The Asahi Shimbun
Survey: 80% of municipalities eager to promote renewable energy
About 80 percent of municipal governments across Japan are keen to promote renewable energies in the hope that the new energy sources, technology and sales revenue will help revitalize regional development, a survey shows.
Dozens of coral larvae have settled on mortar blocks and grown to a maximum 4 centimeters in Taisei Corp.'s trial coral reef restoration off Miyakojima island in Okinawa Prefecture. (Provided by Taisei Corp.)
Undersea tunnel construction technique helps restore coral reefs
As coral reefs continue to fall victim to global warming, a major Japanese construction company is working to restore these endangered ecosystems using underwater tunnel building technology.
Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto raises the gavel at the close of the 10th meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya on Oct. 30, 2010. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nagoya Protocol to take effect in October, but Japan has yet to ratify it
The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources will take effect in October, but without the participation of Japan--even though it spearheaded the initiative.
A dugong swimming 5 to 6 kilometers off Cape Henoko in Nago, northern Okinawa Prefecture, in 2010. The photo was taken from a helicopter. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
More evidence for endangered dugongs found at planned Okinawa base relocation site
A leading environmental group has found extensive evidence that endangered dugongs inhabit waters close to the planned relocation site of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (Photo by Masanobu Furuya)
Bhutan looks to Japan’s green cars as road to happiness
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has an enlightened plan to make its people even happier by spreading the use of eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
A crested ibis chick born in the wild leaves its nest on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, on June 6. (Provided by the Environment Ministry)
Second-generation ‘wild’ crested ibis chick leaves nest
SADO, Niigata Prefecture--For the first time since the species went extinct in Japan, a crested ibis chick born in the wild to a parent also born in nature left its nest here, the Environment Ministry said.
Microplastics collected by Atsuhiko Isobe, a professor at Kyushu University, in the Seto Inland Sea (Provided by Atsuhiko Isobe)
Impact of plastics pollution in ocean to be studied
The Environment Ministry is set to do a study on tiny plastic particles floating in the seas around Japan and their impact on ocean ecosystems.
A new flower species called "fukiage nirinso" (Provided by Yuichi Kadota of the National Museum of Nature and Science)
Imperial Palace gardens home to 6,000 creatures, plants
The sprawling gardens of the moated Imperial Palace in central Tokyo are a veritable treasure trove of fauna and flora, some rare, a survey has found.
The hatchling being fed by a parent on Sado Island on May 6. (Provided by the Environment Ministry)
Crested ibis born in wild fathers chick with female born in captivity
SADO, Niigata Prefecture--A crested ibis born in the wild as part of the program to reintroduce the endangered species has successfully bred with a female born in captivity, the Environment Ministry said May 6.
Central Ulan Bator is barely visible due to air pollution. Traditional yurts have been set up on the outskirts of the capital. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
Global warming forcing Mongolian nomads to change lifestyles
ULAN BATOR--Men on horseback chase sheep and goats over the snow-covered land in winter in the Mongolian plains, where temperatures can drop to minus 30 degrees.
Judge Peter Tomka, center, president of the International Court of Justice, delivers its verdict in The Hague on March 31. (AP Photo)
World court rules Japanese whaling not scientific, orders temporary halt
THE HAGUE--The International Court of Justice on March 31 ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as the Japanese government had claimed.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, during a news conference in Yokohama on March 31 (Nobuhiro Shirai)
U.N. climate panel: Global warming worsens food, hunger problems
YOKOHAMA--Global warming makes feeding the world harder and more expensive, a United Nations scientific panel said.
A downpour flooded houses in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, in September 2013. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions could lead to cataclysmic environmental changes, a U.N. panel draft report says. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.N. panel: Reduce greenhouse gases or suffer catastrophic effects
Greenhouse gases must be cut 40 to 70 percent within 36 years to prevent cataclysmic environmental changes, according to a U.N. panel’s draft report that urges an immediate shift away from coal-fired power plants.
The urinal with a wash basin that won an award in the eco-services category of the 2013 Eco-Products Awards (Provided by West Nippon Expressway Co.)
Water-saving urinal wins eco-product award
A urinal that uses recycled water for flushing has won an eco-products award.
The opening session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 11. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan's new CO2 goal dismays U.N. climate conference
TOKYO/WARSAW--China, the EU and environmentalists criticized Japan at U.N. climate talks on Nov. 15 for slashing its greenhouse gas emissions target after its nuclear power industry was shuttered by the Fukushima disaster.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan dials back climate change emissions target
Japan has drastically scaled back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, complicating efforts to forge a global climate change pact.
Pedestrians walk on a street in heavy smog in Shenyang city, Liaoning province, China on Oct. 21. (AP Photo)
China to send air pollution inspection teams to provinces
BEIJING--China's Environment Ministry said on Oct. 24 it will send inspection teams to provinces and cities most seriously affected by smog to ensure rules on fighting air pollution are being enforced.
Masses of cars and buses move slowly in a traffic jam on a road in Beijing on July 9. (AP file photo)
China sets new targets to cut air pollution
BEIJING--China unveiled comprehensive new measures to tackle air pollution on Sept. 12, with plans to close old polluting steel mills, cement factories and aluminum smelters, as well as slash coal consumption and boost nuclear power and natural gas use.
A child dives into the sea off the island nation of Tuvalu in the western Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu has been facing the threat of rising sea levels, which could someday force the tiny nation's entire population to be evacuated. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Draft U.N. climate report warns of rising temperature, sea levels
A new report from an influential U.N. climate change panel predicts a spike in global temperatures and sea levels toward the end of the century, with much of the blame falling on humans.
Workers from a company affiliated with major trading house Sojitz Corp. farm tuna in Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture, in July. (Toru Nakagawa)
Japanese tuna dealers fret over supplies after new regulations
Fishmongers in Japan are growing increasingly concerned about their ability to secure stable supplies of Pacific bluefin tuna, as harvesting the popular sushi staple is scheduled to come under tighter regulations starting in February.

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