Japan proposes meat alternatives to reduce carbon emissions

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/06/08/business/economy-business/white-paper-meat-alternatives-co2/

  • Burgers using a meat alternative made with canola protein powder | BLOOMBERG
  • JIJI

https://spkt.io/a/2002527

The government on Tuesday proposed the use of meat alternatives as part of efforts to achieve a decarbonized society.

In its 2021 white paper on the environment, “sound material-cycle society” — where waste and use of natural resources is reduced as much as possible — and biodiversity, the government stressed the need to reform lifestyles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The white paper took up the issue of substitute meat products, such as those using soybeans and other plant-based ingredients, for the first time, noting that they cause less carbon dioxide emissions than meat during the manufacturing process.

The move comes after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared last October that Japan will seek to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Food “may cause environmental impacts, such as through CO2 emissions during the production, processing and disposal stages, and development of forest areas for use as farmland,” the white paper said. The production of meat especially causes high levels of carbon dioxide emissions through the production and transport of feed, and the release of methane by livestock.

The report cited an increase in the number of restaurants and convenience stores offering meat alternatives.

“It is expected that alternative foods that look and feel like meat will be developed and become more familiar items,” it noted.

The white paper also emphasized the need to reduce carbon emissions related to the production, consumption and disposal of clothes.

It called on people to insulate their homes and use electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

The U.S. tried to win World War II with a bat bomb

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-u-s-tried-to-win-world-war-ii-with-a-bat-bomb/ar-AAKKvY8?ocid=msedgdhp

Mike Vago  16 hrs agoLike|19


How a WWII Japanese sub commander helped exonerate a U.S. Navy…Turkey’s president vows to ‘save’ the country from the largest outbreak of ‘sea…

This week’s entry: Bat bomba person posing for the camera© Photo: Mondadori Portfolio (Getty Images)

What it’s about: Holy ordinance, Batman! During World War II, American scientists raced to develop crucial technology that would win the war: The B-29 bomber. Radar. The atomic bomb. And, a somewhat less crucial technology, the bat bomb: a bomb canister that contained live bats, each of which would carry an incendiary device and (in theory) start devastating fires across Japanese cities.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533

Biggest controversy: The part where we tried to defeat Imperial Japan with an army of bats. The idea came from a dental surgeon named Lytle S. Adams. An acquaintance of Eleanor Roosevelt, he wrote to the White House a month after Pearl Harbor suggesting the idea, which came to him during a trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Adams was “intrigued by the strength of bats” and believed they could carry an incendiary device, which could do serious damage to Japan’s largely wooden architecture.

With FDR’s approval, Adams led up an Air Force project to develop a bat bomb. His team for some wonderful reason consisted of a movie star (more on that later), an unnamed former gangster, an also unnamed former hotel manager, and chemist Louis Fieser, who developed the first synthetic vitamin K and cortisone, and more relevant to the war effort, napalm.

Their eventual prototype was a bomb-shaped metal canister with separate compartments for 1,040 Mexican free-tailed bats. The bomb would be dropped and then at 4,000 feet deploy a parachute, then open to release the bats. The bats would naturally roost in the eaves of buildings, but each one had a 15- to 18-gram payload of napalm (slightly heavier than the weight of the bat itself) on a timer. After several unsuccessful attempts at strapping the bombs to the bats, Adams’ team ended up gluing the devices directly to the bats.

Strangest fact: The only target destroyed by bat bombs was an American air base. Adams’ team made several tests of their bat bomb, but at Carlsbad Army Airfield Auxiliary Air Base in New Mexico, napalm-armed bats were accidentally released, roosted under a fuel tank, and set the base on fire. The project was then passed to the Navy and then the Marines and was renamed Project X-Ray.

Thing we were happiest to learn: America didn’t end up incinerating thousands of bats for the war effort. The Marines were surprisingly enthused about the bat bomb, believing the countless small fires the bats would start would be harder to fight and would spread more quickly than a smaller number of large fires caused by conventional bombing. But by mid-1944, with $2 million already spent on the project and at least another year until the bats would be combat-ready, the project was canceled. As for Fieser’s invention, the U.S. dropped napalm on Berlin and Tokyo without any animal intermediaries.

Protests as Japan says it will dump radioactive water from crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/japan-fukushima-radioactive-wastewater-nuclear-plant-pacific-ocean-protest/

BY LUCY CRAFT

APRIL 13, 2021 / 7:07 AM / CBS NEWShttps://www.cbsnews.com/embed/video/?v=27c2db22c86bece439a19414820ef4a4#xVb7b9s2EP5XBP04hBYpUS8Dw9Cse3dpkLQbsKgwKJKy2VAPiJSdoMj%2FvqMkK066oUC3bgiMSNQ9v7v7jh98Nti20%2BzeX9t%2BkGf%2BXgnZ%2BusPvrKyNv765oNv7zvpr%2F19K%2FwzXwl4FEleMikFytM0RJTTEGWpoCitKOOJJDKiTrbu7q5k9ZPTiK5eC3IRV7e%2Fy73%2B4eq3Wl%2FXV%2BflNrnMwz%2FIr%2B9B2uhhC5LvWccaxLqub%2FfSoF5qyYxqtujAjJUHZmWPVGNb1DGuKsVRyyVrQN8qq12cPzsDHuTUGM%2B23mRAeo%2FqnlP3jmpC3oISPFSD1k9tHIPwliC874fbwexUzT6ydzmF472e7XLWtI3iTL%2F592xaVUtjWd35a5KQLAppEmcYY8hi6JlVbQMfSP74%2BoqVUoNvTNZxDgb09N5AqlDKmm2lcbU2rkQ7azuzLoIi4KVp5MGQFTwo8GcVX%2FG2LoLdUBaBKoK%2BCEIckiLAtAhIBBp5meeYUxSnMkI0ohnKk5ygGGcJk5RilqVFYHdDXTZM6SJIKL6LElwELMsyIUVJeRzlLOM8yqCFIp7RLBdRRKdoUDUYSAd9XnOgxTGCoGhK0ex%2B9b7bAiq7v0w%2F%2BoLpkzDDd2kI%2BfM0JCTMcZnyPCoFxRWLeVQJkgtGEiq%2FfP4PZ37Xy72Sh7e9fgKE6bTicsVqvV2pFmrVQfL7EH6OJIrgU0NdBLPhIvAXZjmxD1mIFdDK%2BGU1wz5BPb%2BAKwB7p81zxEmW0TSKMY0SEkM7ubTCzShYOyj6VR0N2dFr%2BJ%2B7rdq%2BZhbcQq0AxHEYi%2BAO1Z3cvr16BRLDM7APh8PTWGaQP6%2FkI%2BLK%2FFR3rQvLX1dMG6B3IHvFR3p3PZ%2BxKOVJXCIOnYdoyUtUYpGgqsSS8TDNSZo9MrOLzk2Lkj3r%2BQ5Wxs109g46iPWysW%2Bc9QtWO7r79vz64lT6%2FH76cDN9eQdtJztlWgFnBHxAVo6%2BfOIcym0N5qYPA6QujVlSYFq%2F4BxOznXLbxcyM2%2BN7K%2BH0vBelVIs4qZrG9P2R7mdvHvxUlZs0K46%2BAz%2B%2FPH0%2FPE0ys9ofDYSpu0ZvwW0HWRQFcPbXo7P0FIRxm7AgerpnO9cO8f%2BCRx95VzCS2M2xm62DhVX3umEdRvm8r0ogheLDHfu95yQ5cTYZ7YfALh6uLvs20729v4XCXXwQ5pKweIkIqkgMc1pTsIoYlHiP0BxamnZSPOQjZXbe%2FcMZ7tWTA0qGzGanetcSWaHHrY7d1tEuk0%2BXwHAP6DpKvO4buEReAEelo6928Hw8FZryae2X9SK4LntIvhGmY1ut1spNqr5Gjs6OgVdme8aVmpX0OmCwnrgYy1fDBB%2F7%2B4WN36Y4DBlQLoJyxgiRIYoFyREGJOskhnDuMSuSZ%2BoHrtRD%2Fze4z2r7InIeGdJaZXhNI9QCgyNaJKUiCURQ2mS0yzjZYnTyl9ULofyJWTkigGUgTBFJPJwto6jdZw8ih1vA%2BNYe4bdG09Z76C09sRQd17PhGoZALd3VxZ3E6j6toYAFRCJFF61XBaaAcyxfrzp2Om%2BYHfSm2ngzDMwkw5FD5jDwrXBnARxLGdjoSqb%2BdS17VK1CVkRUYKzvEJZycIZWYoxwmFOSEZJlsKUvDvVO8IqlBkJEQLzxlydmIBtwI%2FehTS3QEcjT72Uewec74hkexRws7Jx11DHCPD%2FR%2BWI7MY%2FtL0Wzpw7vJ7cgvh0PJ3OFoA33PSPWMrSn%2BlvLG6C07iiOENpnIm%2F65lZYWa0owOtagVTSRc4r9uh53JiSG%2Be8LJnjbjUzLpNMHqcyX3j4ts8Ju9eZwezhHMrmVZD7QYAqlcpffLZKYCIbBxkbpe5kVlum893%2BEdrZdpv01ZZmgmdtN3pYpl7DI099uxSMbfVuGlqKRS7bCE0qMUMPiiKuaD%2FT1DO84zsF%2FIwEt4nk%2Funi%2Fzh4U8%3D

Tokyo — Japan said Tuesday that it would start discharging treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean within two years. Officials in Tokyo said the water would be filtered and diluted to safe levels first, but many residents remain firmly opposed to the plan.

Protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s residence in downtown Tokyo to denounce the government’s decision.

More than a million tons of contaminated water is currently being stored at the Fukushima power plant in a massive tank farm big enough to fill 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The wastewater comes from water pumped in to cool the plant’s damaged reactors and also rain and groundwater that seeps into the facility, which was seriously damaged by the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast coast.

OLY-2020-TOKYO-JPN-JAPAN-NUCLEAR-PLANT
The unit three reactor building and storage tanks for contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, February 3, 2020.KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/GETTY

The government says it has simply run out of room to store all the water. The plan to dump the water into the ocean first came to light in the autumn of last year, when Japanese news outlets cited anonymous officials as saying the decision had been taken.https://www.cbsnews.com/newsletters/widget/e879?v=27c2db22c86bece439a19414820ef4a4&view=compact#xVPBbtswDP0VQeeokR3HVnzr0AHbZSjQ7bQMBS3TjVZZMiQ5RlD03yc5bhoM6HHYzSYf%2BcjHpxdqh6Cs8bR%2BoShti7SmKKodXdGjwin%2BSdsPIEMMDNarBI7BW%2B8xkE%2B2PdHXFQ0O5LMyT6mJ8p8NNBpbWgc34oqCC0pqvB3DwbqvMfyT5iXPKygEK0EAyzLM2a7NcsZ5JjoUwHnD6a%2B%2FSr9Bj6lYj%2FJEpIMuXEFSX1oVneDVbsOqLDYryrJhUG6AVeWuEEI2Da86eim5H5s7CGnfnOcZ4wXLNoSLerupt%2BU77LsKOoF%2BwwCGeDh5ogKZlNakHfuBOGiVjfqoI5Ip9nOkc7aPA6phiCqQbnwe%2FUH1QMwY24EjgwYTiDLBknBAEsVVnZIr4gdwSUUyOBvQB381xGnA%2BRQmoAmPSzTmpdUaZTrKWdl2U2Rc7DomGsgXZQvOGc93WSaKTFTbXZLtve5N1lZ58Gl8Zci8a4K1eFTyjb1F%2FxzsEFmVv8NjEi6ZAp7eAAYn%2F6gC9jEcnYJfFLrUerJOt6ldCj6caSP8HD5Hlw4O%2FRDNOGuJTcxFPiXn45a82nYFF6zaivYjzywF550uBKNHtxCAidQrqlWvAq2Li8APdnRylrjxJO0RQY0D095rCJ11%2FTxDTM47pokf3%2BVIvwvlgkiDIGg19ulJxHt2Sl%2BlU0GEoEkixmybHpFMsykJ%2BofTMXwIYfD1fr1fT9N0sxTexMe4X6ev%2FXo%2BErvYi10ZkU3plLMb2eI6NruOLWZjVmIsXoy2Xy93%2FH%2FMi3z%2FhOH19Q8%3D

“We can’t postpone a decision on the plan to deal with the… processed water, to prevent delays in the decommission work of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said in October 2020, without commenting directly on the plan or its timing.

On Tuesday, Suga said that after years of study, his scientific advisors had concluded that ocean discharge was the most feasible way to cope with the surplus of contaminated water.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency also supports this plan as scientifically reasonable,” he said.

Disaster In Japan 

But the decision to dump Fukushima wastewater into the ocean has drawn fire from neighboring Asian countries and local fishermen along Japan’s coast.

China called the decision “extremely irresponsible,” and South Korea summoned the Japanese ambassador in Seoul over the matter.https://www.cbsnews.com/embed/video/?v=27c2db22c86bece439a19414820ef4a4#xVb7T%2BQ2EP5XovxYYRLnnZWqCo5r71SOIh6qKnJCjj3Z9eE8FDvsohP%2Fe8dJdlkoFa1UVBDCdublmW8%2Bz3eXDabtFHtwFxVTGg7ceymgdRffXWmg1u7i5rtrHjpwF%2B59K9wDVwpciiCOyzBOSJSHQCLuC5KzihMoIQ7Ksoogpyhbd5sLqD5bjePwqr3m9Rk96uD35Wr1R9l9UqdJ%2BMtv%2FPTq8qNBaa2GJUr2bdkaTXhbAzEtMSsgPWg%2BAGGVgZ5Uw92gV7JmRDAp%2BUqSZuAKWE%2BE1ExbkcQntWwGA5oEPs2Jn5IgQw9GGmVvcjG6cEzroHVnsu6M1p3ZlrO1hVoC7lAHF9Wg1AsTNspX7fy8jdI5maJ8zTJnTdtIztTVf2nVyBq0YXXnLmicRFgmGvj4gzcZemZk27iLLEyetqesBIXeabiIEzSgpn2D18V612wJ2gJC2zqujOn0ovAKj5e6gbUOD3Eh0Z%2BR%2FBADL7zVUBaeLLy%2B8Gz2C89PcZUVHs1EGSRVQkQWpyQKfZ9kUQIEEhbksZ%2FmmS8Kz6yGumyYVIWXRP4mTHz0FQkIIU4yliZ%2BypMwiZKM5iykaS5EhBIjakbsEprleZokZNY%2B%2FNYt8VKrV6MP3jF6GmT%2BJg0wuCyjAnzBY6BUBKUPPImjjFOIK5%2BXjL8Z%2FuOB2%2FVwL2F93atn99CdkhwOWa2Wh7ItPNZh7PcB%2FlljhfdW3xXebLjw3F3zT5UfN8F2V7V9zQz6Zp11OQKn8Dak7mB5fXGKysOL0Nbr9eGc5im1c0jv1eDjDaT%2BXHft2AlbRkOCk3xkNAuBtIqCOE1LEsYBEEohJBmHjPhRKtKSxmUewBMZ7Tmy96jZHfTaoklCz3q%2BQt68QSFnFsIvTxtnT%2BMrFpD10JgrG8wZq2E07nzZ6e0sHj9Mn2%2Befz%2FbM4ZwgE7qVqBYFGKwwLTt6pja9bJGP%2B4iwPXQYXW13qWCKXXEOZ4cq5Yjq5l%2BAJuzaw395VBq3ssSxE5cd22j234LgRVsjk6gYoOyOPAP8NcdT4%2BfTsP8IIoP4tzyUM%2F4nWyWNvVYbM3bHsY1Ygq7J%2FYz5CAeodKH48uzGSWWFRM8%2BsG6xE2jb7W5Xdp02XROJ6y7ZXhd96zwjnYy3Lq%2F5zTYnWjzwvbjo%2BXczkJX%2Fzs22Gq93VCHTJS3m9rGXg%2Bb877toDcPvwIixQ2iFASLE6QtQeMoj3IahCELLemi56NtdS5AyB7GCz1vJ8QQq9uhMZ0a5qZaM8NX2FTin%2FT6T5Vhyx8%2FnH0hyF7UZ2WZcPcRwVmDYSPHY9EMLB%2FsGs9WrZg6HhoxZm9soaemeK1RbOWngcHOFQrTuffyPoM0chUe7Xhhs0LO7UFhAHiZJ4OFF9PCi0KkYWzxx%2BfAkvpjw0plQTuBmfVYPAVHAwbf29Hjxg0SP0hZlJGEZcy2fEByQQPMAc0qyJjvl77t0Geq2yZUA39weI%2FUtCcyjjRpVGVI%2ByFJKRqLkqQkLAkZSZM8yjJeln5auTuV86E8wZtZFPgBRbohNHT8bBHPj%2B4stp0EvrGONY5mD9qRxllLpRwx1J3TMyFbxo28BwdLjzNB1bc1BiiRlkE4O%2FLcTQZYhcY4spnniY5xWUl%2B4GgEk82i0%2FUtZtnovSCm%2BvG2MUglt%2FOpBWmrFOISO2HKrAgj6md5RbKSBXNmI4SWH%2BSUZhHNUmSCr%2Ft627RuqRwDc8a7WjGBLxHfeheg75C6R04%2FgXubONey6HIrYDv21k6pFoX4%2F5O0pH%2FjrtteCWvOHl5OblF8Op5OZwvIjZbhxlxC6c5PxecJ42lcRX5G0jgTf4eZWWGm862DAcl0dmDnOztQyVpiM0e7BF%2B2Q8%2FHFJfTM4FCZc8acY7oty%2FtGMPMSrc24tundNjt7HKWsIEAU3KobUtgPSup9j5bBRSBxiYRvwr3cW%2F2fDlR%2FOXZtqvCG4u09zbvAZGsbSlHNO6e6hF1ZAYbaTmg8gy08Z2ukeLYeYuhYXXmbEFtH5%2Bpxv9PVNbznNp38jBy3ZuXe%2F9J6fHxTw%3D%3D

“They told us that they wouldn’t release the water into the sea without the support of fishermen,” Kanji Tachiya, who leads a local cooperative of fisheries in Fukushima, told national broadcaster NHK ahead of the announcement on Tuesday. “We can’t back this move to break that promise and release the water into the sea unilaterally.”

Critics, including Greenpeace nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie, argue that Japan should continue storing the wastewater near the stricken Fukushima plant.

“Deliberately discharging and contaminating the Pacific Ocean after decades of contamination already from the nuclear industry and nuclear weapons testing is just not acceptable,” he said.

The actual release of water from the Fukushima plant will take decades to complete. Critics have called on Japan’s government to at least ensure that independent monitoring is in place to verify the level of radiation in the discharged water is safe for the environment. 

First published on April 13, 2021 / 4:53 AM

UPDATE 1-JAPAN’S BIRD FLU OUTBREAK WORSENS WITH RECORD CULLINGS

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/update-1-japans-bird-flu-outbreak-worsens-with-record-cullings

12/10/2020

(Adds comment from officials, detail on record cullings)

By Yuka Obayashi and Aaron Sheldrick

TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) – A bird flu outbreak in Japan worsened on Thursday with farms in two more prefectures slaughtering chicken in a record cull of poultry as the government ordered the disinfection of all chicken farms.

Highly pathogenic bird flu, a H5 subtype most likely brought by migrating birds from the Asian/European continent, has spread to eight of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

While officials say it is not possible for people to catch avian influenza from eggs or meat of infected chickens, they are concerned about the virus making a “species jump” to humans and causing a pandemic like the novel coronavirus.

All farms in Japan have been ordered to carry out disinfection and check hygiene regimes as well as ensure that nets to keep out wild birds are installed properly, agriculture ministry officials told Reuters.

The number of birds culled, at 2.36 million before the latest two outbreaks, exceeded the previous record of 1.83 million slaughtered in the year beginning in April 2010.

The government is calling for extra vigilance due to the growing number of infections at home and in Europe, which is in the grip of an outbreak.

Japan’s worst outbreak since at least 2016 started last month in Kagawa prefecture on Shikoku island.

In the latest cases, the virus was confirmed at an egg-laying farm in Kinokawa city in Wakayama prefecture, the agriculture ministry said on its website.

Three broiler farms in Oita prefecture on Kyushu island also reported outbreaks, it said.

More than 130,000 chickens at the farms in Oita and Wakayama will be slaughtered and buried.

The latest cullings mean nearly 2.5 million chickens will have been slaughtered since the outbreak began. Japan has suspended poultry imports from seven countries including Germany.

Japan had a broiler chicken population amounting to 138 million head last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick Editing by Grant McCool, Robert Birsel)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Click For Restrictions – http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

Man arrested in Sakai City on charges of smuggling

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20191127/k10012193251000.html

Google translate of first paragraph:

The fear of extinction: “Kazumeka otter”;

Nov 27, 2019 17:03:00

A 54-year-old man who lives in Sakai, Osaka, was arrested for trying to
smuggle two Kotsumeka otters that are popular as pets and traded at high
prices in Thailand. The police are investigating as they tried to smuggle
the endangered Kotsumeka otter for resale.

Arrested by Hiroyuki Matsui (54), a self-employed person living in Sakai,
Osaka.
According to police and customs, Matsui suspected that in September, he
tried to bring two Kotsumeka otters, which are inter

Amid boom in Japan, ban on trading endangered otters set to take effect

Kyodo

Nov 5, 2019

Amid booming demand for them as pets in Japan, a ban on the international commercial trade of endangered otters found in Southeast Asia will take effect later this month to protect the animals, which are affected by habitat loss and smuggling.

Conservation groups have identified the Asian small-clawed otter as a species threatened with extinction, but the animals have recently become popular in Japan at “otter cafes,” where customers can pay to touch them, and as pets, fueling illegal trading.

The ban will come into effect on Nov. 26 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Otter cafes have been springing up across the country, with one in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district keeping about 15 otters from Indonesia ranging in age from around 6 months to 2 years old.

Yoshiaki Nagayasu, 51, who operates two otter cafes, in Tokyo and Fukuoka, said he has been approached a number of times by people who wanted to sell him animals.

Last summer, he reported to the police a man who brought in two emaciated otters. The man was later arrested on suspicion of smuggling them.

“Smuggled otters are marketed as ‘domestically bred,’” Nagayasu said.
“It’s suspicious, but they’re tacitly accepted.”

According to Traffic, a wildlife trade watchdog, a total of 59 otters smuggled from Southeast Asia were taken into protective custody between
2015 and 2017, of which 32 were headed to Japan.

In some cases, otters procured for a few thousand yen were traded for more than ¥1 million each, according to the group.

In accordance with the ban on international trade, the Environment Ministry will restrict domestic trade as well, requiring otters imported before the ban as well as those bred in Japan to be preregistered for sale or transfer within the country.

However, some in the pet business are questioning the effectiveness of the ban, which could have loopholes.

For example, arrests have been made related to the illegal trade of the slow loris, a small nocturnal primate that came under the protection of a similar trade ban in Japan in 2007, with reports of unauthorized use of registration certificates issued for legally traded animals.

In order to prevent the false registration of smuggled baby otters as having been bred in Japan, Traffic is calling for the submission of DNA test results to prove parentage, as well as birth certificates from veterinarians.

Otter expert Hiroshi Sasaki, a professor at Chikushi Jogakuen University, says the otter boom in Japan has triggered smuggling of the wild animals.

“There is no point in the ban if we don’t eliminate illegal trade in Japan through the strict implementation of a registration system,” he said.

Sasaki and other researchers in the country, who established an organization for otter conservation in October, will conduct investigations into the illegal trade of the animals.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/11/05/national/japan-ban-trade-endangered-otters/

Fukushima: Japan will have to dump radioactive water into Pacific, minister says

More than a million tonnes of contaminated water lies in storage but power company says it will run out of space by 2022

Storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 Storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

The operator of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will have to dump huge quantities of contaminated water from the site directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan’s environment minister has said – a move that would enrage local fishermen.

More than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant since it was struck by a tsunami in March 2011, triggering a triple meltdown that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has struggled to deal with the buildup of groundwater, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores from melting.

Tepco has attempted to remove most radionuclides from the excess water, but the technology does not exist to rid the water of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Coastal nuclear plants commonly dump water that contains tritium into the ocean. It occurs in minute amounts in nature.

Tepco admitted last year that the water in its tanks still contained contaminants beside tritium.

Currently, more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water is held in almost 1,000 tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi site, but the utility has warned that it will run out of tank space by the summer of 2022.

“The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it,” Yoshiaki Harada told a news briefing in Tokyo on Tuesday. “The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion.”

No decision on how to dispose of the water will be made until the government has received a report from a panel of experts. Other options include vaporising the liquid or storing it on land for an extended period.

Harada did not say how much water would need to be discharged into the ocean.

One recent study by Hiroshi Miyano, who heads a committee studying the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, said it could take 17 years to discharge the treated water after it has been diluted to reduce radioactive substances to levels that meet the plant’s safety standards.

Any decision to dispose of the waste water into the sea would anger local fishermen, who have spent the past eight years rebuilding their industry.

Nearby South Korea has also voiced concern over the impact it would have on the reputation of its own seafood.

Last month, Seoul summoned a senior Japanese embassy official to explain how Fukushima Daiichi’s waste water would be dealt with.

Ties between the north-east Asian nations are already at a low ebb following a compensation dispute over Koreans forced to work in Japanese factories during the second world war.

The government spent 34.5bn yen (£260m) to build a frozen underground wall to prevent groundwater reaching the three damaged reactor buildings. The wall, however, has succeeded only in reducing the flow of groundwater from about 500 tonnes a day to about 100 tonnes a day.

Japan has come under renewed pressure to address the contaminated water problem before Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics next summer.

Six years ago during the city’s bid for the games, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, assured the international community that the situation was “under control”.

Japan’s decision to resume commercial whaling ‘disappointing’, Boris Johnson tells country’s prime minister at G7

A whale hunt in the Faroe islands
A whale hunt in the Faroe islands CREDIT: ANDRIJA ILIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Japanese Prime Minister’s decision to resume commercial whaling was described by Boris Johnson as “disappointing” at the G7 meeting.

The Prime Minister took the chance to raise the topic with Shinzo Abe when they met on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Telegraph understands he told Mr Abe that he was very disappointed with their decision to continue the practice, which has been condemned by animal charities for putting whales at risk of extinction.

Carrie Symonds, Boris Johnson’s partner, has campaigned for some time on the issue in her role as head of communications for the conservation NGO Oceana.

Ms Symonds attended an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in January alongside the Prime Minister’s father, Stanley Johnson.

She said at the time that the practice should be consigned to the “dustbin of history”, adding: “It’s cruel beyond belief. We have all seen the pictures of the sea turning red with blood, while a whale dies slowly in agony with a sharp metal implement pushed through its body. How can that be right?”

Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson at an anti-whaling protest earlier this year
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson at an anti-whaling protest earlier this year CREDIT: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

It is understood Ms Symonds will be unable to attend as she will be in the United States for her work at Oceana.

Defra minister Zac Goldsmith is meeting with NGOs to discuss the issue of whaling next week.

He said: “Very pleased to hear that ⁦‪Boris Johnson raised Japan’s awful decision to resume commercial whaling with the Japanese PM today at the G7. Hope they will seriously rethink.”

Japan’s first commercial whale hunt since 1986 commenced in early July, after the country left the International Whaling Commission, which has a ban on commercial hunting.

The ban was put in place after whales were brought to the brink of extinction by hunting in the 19th and 20th century.

The creatures are hunted for their meat, and many coastal communities in Japan argue that it is an important tradition.

Boris Johnson has been pushing biodiversity to the forefront of the agenda at the G7 meeting, and he said: “We cannot sit back as animals and plants are wiped off the face of the planet by mankind’s recklessness. If we do not act now our children and grandchildren will never know a world with the Great Barrier Reef, the Sumatran tiger or the black rhino.”

Japan whaling town Taiji begins dolphin hunting

 KYODO NEWS – 17 hours ago – 15:00 | AllJapan

The hunting season for dolphins using a controversial “drive-hunting” method began Sunday in the whaling town of Taiji in western Japan, without any major protest from animal-rights groups.

While local police officers were on high alert for anti-whaling campaigns, 12 boats left the town’s port around 5 a.m., but all returned without any catch, according to a fisheries cooperative official.

The hunting method, in which fishermen herd dolphins and small whales into a cove before sealing the area with a net, has drawn fierce criticism from animal-rights groups at home and abroad.

As a member of the International Whaling Commission, Japan halted commercial whaling in 1988 but hunted whales for what it called research purposes, a practice criticized internationally as a cover for commercial whaling.

Japan had long sought to lift the moratorium and finally left the IWC on June 30 after the organization last year voted down its proposal to resume commercial whaling of species considered abundant, such as minke whales.

(Dolphin hunt off Taiji pictured in 2010.)

Hunting dolphins and other small cetaceans in waters near Taiji was not subject to controls by the IWC, although critics have said the technique is cruel and it has become the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary.

Ahead of the hunting season’s start, local authorities were anxious that there could be obstruction from international anti-whaling activists, but only about 10 members of a Japanese animal-rights group gathered at the port on Sunday.

The hunting season continues for about six months. An ad hoc police box has been set up near the port and, together with police officers, personnel from the Japan Coast Guard will be deployed around the area.

“Thanks to the security, we can do (hunting) with ease,” said Teruto Seko, head of the fisheries cooperative.

Sep 1, 2019 | KYODO NEWS

Demand for whale meat is down. So why did Japan just resume commercial whaling?

Japanese commercial ships hunting whales for the first time in more than three decades caught at least two minke whales Monday and hoped to “hand over our country’s rich whaling culture to the next generation.”

The nation’s Fisheries Agency said it has set “extremely conservative” quotas designed to allow continuous whale hunting for the next 100 years with no harmful impact on the whale population.

Renewing the practice is a win for traditionalists that also extricates the government from its costly and contentious “research” whaling program. It’s just not clear who will actually eat the stuff.

“My heart is overflowing with happiness,” said Yoshifumi Kai, head of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association. ““This is a small industry, but I am proud of hunting whales. People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my hometown.”

The Australian Marine Conservation society took a different tack. Darren Kindleysides, the group’s CEO, called whaling “outdated and cruel” and noted that demand for whale meat has dwindled.

  ought that by leaving the IWC it could wash its hands of its duties under international law, then it was wrong,” he said, adding that “Today is a historic moment for all the wrong reasons.”

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The limits allow for harvesting of 227 minke, Bryde’s and sei whales over the next six months in Japanese waters. Release of the quota had been planned for late June but apparently was withheld until completion of the Group of 20 summit held in Osaka over the weekend.

Whales caught in coastal waters are expected to be brought back for fresh local consumption at any of six local whaling hubs. Whale meat caught further off the coast will be frozen and distributed for wider consumption.

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The hunt began one day after Japan formally withdrew from the International Whaling Commission. While a member, Japan had drawn criticism for whaling it conducted under the guise of research.

Under Japan’s new guidelines, whaling in the Antarctic Ocean is banned and research whaling will halt. The Fisheries Agency said the whale haul is actually expected to decline under the new rules.

Other whaling nations have seen catches fall well below quotas. Iceland, with a quota of 378, caught only 17 whales in the 2017-2018 season. Norway hunted 432, about one-third of its quota.

Under its research hunts, Japan at its peak caught as many as 1,200 whales. It drastically cut back on its catch in recent years after international protests escalated and whale meat consumption slumped at home. The research whaling program lost money for years – $15 million in the last year alone.

The annual domestic consumption of whale meat, about 200,000 tons in the 1960s, has fallen to around 5,000 tons in recent years, according to government data.

In the northern city of Kushiro, whaling ship captain Takashi Takeuchi told Kyodo news service he “felt uneasy” about the outlook for commercial whaling in Japan. He noted that Japanese have long since eaten whale meat consumption on a regular basis.

Hideki Abe, 22, works aboard a whaling ship, said the youth of Japan will be key to whaling’s future.

“I hope the younger generations will get accustomed to eating whale meat,” he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press