An Asian brown pond turtle (Provided by the Japan Wildlife Research Center)
Export ban in cards for endangered turtle indigenous to Okinawa
The Environment Ministry said it will ban exports of the Asian brown pond turtle, a species native to islands in southern Japan, in an eleventh hour bid to prevent it going extinct.
The Environment Ministry’s wind power generating facility off Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture (Provided by Toda Corp.)
Surplus in wind power to produce hydrogen for fuel cells
GOTO, Nagasaki Prefecture--An offshore project will get under way here in March to use excess electricity generated from wind to create hydrogen that can fuel local island communities.
Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda checks out a hydrogen fuel-cell car after a test ride in the city in October. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kawasaki garbage trucks to be fueled by burning refuse they collect
KAWASAKI--In an innovative use for the trash they pick up, garbage trucks will be powered with electricity generated by the incineration of waste under an experiment starting this fall.
A fuel-cell forklift, with a hydrogen refueling station in the background, at Kansai International Airport on Feb. 10 (Koji Nishimura)
Kansai airport moving to become hydrogen hub with 'green' forklifts
Kansai International Airport will start replacing its fleet of forklifts with hydrogen fuel-cell models as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
A concrete block is used as an anchor on the seabed off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture. (Provided by Heri Kichi Hantai Kyogikai)
Anti-base group: Anchors in Futenma relocation survey damaging coral reef
NAHA--Massive concrete blocks used in a seabed survey for the relocation of a U.S. military air station are destroying the coral reef off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, a group said.
Mark Brazil visits Nopporo Shinrink Koen park in Ebetsu, Hokkaido. (Masashi Rokubuichi)
A man for all seasons, Briton informs world about Hokkaido's birds
EBETSU, Hokkaido--A British man who became mesmerized by Hokkaido’s nature has become an authority figure on birds from Japan’s northernmost main island.
Nobel laureate Hiroshi Amano, a professor of electronic engineering at Nagoya University, speaks during the Japan-China Energy Conservation Forum in Beijing on Dec. 28. (Tokuhiko Saito)
Japan, China hold 1st energy, environment talks in two years
BEIJING--Japan and China held their first high-level talks in two years Dec. 28 on technological cooperation in the fields of energy-saving and the environment amid signs of a thaw in diplomatic ties.
A worker shows off honeybees. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Health ministry OKs plan to ease regulations on suspected 'honeybee killer' pesticide
A decision by the health ministry to relax restrictions on an agricultural chemical pesticide triggered outrage from an environmental group, which said it would endanger honeybee populations.
Construction continues in Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture, to bring a biomass power plant online in April 2015. (Provided by Maniwa Biomass Hatsuden)
City in Okayama on track to become self-sufficient with biomass energy
MANIWA, Okayama Prefecture--This mountainous city has moved another step toward its goal of supplying all of its energy needs with the area’s most visibly abundant resource.
Ornaments made from elephant tusks are popular in China. (Provided by Lucy Vigne)
Illegal ivory trade 'out of control' due to Chinese demand, group says
NAIROBI--A Kenya-based animal protection group said wild elephants could disappear within the next generation unless the Chinese government takes immediate steps to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.
The Asahi Shimbun
Much less snow likely in Japan if climate change continues
Annual snowfall will drop markedly across most of Japan by the turn of the century if global warming continues, a study shows.
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki speaks during a Dec. 10 ministerial meeting of the 20th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima. (Keisuke Katori)
Time running out for Japan to declare emissions cut target beyond 2020
LIMA--A familiar refrain was heard at a ministerial meeting of a United Nations climate change convention here, with Japan unable to state its greenhouse gas reduction target beyond 2020.
Japan Coast Guard officers search a Chinese fishing boat in waters off Kagoshima Prefecture on Nov. 17. (Provided by the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters)
Chinese coral poachers rife in western Japan; international rules urged
Although the Japan Coast Guard has recently been taking tougher measures to thwart coral poachers off the Ogasawara island chain south of Tokyo, the problem remains unresolved.
A thermal power plant in Yokohama (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Thermal power reliance pushes Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions to record high
Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions hit a record high in fiscal 2013, as the nation’s reliance on thermal power generation increased in the absence of nuclear power, the Environment Ministry said.
A whaling ship leaves Shimonoseki Port in Yamaguchi Prefecture for the Antarctic Ocean in 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan plans new Antarctic whale hunt, but vows to slash quota
Japan on Nov. 18 unveiled plans to resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean despite an international court ruling that previous hunts were illegal, but said it would slash the quota for the so-called scientific whaling program.
A new biofuel made by a research team at Mie University uses damaged or rotting oranges. (Provided by a team of researchers at Mie University)
Mie University researchers convert discarded oranges into 'juiced-up' biofuel
TSU, Mie Prefecture--Scientists at Mie University here have developed a biofuel from unmarketable oranges and waste left over after making orange juice that may put the squeeze on existing bioethanol as a more efficient and less-corrosive fuel blend.
The venomous redback spider is indigenous to Australia. (Provided by the land ministry)
Japan targets 424 dangerous invasive species for elimination
Venomous redback spiders are among 424 nonnative species targeted for extermination in Japan under a planned new designation for alien threats against indigenous species and human health.
Swans take flight from Lake Hyoko in Agano, Niigata Prefecture, on the morning of Nov. 6. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
PHOTO: Niigata swan lake show heralds onset of winter
AGANO, Niigata Prefecture--Amid a drop in temperatures indicating the arrival of winter, a bevy of swans was seen splashing on a lake here in the morning mist on Nov. 6.
Rental bicycles at JR Omiya Station in Saitama. Bicycles are transported by truck to adjust the number at each outlet. (Teru Okumura)
Getting around on two wheels: Good for the environment, good for health
SAITAMA--Pedal power is winning cohorts as "community cycle" programs spread across Japan, leaving no carbon footprint.
A loggerhead sea turtle (Provided by the Sea Turtle Association of Japan)
Ministry stepping in as concerns mount over animals feeding on sea turtle eggs
Environment Ministry officials will launch a nationwide study to look into disturbing reports of animals such as wild boars and raccoon dogs eating the buried eggs of endangered sea turtles.

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