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Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005

Ishihara announces Tokyo will take care of own toxic waste

Staff writer

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will start disposing all of its own toxic waste to reduce the burden on neighboring prefectures, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Friday.

The governor unveiled his plan to better manage industrial garbage produced in the capital, including asbestos and infectious medical waste.

"Much of the toxic waste has been taken outside of Tokyo. (The metro government) will establish a system to dispose all such waste in the capital so we will not trouble other prefectures anymore," Ishihara said.

Of a total 56,000 tons of toxic waste produced in the capital in fiscal 2003, some 60 percent was disposed of in other prefectures, according to the metro government.

About half of the infectious medical waste from hospitals -- 35,000 tons a year -- is currently disposed of outside of Tokyo, metro officials said.

But under the new plan, all of that waste will be incinerated at a facility to be constructed in the Tokyo Bay area in August.

Asbestos-containing waste, which stands at 5,000 ton a year, will be encased in cement and buried near a plant in the capital, the officials said.

The officials did not give a timetable for the new plan.

Ishihara also announced Friday that Tokyo would strengthen its crackdown on illegal dumping in the construction industry.

He will propose details for new crackdown measures at a meeting of governors of the neighboring prefectures and mayors of the major cities in those regions that will be held in the city of Saitama on Wednesday.

Ishihara said he hoped to draw up the antidumping proposals together with the neighboring prefectures and cities and submit them to the central government.

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The Japan Times

Article 7 of 13 in National news

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