Subject: [cwj 10] Activists scale Tokyo's Tallest Incinerator
From: Amit Srivastava <>
Date: Tue, 09 May 2000 13:13:16 -0700
Seq: 10

9 May 2000 - Greenpeace activists scale Tokyo's Tallest Incinerator 

Four Greenpeace activists were arrested today in Tokyo after they climbed
the tower of the world’s tallest incinerator, Toshima Ward, to protest
against Japan’s reckless waste incineration policy, which results in Japan
having the highest total emissions of dioxins and furans in the world.

The four Greenpeace climbers were taken to the police station after they
had scaled the tower of the incinerator, whose chimney is 210 metres high,
and dropped a banner proclaiming Tokyo as the world’s dioxin capital. The
environmental group stressed that the Japanese government’s "mad rush to
burn" policy is seriously compromising environmental and public health
particularly in areas where the incinerators are located. 

"The government’s pro-incineration waste policy needs to be thoroughly
reviewed and revamped, with greater emphasis being placed on waste
minimisation and recycling. Japan’s mindless incineration program has
virtually become a high-priced dioxin manufacturing scheme that has effects
the government has been unable to deal with in a significant way," said
Toxics campaigner Ayako Sekine of Greenpeace Japan. 

Japan now has more that 2000 highly polluting municipal incinerators all
over the country. In contrast, the United States has fewer than 200 such
facilities in operation. 

Scientists have identified over 200 toxic or potentially toxic substances
resulting from the combustion of municipal solid waste. These substances
appear in incinerator air emissions and ash residues. They include heavy
metals, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and highly toxic compounds such as
dioxins and furans, which can cause cancer, birth defects, immune system
disorders and neurological disorders. 

Incinerators are known to increase rates of cancer and birth defects in
their immediate vicinities.  Independent studies in Japan have reported
infant deaths, which were significantly higher than average in areas
located around or downwind of incinerators.

"Given the tremendous financial, environmental and public health
liabilities associated with incineration, it is irrational that the
Japanese government is still captivated by the false solutions being
offered by incineration. Worse, Japan is actively exporting this unsound
model of waste management to developing countries in Asia. This is
unacceptable particularly in the light of an emerging international
consensus to rid the planet of persistent poisons like dioxins," said
Greenpeace Asia Toxics campaigner Von Hernandez.

"Preventing is the key. Preventing valuable resources from ever entering
the disposal stream in the first place. Preventing the mounting volume of
disposable products and packaging. Preventing the continuing use of
dangerous toxic substances and stopping the headlong rush to incineration.
We need real solutions, not illusions," added Sekine.

Amit Srivastava
Climate Justice Coordinator
Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC)/ Corporate Watch
P.O. Box 29344, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Tel: 1 415 561 6472  Fax: 1 415 561 6493
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