to inform parties concerned of regulations under the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disasters that deal with toxic effluent and other waste, and generally

increase awareness of marine pollution. In particular the Agency provides guidance to ships from countries where there are no regulations regarding marine pollution.
  Other activities carried out by the Marine Safety Agency include a Marine Pollution Prevention Promotion Week, which runs as part of the programs conducted during Environment Month--that month designated by the Environment Agency for environmental awareness. During that week, the Marine Safety Agency conducts an intensive program to board ships and provide guidance and, making use of its marine pollution monitoring system, works to increase awareness of marine pollution-related laws and concepts of preventing such pollution.

  (D) Development of Waste Oil Treatment Facilities

  The Environment Agency is assisting with the improvement of public waste oil treatment facilities used to treat waste oil from ships. Including those privately owned, there were 131 treatment facilities at 81 ports as of December 1993. Of this number, 49 facilities at 35 ports were for the treatment of diesel oil.

  (2) Development of Systems for the Disposal/Removal of Waste Oil

  The Maritime Safety Agency is carrying out the following measures to prevent the release of oil and other pollutants into the marine environment:
  * Maintaining a continuous/24-hour aircraft and patrol boat service to respond to incidents resulting in oil pollution, and equipment to adequately deal with such accidents ;
  * Providing guidance to ship owners with respect to equipment and procedures required to deal with oil spillage ;
  * Providing guidance to the Maritime Disaster Prevention Center, the core non-government institution for the prevention of maritime disasters, and to government officials and private citizens in ports and harbors which have petrochemical complexes, in the form of conferences and other educational seminars;
  * Training members of government and private sectors in methods to deal with large oil spills

  (3) Measures to Improve the Water Quality of Ports and Nearby Coastal Waters

  In fiscal 1993, dredging of sediment containing organic pollutants and other activities was carried out in Tokyo Bay, Osaka Bay, and 15 other locations as part of harbor pollution prevention measures. Also, harbor environment maintenance and improvement projects were in progress in 32 harbors, and one land fill project making use of waste materials was also in progress. In addition, a survey was conducted for a large-scale waste processing project in Tokyo Bay.
  In addition, projects to recover garbage and oil in sea areas outside harbors and ports were also carried out. Several regional sea environment development projects, such as sand refills and improvements to beaches suffering from erosion, were undertaken to upgrade the environment of enclosed sea regions with large build-ups of sludge. Such projects were carried out in two areas on the Seto Inland Sea and at seven ports.

  (4) Research and Development of Technology for thePrevention of Marine Pollution

  The Ministry of Transport is conducting research in a number of areas, including the treatment of oil and gas exhaust from ships, to improve marine pollution prevention techniques. It is also working on developing a number of water purification technologies including passing water over rock beds to increase oxygen content, other aeration methods, and introduction of water from cleaner sources.
  The Marine Safety Agency is conducting research on methods to separate small amounts of lubricating oil contained in waste oil spillage. In efforts to understand the influence that currents have on the generation of red tides in locations such as Ise Bay and other enclosed waters, the Maritime Agency is developing models that simulate ocean currents, and also models that can be used to help determine if there is any relationship between changes in water temperature and water salinity levels and the occurrence of red tides.
  The Fishery Agency is working to reduce the effect on the marine environment caused by discarded fishing equipment by developing biodegradable plastics to be used in making such equipment.

7-6-3 Monitoring and Control of Marine Pollution

  (1) Current State of Monitoring and Control Measures

  The Maritime Safety Agency monitors and controls pollution in the seas around Japan. Areas on which surveillance activities are focused include Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay, and the Seto Inland Sea--those waters which are used as tanker routes or otherwise have heavy water traffic, and therefore have the greatest potential for pollution. The Maritime Safety Agency uses patrol boats fitted with helicopter landing pads, and patrol aircraft in its pollution surveillance activities.

Table 7-6-2 Number of Cases Referred to Prosecution for Violation of Maritime Environmental Pollution Prevention Laws and Ordinances

Table 7-6-2 Number of Cases Referred to Prosecution for Violation of Maritime Environmental Pollution Prevention Laws and Ordinances

Remark: Surveyed by the Maritime Safety Agency

  In efforts to prevent criminal breaches of pollution regulations, the Maritime Safety Agency conducts such operations periodically on a concentrated nationwide basis.

  (2) Referral of Marine Pollution Cases for Prosecution

  The number of cases referred to prosecution by the Maritime Safety Agency for violation of pollution laws and ordinances in the three years from 1991 are listed in table 7-6-2. Of the 1,351 cases referred, in this period 1,258 involved the direct discharge of oil, toxic effluent or other waste matter, accounting for 93% of the total number.

7-6-4 Compensation for Oil Pollution Accidents

  In view of the high costs of damages and other problems resulting from oil tanker accidents, Japan has become a signatory country to two treaties-the International Convention on Civil Liabilities for Damage Resulting from Oil Pollution and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensating of Damage Caused by Oil Pollution (which is a supplementary convention to the International Convention on Civil Liabilities for Damage Resulting from Oil Pollution of 1969)-with the objective of improving the system for damage compensation for such accidents. The provisions of these conventions have been enacted in Japan as the Law for Reparation and Compensation of Damage by Oil Pollution. Under this Law (1) ship owners are assigned with no-fault liability for compensation, (2) a special limit on the amount of compensation is set, (3) tankers carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil are required to have special responsibility insurance contracts, and (4) in the event that those suffering damages from oil pollution cannot be properly compensated by ship owners under the aforementioned compensation and reparation system, sufferers may receive compensation from the international fund. (However, an upper limit is set on such compensation from the international fund.)
  In November 1992, a protocol was adopted providing for an increase in the limit on compensation that must be paid by ship owners and an upper limit on compensation that can be received from the international fund. In view of this development, consideration of expanding the system for compensation and reparations is under way. When a substantial portion of responsibilities for damages to fisheries cannot be traced to a definite cause, relief (in the form of funds and payment of expenses for removal of oil) is provided to affected fishermen from the Fishing Ground Oil Pollution Damage Relief Fund Foundation. In fiscal 1992, such relief was provided in 23 instances with a total outlay of ¥80,950 million.

Chapter 8. Other Pollution--Current State and Countermeasures

8-1 Waste Disposal--Current State and Countermeasures

8-1-1 Outline of Waste Disposal

  (1) Disposal of General Waste

  General wastes are treated according to disposal programs formulated by municipalities. Table 8-1-1 shows the number of septic facilities installed and the population having access to these. In 1991, the volume of human waste collected by specialized vehicles or treated in septic facilities amounted to 100,719 kl/day, of which 86% is processed in human waste treatment facilities and sewage systems, thereby show-ing the progress made toward the hygienic disposal of waste.
  As indicated in Figure 8-1-1, septic tank installation amounted to 7.0 million, and this contributed to the fact that about one-fourth of the population, or 34.3 million, utilize flush toilets.
  Table 8-1-2 shows the different methods of garbage treatment. In fiscal 1991, the total volume of garbage generated was 138,708 t/day, a 0.6% rise from the previous year. Of this total, approximately 83% is incinerated or compacted.

Fig. 8-1-1 Number of Septic Facilities Installed and the User Population (Nation wide)

Fig. 8-1-1 Number of Septic Facilities Installed and the User Population (Nation wide)

Table 8-1-1 Human Waste Treatment

Table 8-1-1 Human Waste Treatment

Notes: 1. Total volume of human waste collected by specialized truck = Volume of human waste collected by specialized truck+volume of matter in septic tanks.
  2. Figures are rounded and may not add up to the grand totals.
  3. The total population includes the population of foreign residents in some municipalities.
  4. The figures in parentheses in the row for the population with septic tanks available represent the population for whom community plants are available.

Table 8-1-2 Garbage Treatment

Table 8-1-2 Garbage Treatment

Note(3)=(2)/(1)
  * Volume of garbage collected by groups includes the amounts collected by the PTA (Parents and Teachers Association), the local community, and others.
  * Volume of reusable resources generated during intermediate treatment consists of the iron and aluminum recovered from garbage.
  * Figures are rounded and may not add up to the grand totals.
  * The total population includes the population of foreign residents in some municipalities.

  (2) Disposal of Industrial Wastes

  Industrial wastes generated by type are shown in Table 8-1-3. The installation of industrial waste disposal facilities is indicated in Table8-1-4, as of April 1991. The number of licenses awarded to industrial waste disposal agents is increasing each year, totalling 71,514 as of April 1991.

Table 8-1-3 Discharge of Industrial Waste (Nationwide)

Table 8-1-3 Discharge of Industrial Waste (Nationwide)

Remark Surveyed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Table 8-1-4 Installation of Industrial Waste and Treatment Facilities

Table 8-1-4 Installation of Industrial Waste and Treatment Facilities

Remarks; 1. Surveyed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
   2. Facilities by type are those which are reported in the Waste Treatment Law, under Article 15, Paragraph 1,
   3. The final disposal plants where industrial and general wastes are combined for reclamation are included in the managed treatment facilities.
   4. "Public facilities," referred to in the table, comprises water supply, sewerage treatment, and industrial water enterprises under local gov-ernments and private corporations carrying out such treatment for the public sector.

8-1-2 Waste Disposal

  (1) Revision of the Law Concerning Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing

  Recent developments in the economy and changes in lifestyle patterns have increased the volume of waste generated. This has been further compounded by the greater diversity of categories of waste generated, difficulties of securing waste disposal facilities, and illegal waste disposal, thus creating serious social issues.
  To respond to these conditions, measures promoted based on the Law Concerning Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing were revised to: promote ways to reduce garbage volume and encourage recycling, assure garbage is properly disposed of, and promote the further development of disposal facilities. To promote development of garbage disposal facilities, efforts are being made to assure the smooth operations of the Garbage Treatment Center System and the installation of special industrial facilities is being encouraged, under the Installation of Suitable Facilities Concerning the Disposal of Industrial Waste Law.
  Furthermore, on December 16, 1992, the Law for the Amendment of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing was promulgated and enforced later on December 15, 1993. This revision established rules regarding the import and export of waste that will aid in the proper disposal of waste and facilitate efforts to establish a management system to monitor waste to and from Japan. This revision enables the Minister of Health and Welfare to recognize or give his approval regarding importing and exporting waste materials and stresses the importance of properly disposing of imported waste according to waste-specific disposal standards.
  Furthermore, in March 1993, ways were to studied to broaden and strengthen the standards for the final disposal of waste under revisions for the environmental standards regarding the levels of pollution in water. As it became necessary to discuss important measures for implementation, on November 30, 1993, the Environment Agency submitted the Revision of the First Part of the Standards for the Final Disposal of Waste to the Central Environment Commission for deliberation.

  (2) Measures to Dispose of General Waste

  In order to deal with the increase in general waste volume, a total of ¥145.4 billion in subsidies from the general account was used for developing garbage disposal and human waste disposal facilities as well as reclaiming tracts of land.
  In addition, in fiscal 1993, to cope with the rapid rise in waste volume, the Ministry of Health and Welfare implemented the Overall Strategies for Garbage Reduction, with the aim of both reducing the amount of garbage produced and discharged and encouraging programs for recycling. In concrete terms, the promotion of activities and facilities for garbage reduction and recycling include : the convening of the National Convention for the Promotion of Garbage Reduction to promote enlightened disposal activities ; the provision of support for Recycling Plazas (equipped with facilities which separate garbage from recyclable resources from non-recyclable resources) ; and Recycling Centers (equipped with facilities that separate cans and bottles for recycling) give assistance to local governments in their activities to promote garbage reduction and recycling in regional areas and in sorting and collecting waste materials and promote research related to recycling of incinerator wastes.
  In addition, in March 1994, the Waste Disposal Law under Paragraph 3, Article 6, specified that the proper disposal of such articles as used tires, televisions (25 inches or larger), refrigerators (with capacity of 250 liters or more), and spring mattresses are serious concerns for municipalities. It calls for the cooperation of companies that manufacture and market such goods.
  In recent years, the standard of living in large cities has risen, and city lifestyles have become more diverse, thus bringing a sharp rise in the volume of general waste generated. But securing land for final disposal plants and waste incineration facilities has become more difficult. Implementing countermeasures for these problems is an urgent issue, and as part of waste disposal policy, the Coastal Defense Law was revised so that in areas close to land specified by the Environment Agency wastes can be incinerated aboard ships.

  (3) Promoting of the Use of Combined Treatment Septic Tanks

  Combined treatment septic tanks are expected to be an effective means to cope with household wastewater. Aid for combined treatment septic tank development projects comes from National Treasury subsidies which were increased ¥8.5 billion in 199X?, and the number of municipalities implementing these projects rose from 1,339 in fiscal 1992 to 1,700 in fiscal 1993. To greatly reduce the fiscal burden on municipalities, prefectures, and other regions, beginning in 1989, 80% of the regional burden can be provided from tax revenues allocated from the national government to local governments.
  Against the backdrop of actively increasing use of combined treatment septic tanks, in February 1993, the Life and Environment Commission Committee of Septic Tank Specialists issued a report proposing the ideal septic tank administration for the future through the following ; (1) promoting suitable facilities taking villages and other groups as a unit, (2) ensuring the proper installation and maintenance of septic tanks through formation of maintenance administration organizations, and (3) considering systems to preserve public water resources in specified areas. As a result, in March 1994, the Law to Promote the Development of Projects that Preserve the Quality of the Water Supply was promulgated, with emphasis on promoting combined treatment septic tank facility units to homes in municipalities. In doing so, in the municipalities supporting these projects within the area, the people supervising will be able to dispose of various wastewater and give important advice. In addition, the Japanese government can establish regulations which assist such companies.
  To ensure the proper disposal of wastewater, the government is promoting the enforcement of the proper disposal of wastewater in the municipalities as well as planning for the construction of community plants and the installation of combined treatment septic tanks.

  (4) Countermeasures for Industrial Waste

  It is necessary to act against the illegal disposal of industrial wastes as well as promote ways to combat the increase in volume and the types of waste being discharged. To cope with these industrial wastes, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is : planning ways to promote installation of disposal facilities; instigating a Manifesto (Special Management for Industrial Waste Management Charter) to ensure the proper management of industrial waste ; and has disseminated a host of information including "Guidelines for the Waste Disposal in the Construction Industry," "Guidelines for Waste Disposal in the Fishing Industry," "A Manual for the Disposal of Biological Contaminants," and "A Manual for the Disposal of Asbestos and Related Material." The Ministry of Health and Welfare is also beginning research on what legal procedures are necessary in the effort to restore the environment from pollution damage from illegal disposal of waste. This includes administrative action, civil liabilities for reparation, discussions on who will bear the expenses, and other procedures that arise during such cases. It is also studying what various standards should be established and is moving to increase the members in the Special Management of Industrial Waste where damaging waste is involved. Other countermeasures run by the Ministry include a Manual outlining the different disposal methods, the development of technology for the reduction and recycling of waste, and the installation and upgrading of information management systems.
  In view of the revision of environmental standards for water pollution in March 1993, the Environment Agency undertook the necessary research and consideration for establishment of final disposal criteria for 13 of the 15 substances newly specified in the revised standards. These included carbon tetrachloride, 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, benzine, and selenium compounds, but excluded the previously specified trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene.
  In addition, to provide information on industrial waste disposal, the Ministry of Health and Welfare carried out research on the current state of emissions and treatment of industrial wastes, the number of businesses engaged in treatment and disposal of such wastes, and treatment facilities.
  During fiscal 1990, administrative action related to illegal industrial waste disposal consisted of 60,969 on-the-spot inspections, 11,872 instances where reports were required, 59 cases in which permits were canceled or temporarily suspended, and 13 instances where countermeasures or improvements were ordered.
  In view of the increasing volume and growing diversity of industrial wastes and the sharp rise in demand for treatment facilities, the Minister of Health and Welfare and other ministers having jurisdiction over these matters have approved projects to expand and upgrade specified treatment facilities that can be used jointly, based on the Law Concerning Promotion of Expanding and Upgrading Specified Facilities for Treatment of Industrial Wastes. Various special financial and tax measures have been implemented to encourage these projects and a system has been established to allow prefectural governments to specify those areas where upgrading of surrounding facilities is needed. In addition, other project promotion measures include the provision of liability guarantees and assistance for instigating such projects by the Foundation for the Encouragement of Industrial Waste Treatment Projects.
  Furthermore, in addition to the specially designated waste treatinent centers in Iwate Prefecture and Oita Prefecture, during 1993, two additional centers in Nagano Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture were specially designated under the Law Concerning the Treatment of Wastes and Cleansing.
  The Japan Environmental Corporation is also engaged in construction and conveyance to users of industrial waste treatment and processing facilities.
  The Ministry of International Trade and Industry carries out various types of testing and research required for formulating policies related to disposal of industrial wastes and recycling. In addition, to promote the recycling of wastes as useful resources, the certified plant of the Green Japan Center Foundation is engaged in research on wastes that are prone to scatter and diffuse into the environment and other research topics and provides assistance for various recycling projects.
  In view of the prospects for a rising volume of constructionrelated wastes along with the expansion of public-works projects and other construction projects, the Ministry of Construction has prepared an Action Plan for Policies to Deal with Construction By-Products (the Recycle Plan), which takes account of conditions in local areas and has the fundamental objectives of restraining the volume of construction wastes, promoting their recycling, and providing for enforcement measures. The Ministry of Construction is implementing comprehensive measures in this area, including the provision of guidance and enforcement measures for parties ordering construction projects and contractors based on the Outline of Measures to Promote the Appropriate Disposal of Construction By-Products, which was approved in January 1993.
  Besides these activities, the Fisheries Agency has provided assistance principally to fishermen's organizations for the formulation of plans for the disposal of fiber reinforced plastic boats, fishing nets, and other fishing-related waste materials.

  (5) Implementation of the Law for the Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resources

  Along with the development of the Japanese economy, production and consumption have expanded, and these developments together with evolution in lifestyles have increased the volume of recyclable resources, but a substantial portion of these resources are disposed of, rather than reused. Furthermore, the growing burden on the environment is widely recognized as likely to have a detrimental impact on the foundations for future economic development.
  To respond to this situation, the Law for the Promotion of the Utilization of Recyclable Resources was enacted in April 1991 with the objectives of achieving more effective use of limited resources, curbing the volume of wastes, and contributing to preservation of the environment. This Law sets down the basic policies for promoting comprehensive and systematic recycling of resources. With the cooperation of ministries having jurisdiction over recycling of various materials, the Law provides measures for promoting the recycling and reuse of a range of items. For example, the Law provides for the reuse of materials from specified industries, namely paper manufacturing, glass container manufacturing, and construction. The Law calls for the development of recycling systems and materials in Category I products, which include automobiles, air conditioners, television sets, electric washing machines, refrigerators, and devices making use of electric motors powered by nickel-cadmium batteries, and, for Category II items, provides for labels to make recycling and sorting easier; the latter category includes aluminum and steel beverage cans and PET bottles (designated in June 1993). The Law also provides for promoting the use of designated by-products as recycled materials, including iron and steel slag, coal ash, earth and sand, lumps of cement, lumps of asphalt and concrete, and wood.

  (6) Development of Cross-Jurisdictiomal Large-Scale Disposal Facilities

  To meet the need for final disposal facilities to serve the needs of broad urban areas that include several jurisdictions, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Transportation are promoting the preparation of plans for a cross-jurisdictional, land-fill and disposal plant program, called the Phoenix Plan. In the Osaka Bay area, the Osaka Bay Cross-Jurisdictional Littoral Environment Development Center moved forward with the construction of cross-jurisdictional disposal plants, accepted wastes, and disposed of them in land-fill projects. In addition, surveys were made for the next plan program.
  In the Tokyo Bay area, consideration was under way among local governments and other organizations involved regarding crossjurisdictional disposal programs. The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Transport undertook surveys on cross-jurisdictional disposal with the aim of developing a specific plan to implement the Tokyo Bay Phoenix Plan which these two ministries unveiled in April 1987 to the relevant local governments. The Ministry of Health and Welfare also carried out basic surveys in the Chubu and the KitaKyushu areas.

  (7) Other Measures and Activities

  To provide for the proper use of waste disposal sites after their closure and prevent pollution that may arise from such final disposal facilities, the basic direction for supervision of such sites was announced, based on the joint notification issued in November 1989 by the Environment Agency and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. In addition, in 1993, a survey was conducted on advancing the sophistication of. pollution prevention technologies in final disposal sites, as part of a larger survey on the proper supervision of such sites after closure.
  In 1993, as part of its policy for waste disposal in ports and bays, the Ministry of Transportation subsidized the development of coastal protection measures for reclamation projects using wastes in 29 ports and 1 bay at a cost of ¥29,2OO million (including about ¥7.6 billion from the national government). Other projects included assistance for the development of facilities for the processing of waste oil and recovery of garbage and oil from public waters.
  To reduce the volume of wastes and lower the burden on the environment, the Environment Agency carried out various projects to promote recycling by increasing awareness of its importance and by conducting surveys. The Agency also carried out surveys on the enforcement criteria for hazardous wastes specified in the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.
  Also, with the aim of contributing to environmental preservation, the Ministry of Construction conducted a number of projects, including those to make use of processed sewerage sludge in promoting greenery and agricultural areas and those to make use of sludge reprocessed into construction materials and thus make active use of such recycled materials.

8-2 Ground Subsidence-Present State and Countermeasures

8-2-1 Present State of Ground Subsidence

  Ground subsidence has a long history in Japan, first receiving attention in the early Taisho Period (1912-1926). Annual changes in ground subsidence in typical areas are shown in Figure 8-2-1.
  The principal cause of ground subsidence is the excessive pumping-up of underground water. The uses of this water pumped from the ground are not confined to industry and construction but also include a diverse range of other uses, such as for drinking water, agriculture, aquaculture, and for melting snow, as shown in Table 8-2-1.
  Through fiscal 1992, 61 districts in 36 of Japan's 47 prefectures had been recognized as ground subsidence areas. These are shown in Figure 8-2-2.
  The principal characteristics of ground subsidence in Japan in recent years are as follows
 (1) Surveys of the areas affected by ground subsidence in fiscal 1992 show that in comparison with 1991 the number of areas that had subsided 2 cm or more had increased. Similarly, the number of areas that had subsided 4 cm or more had also grown. But as Figure 8-2-2 suggests, the areas affected by ground subsidence appear to be decreasing in the long term.

Fig. 8-2-1 Changes in Ground Subsidence in Main Areas

Fig. 8-2-1 Changes in Ground Subsidence in Main Areas

Fig. 8-2-2 Area of Ground Subsidence Across the Nation

Fig. 8-2-2 Area of Ground Subsidence Across the Nation

Table 8-2-1 Uses of Groundwater in Japan

Table 8-2-1 Uses of Groundwater in Japan

Remarks: 1. Computation of the volume of water for industrial use is based on Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Statistics Tables (issued in 1992, data surveyed in 1990), assuming 300 operating days per year. Total water for industrial use excludes recovered water but includes fresh water, and groundwater includes well water (shallow wells, deep wells, and natural springs).
   2. Figures for the volume of drinking water were computed from Ministry of Health and Welfare, Water Statistics (issued in 1991, data surveyed in 1991). Groundwater includes well water (shallow well and deep well).
   3. Figures for total water for agricultural use were obtained from the National Land Agency, Japan's Water Resources (issued in 1993). Figures for groundwater used in agriculture were obtained from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Current State of Use of Groundwater in Agriculture (issued in 1991, based on surveys conducted from September 1984 through August 1985). Groundwater includes water obtained from deep wells, shallow wells, and water collected from ditches and ponds.
   4. Figures for other water for building use, etc., are based on judgments regarding the actual use of groundwater as shown by uses of water for buildings, etc., in Environment Agency, Survey of Withdrawal of Groundwater (surveys fron 1971 to 1992) and surveys of local governments.

  By region, as in fiscal 1991, considerable degrees of ground subsidence were observed in the northern part of the Kanto Plain and in the Kujukuri Plain, the Chikugo-Saga Plain, and certain other regions. The area where the greatest degree of ground subsidence was observed in fiscal 1992 was Minami-Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture where subsidence of 5.7 cm was recorded, the same as in fiscal 1991. Other areas where subsidence of more than 4 cm was recorded were the Kanto Plain in Tochigi Prefecture (5.3 cm), Kanto Plain in Ibaraki Prefecture (4.8 cm), Kanto Plain in Saitama Prefecture (4.7 cm), Chikugo-Saga Plain in Saga Prefecture (4.3 cm), and the Central and Shonan portions of Kanagawa Prefecture (4.3 cm).
 (2) In Tokyo's wards, Osaka City, Nagoya City, and other urban areas, where there had been significant degrees of ground subsidence, this phenomenon appears to have slowed or virtually stopped as a result of controls on withdrawal of underground water and other measures. In other areas, there are signs of long-term improvement, but as suggested in (1) above, ground subsidence remains a problem in some areas.
 (3) As a result of many years of ground subsidence, buildings and structures, irrigation facilities, port and harbor facilities, and farmland and agricultural facilities have been damaged in many districts, and in some areas that are at or below sea level, there is a danger of severe disasters such as floods, high tides, and tidal waves (tsunami).

8-2-3 Ground Subsidence Countermeasures

  In order to prevent ground subsidence, the withdrawal of groundwater has been controlled under the Industrial Water Law and the Law Concerning the Regulation of Pumping-Up of Underground water for Use in Buildings (the so-called Building Water Law). At present, some districts of 10 prefectures have been designated under the Industrial Water Law, and some districts of 4 prefectures have been designated under the Building Water Law. Also, in many districts efforts for reducing the volume of groundwater withdrawal are being made, such as local government controls on withdrawal of groundwater, voluntary restraints on use of groundwater for industrial purposes, and administrative guidance for reducing the volume of groundwater use, etc.
  A broad range of surveys were also carried out in fiscal 1993 as part of countermeasures for ground subsidence. These included providing assistance to local governments in the conducting of surveys of the ground height, fluctuation of the groundwater level, and geological surveys for monitoring and measurements in restricted areas, leveling to determine the extent of ground subsidence; surveys to measure the amount of water removed from underground; surveys to investigate ground environment preservation policies accompanying use of underground areas ; surveys to investigate overall appraisal measures of ground subsidence areas ; surveys to investigate countermeasures for ground subsidence during periods of drought; surveys and research on the appropriate level of withdrawal of groundwater surveys on the appropriate level of usage of underground water to provide guidance for voluntary restraints in the use of underground water for industrial purposes ; surveys and guidance to enhance the efficiency of industrial water usage surveys to manage and preserve underground water through monitoring the level of underground water and water quality; and surveys to investigate countermeasures for ground subsidence such as restoration of agricultural facilities and irrigation systems; and related activities.
  In order to reduce the withdrawal of groundwater, projects were also carried out to develop other water resources and provide substitute water. In those areas where measures were especially needed for industrial water, projects for industrial water supplies as measure of ground subsidence were carried out.
  In areas where significant ground subsidence has already occurred, projects were carried out to repair the resulting damage as well as projects to construct facilities for dealing with damages from floods and high tides, projects to construct facilities for removing inner drainage, projects to construct facilities for conserving seacoasts, and projects for land improvement.
  As the above comments suggest, numerous activities are in progress to deal with ground subsidence, but to assure that further subsidence does not occur, a comprehensive policy is needed. To attain this objective, outlines of measures for preventing ground subsidence were formulated in April 1985 for the Nobi Plain and for the ChikugoSaga Plain and in November 1991 for the northern Kanto Plain. In these outlines, various countermeasures, such as securing supplies of substitute water, are promoted.

8-3 Soil Pollution-Present State and Countermeasures

8-3-1 Present State of Soil Pollution

  To determine the extent of soil pollution in agricultural land from the hazardous substances designated in the Agricultural Land Soil Pollution Prevention Law, detailed surveys have been carried out since 1971. in areas where such pollution is believed to exist. In fiscal 1992, surveys on cadmium were conducted in 12 areas in 6 prefectures covering a total area of 667 hectares ; a survey of copper was carried out in 1 area in 1 prefecture covering 1 hectare. No surveys were conducted for arsenic. As a result of these surveys, there were no additional areas that exceeded the environmental standard values and required designation or other measures. The accumulated number of areas which thus far have been found to be above the environmental standard values was 128, covering 7,050 hectares.
  On the other hand, there are cases in conjunction with the redevelopment of urbanized areas in recent years where toxic substances have penetrated the soil due to accidents, such as the breakdown and damage of facilities at factories, and due to illegal dumping.

8-3-2 Soil Pollution Countermeasures

  (1) Establishment of Environmental Quality Standards

  The Environmental Quality Standards for soil based on Article 16 f the Basic Environmental Law are in principle applicable to all kinds of soil, including that of agricultural land, and have been established because of their desirability in protecting human health and conserving the living environment. These standards are intended to be used in determining the presence or absence of pollution in the soil and as objectives to be used when setting policies for ameliorating soil pollution problems.
  In August 1991, environmental standards for soil pollution from 10 substances, including cadmium, were formulated. But in view of the broadening and tightening of environmental standards for water pollution, in February 1994, 10 organic chlorine compounds, including trichloroethylene and five agricultural chemicals, including simazine, were added for a total of 15 additional items. In addition, environmental conditions for lead and arsenic were made more stringent.

  (2) Measures to Prevent Pollution of Agricultural Land

  Of those areas where levels of pollutants exceed the environmental quality standards, 6,230 hectares (in 64 areas) had been designated for countermeasures as of December 15, 1993. Of this total, plans for such countermeasures had been prepared for 6410 hectares (in 63 areas). Projects to improve the affected land area by soil removal, importing of soil from other areas, changing of sources of water, or other means (Special Projects for Land Improvement to Remove Designated Pollutants, sponsored by the National Treasury) had been completed for 4,330 hectares. A total of 390 hectares had also been improved by projects undertaken solely by prefectural governments, bringing the total land area that had been improved (including improvements scheduled for completion by the end of fiscal 1993) to 4,720 hectares. Thus, 66.1% of projects to deal with concentrations of pollutants in excess of environmental standards had been completed (Table 8-3-1).

Table 8-3-1 Progress of Measures Against Agricultural Soil Pollution

Table 8-3-1 Progress of Measures Against Agricultural Soil Pollution

Remarks: 1. Surveyed by the Environment Agency
   2. The "areas with detection of values exceeding standard values" are based on the findings of the elaborate surveys conducted before 1993.
   3. Addition of the figures in each column for area and the number of areas does not coincide with those in the column for the totals, because pollution was overlapped. Addition of the numbers of areas in each row doesnot coincide with the totals and the numbers of "areas with detection of values exceeding standard values," because of the existence of areas separately designated and partially taken off.
   4. "Projects completed in areas with plans for measures formulated" and "areas with completion of prefecture's own projects, etc." include the area of land turned to other uses.
   5. "Projects completed in areas with plans for measures formulated" represent areas where surface construction in projects for measures with which the State is associated is completed.

  In cadmium-polluted areas, measures to prevent the production of contaminated rice have been adopted as a provisional measure that will remain in force until the projects are completed.
  Besides these measures, to determine the overall level of agricultural soil pollution from heavy metals, basic surveys of the soil environment in specified areas were conducted. Also, in those areas where agricultural soil is contaminated, experiments on soil improvement through the importing of soil from other locations and other means have been carried out in the affected areas. In addition, since the use of organic materials recycled from sewerage sludge and other sources is increasing, measures are also being taken to prevent in advance the pollution of agricultural soil from heavy metals through the establishment of supervisory criteria that prevent accumulation in the soil.

  (3) Measures to Prevent Soil Pollution in Urban Areas

  As regards the soil of urbanized areas, surveys are conducted on compliance with environmental quality standards by taking advantage of opportunities for land transformation, when there are clear or possible signs of soil pollution. It is made a practice to encourage entrepreneurs to take measures necessary for the prompt achievement of environmental quality standards, when it is clear that the soil is actually polluted. To facilitate this, subsidies are provided to pay the expenses related to surveys undertaken by local governments on their own initiative to determine whether environmental standards are met. At the same time, to facilitate the smooth implementation of policies to encourage private interests to deal with soil pollution in urban areas, the Japan Environment Corporation provides loans to finance necessary expenditures for clean-up projects.
  Surveys were also conducted in affected areas to develop new technologies for effective and economical purification of soil contaminated with heavy metals, trichioroethylene, and other substances.

  (4) Measures to Prevent Mine-Related Pollution

8-4 Pollution by Agricultural Chemicals-Present State and Countermeasures

8-4-1 Present State of Pollution by Agricultural Chemicals

  Following an increased use of agricultural chemicals after the War, the pollution of food and the environment with BHC, DDT, dieldrin, organic mercury agents, etc., became a serious social problem.. However, such highly toxic or persistent agricultural chemicals are now neither used nor registered for sale in Japan owing to the strengthening of regulations regarding their use under the revised Agricultural Chernicals Regulation Law (hereinafter referred to as "the Law") and to the appearance of less toxic chemicals developed through advanced science and technology since 1971. Therefore, the environmental pollution caused by such persistent agricultural chemicals has nowadays de-~ creased.
  However, as agricultural chemicals potentially possesS bioactivity to living organisms in the environment, it is necessary to properly assess their safety and control them in order that they do not cause adverse effects to human health and the environment.

8-4-2 Countermeasures for Pollution by Agricultural Chemicals

  Now in Japan, in order to prevent pollution by agricultura I chemicals, any agricultural chemical shall be registered for sale through inspection on the persistency, toxicity, etc., under the Law.
  Any agricultural chemical shall satisfy for registration any of the following standards, on (1) persistency in agricultural products ; (2) persistency in soil; (3) toxicity against aquatic animals and plants ; and (4) water pollution. As of December 31, 1993, standards on persistency in agricultural crops had been established for 291 agricultural chernicah,, and individual standards had been set for 13 agricultural chemicals that cause water pollution. In addition, common standards for persistency i n the soil had been established for various agricultural chemicals.
  Even after its registration, any agricultural chemical may b appointed, by Cabinet Order based on the Law, as an agricultural chemical of crop persistence, of soil persistence or of water pollution and its use may be strictly regulated in case that it is in danger of causing damage to men and livestock through crops, soil or water. (Table 8-4-1).

Table 8-4-1 Agricultural Chemicals Regulated in Terms of Environmental Pollution Prevention

Table 8-4-1 Agricultural Chemicals Regulated in Terms of Environmental Pollution Prevention

Remarks Agricultural chemical registered at present

  Also, based on the Guidelines for Prevention of Water Pollution by Agricultural Chemicals Used at Golf Courses, which were established in May 1990, the Environment Agency has continue to work together with local governments to prevent water pollution resulting from the use of agricultural chemicals at golf courses.
  Besides these various activities, to prevent environmental pollution in advance, the Agency is engaged in various surveys and research projects. These include surveys of crops, soil, and water to determine the actual levels of agricultural chemicals in the environment and develop appropriate countermeasures ; research on the dynamics of such chemical impurities in the environment surveys of the impact of agricultural chemicals on living organisms; appraisals of the safety of agricultural chemicals; and research on the dynamics of such chemicals in the atmosphere.

Chapter 9. Promotion of Environmental Health Measures

9-1 Compensation and Prevention of Pollution-Related Health Damage

9-1-1 System for Compensation and Prevention of Pollution-Related Health Damage

  The Pollution-Related Health Damage Compensation Law was enacted in 1973 to provide prompt and fair protection for those suffering from pollution-related health damage. This law has played a major role in protecting sufferers.
  The system for compensating those affected by pollutants is based on the concept of liability under Japan's Civil Code. Sufferers are therefore compensated at the expense of those responsible for discharging pollutants that cause damage to health.
  Diseases designated under the system are classified into two categories. The first includes diseases, such as bronchial asthma, which are not specifically associated with particular causative pollutants. Those areas where air pollution is significant and where the incidence of bronchial asthma and other diseases is high, due to the impact of pollutants, are designated as Class I areas. The other category consists of diseases, such as Minamata Disease and Itai-Itai Disease, and chronic arsenic poisoning. Those areas where environmental pollution is significant and where the incidence of specific diseases is high because of the impact of specific pollutants are designated as Class II areas.
  Of these two areas, the Class I areas were reviewed, and based on evidence of changes in the state of air pollution, the Central Council for Environmental Pollution Control submitted a report entitled, "How Class I Areas Should be Addressed under the Pollution-Related Health Damage Compensation Law" in October 1986. Based on this report, the following amendments were made to the system and have been in force since March 1988 : (1) Designations of Class I areas were cancelled ; (2) Compensation was continued for those already certified as sufferers ; (3) Programs were implemented to prevent air pollution-related health damage ; and (4) The name of the law was changed to the Law Concerning Compensation and Prevention of Pollution-Related Health Damage (hereinafter referred to as the "Compensation Law").
  Given current air pollution conditions, the amendments to the system, which are based on the scientific view that air pollution can no longer be regarded as the main factor causing asthma, are still rational. The Environment Agency will therefore continue to protect certified patients and to implement programs for the prevention of health damage.

9-1-2 Diseases Related to Air Pollution

  (1) Compensation to Certified Sufferers

  The number of certified sufferers at the end of December 1993 was 82,830. Since the designation of Class I areas was canceled on March 1, 1988, no new sufferers have been certified (Table 9-1-1). For certified sufferers, the payment of benefits and allowances (consisting of (1) medical care benefits and medical care expenses, (2) compensation for handicaps, (3) compensation for survivors, (4) lump compensation payment for survivors, (5) child compensation allowance, (6) medical care allowance, and (7) funeral expenses) is continuing under the provisions of the Compensation Law, and the renewal of certifications is also being conducted as in the past. To improve the health and welfare of certified sufferers, health care projects (consisting of (1) rehabilitation activities, (2) relocation to other areas for treatment, (3) provision of equipment for treatment in the home, and (4) provision of instruction for treatment in the home) are also being carried out.
  Funds to pay for this compensation come from smoke-emitting facilities and automobiles in the ratio of 8 to 2.
  To deal with requests for review of decisions regarding certification and payment of compensation, the Pollution-Related Health Damage Compensation Grievance Board has been established. As of December 31, 1993, the Board has received 189 requests for review. To date, 18 of these were revoked, 14 rejected, 123 dismissed, and 33 withdrawn.

  (2) Implementation of Health Damage Prevention Projects

  Following the enforcement of the amended Compensation Law in March 1988, programs for the prevention of air pollution-related health damage (hereinafter referred to as "health damage prevention projects") have been implemented. These projects supplement the activities of the national and local governments aimed at preventing health damage from air pollution and are intended to be more effective. These projects consist of the activities carried out directly by the Pollution-Related Health Damage Compensation and Prevention Association (hereinafter referred to as the Association) and projects undertaken by local governments or Japan Environment Corporation in areas formerly designated as Class I, with the assistance of the Association. Projects carried out directly by the Association are (1) research and surveys, (2) dissemination of knowledge, and (3) training. Projects carried out with the assistance of the Association are (1) preparation of plans, (2) health consultations, (3) medical examinations, (4) functional training, (5) installation and upgrading of facilities, and (6) assistance for installation and upgrading of facilities. For details of these projects see Figure 9-1-1.

Table 9-1-1 Designated Areas, Number of Certified Suffers, and Other Matters under the Compensation Law

Table 9-1-1 Designated Areas, Number of Certified Suffers, and Other Matters under the Compensation Law

Remarks: The designated areas are all according to the administrative demarcations in force at the time of designation.

Fig. 9-1-1 Outline of Health Damage Prevention Projects

Fig. 9-1-1 Outline of Health Damage Prevention Projects

  Financing for these projects is provided from the proceeds of the fund established in the Association. The total amount of the fund has been set at ¥50 billion and contributions are being obtained from those directly responsible for air pollution and those whose business activities are related to pollution of the atmosphere and from contributions by the national government. The fund is being built up over a period of seven to eight years, while funding for projects in each fiscal. year is covered by these contributions.

9-1-3 Minamata Disease

  (1) Historical Background

  Minamata Disease was detected in areas along Minamata Bay, Kumamoto Prefecture, in May 1956 and in the basin of the Agano River in Niigata Prefecture in May 1965. In 1968, the government issued a consensus view that the disease was caused by the ingestion of fish and shellfish in which methylmercury compound, discharged from the plants of Chisso Co., Ltd. (hereinafter Chisso), and Showa Denko Co., Ltd. (hereinafter Showa Denko), has accumulated.
  To deal with health damage resulting from Minamata Disease, Kumamoto Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture have established their own policies. In addition, however, in December 1969, the Law Concerning Special Measures for the Relief of Pollution-Related Health Damage (hereinafter referred to as the Relief Law) went into effect and the affected areas in Kumamoto and Niigata were specified as designated areas under the Relief Law. In August 1971, notifications were issued in the name of the Administrative Vice Minister of the Environment Agency and the Director of the Environmental Health Department, Environment Agency, specifying the certification conditions of the disease to assure that certifications would be carried out under the Relief Law based on proper medical procedures.
  In the meantime, the judgment of the first legal proceedings regarding Minamata Disease was handed down in Niigata in September 1971. This was followed by a judgment of the first suit on Minamata Disease in Kumamoto in March 1973. In both judgments, Showa Denko and Chisso were declared responsible for damages to sufferers from the disease. Based on these judgments, agreements on compensation were concluded between sufferers' organizations and Showa Denko in June 1973 and between these organizations and Chisso in July 1973. Since then, the sufferers certified under the Relief Law (or later under the Compensation Law) have received compensation directly from these companies.
  In September 1974, the affected areas were designated under the Compensation Law, which replaced the Relief Law, and procedures for certification of the disease and related matters were continued without change.
  Subsequently, the number of sufferers applying for certification in Kumamoto Prefecture rose substantially resulting in a backlog of unprocessed applications. To promote the certification process, members of the Cabinet reached an agreement entitled the Promotion of Minamata Disease Measures in June 1977, and thereafter the certification process was expedited.
  Following this agreement, to provide medical diagnostic criteria for the certification process, a notice entitled On Criteria for Diagnosis of Acquired Minamata Disease was issued in the name of the Director of the Environmental Health Department, Environment Agency, in July 1977. Thereafter in July 1978 a notice entitled On the Promotion of Administrative Work for Certification of Minamata Disease was issued in the name of the Administrative Vice Minister of the Environment Agency. Also, in Kumamoto Prefecture, efforts were made for the more rapid handling of unprocessed applications for certification through the establishment, in October 1977, of a system to examine 150 people and issue judgments on 120 people per month. (In August 1986, this system was augmented to allow for medical examination of 250 people and judgments on 200 people monthly.) In February 1979, furthermore, the Law Concerning Provisional Measures for the Promotion of Administrative Work on Certification of Minamata Disease was enacted, thus enabling the national government, also, to carry out administrative work for certification.

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