What kind of pollution is Japan facing now?
Pollution in Japan has worsened because of the overpopulation of this small country, where industrial and residential districts are located next to each other.
It has been proven that the asthma-like respiratory diseases observed in Yokkaichi City in Mie Prefecture were caused by smoke dispersed from the local petroleum industrial complex.
Minamata disease in Kumamoto Prefecture, caused by mercury poisoning, and itaiitai disease in Toyama Prefecture, caused by cadmium poisoning, were both caused by waste water from neighboring plants.
Dioxin released into the environment by municipal waste incinerators and industrial waste disposal facilities is a cause of cancer and harms the body's immune system.
In recent years much attention is being given to finding ways to minimize these problems.
In 1967, the Environmental Pollution Prevention Act went into effect, which regulates pollution from sources that can be determined, but pollution of which the cause is not known or is obscure is a matter of grave concern.
For example. photochemical smog is air pollution generated by nitrogen oxide and carbohydrates in the air which so througth a chemical change in strong sunlight.
Plankton in the sea, when mixed with excessive nitrogen and phosphorus contained in waste water from households and factories, is responsible for the unpredictable red tide, which kills precious sea life such as fish and shellfish.
Sulfur oxide in the air creates acid rain, noise pollution affects residents near freeways, and so on.
The Japanese live side by side with many types of pollution in their small land.
However, Japan is actively in protecting the environment and various laws have been passed to promote the conservation of nature.
Significant improvements have been made, making it possible for fish to return to rivers that were once polluted by runoff water from factories.