Environment Ministry

Government estimate: Almost 100 percent of contaminated soil can...
Bags of radioactive soil that were generated from cleanup operations are seen at a temporary storage site in March 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Up to 99.8 percent of more than 20 million cubic meters of contaminated soil generated from cleanup operations in Fukushima Prefecture can be recycled, according to an...
Giving a hoot about an endangered owl in Hokkaido
A Blakiston's fish owl feeds on a Yamame trout it just caught from a small pool within the Chitoraigawa river in Rausu, Hokkaido, on Nov. 1. (Masafumi Kamimura)
RAUSU, Hokkaido--Just past sundown on a stretch of river dimly lit by lamps, a rare owl suddenly swoops out of the darkness and glides down to a rock in the water. A family,...
Bags of tainted waste swept into Fukushima river during torrential ...
Black polyethylene bags containing radioactive grass and other waste pile up under a bridge in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 11. (Provided by Hakaru Watanabe)
FUKUSHIMA--Seven sites for radioactive waste generated from the Fukushima nuclear crisis were submerged during torrential rain in eastern Japan on Sept. 11, raising fears over...
Captured raccoon frozen to death at Environment Ministry office
A raccoon kept at Kumomoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
A captured raccoon was cruelly frozen to death at an Environment Ministry office in Fukuoka, ministry sources have admitted.
25% of Fukushima landowners ready to sell plots for contaminated...
A field, part of land for an intermediate storage facility for contaminated soil, is overrun with weeds as tall as humans in Okuma, a town that co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, in Fukushima Prefecture. Cranes at the plant can be seen in the background. (Yoshitaka Ito)
FUKUSHIMA--One in four landowners from localities around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have shown a willingness to sell their plots to allow for construction ...
Ministry to allow drilling in national parks to gain geothermal...
The Asahi Shimbun
The Environment Ministry said it will lift restrictions on drilling operations underneath national parks and quasi-national parks to make 70 percent of geothermal energy...
Ptarmigan chick hatched successfully at Toyama zoo from egg...
A ptarmigan chick born at the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo (Provided by the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo)
A ptarmigan chick was hatched artificially at Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo on June 27, part of an effort to boost the numbers of the protected game bird in Japan, the...
Environment ministry pushes back on coal use
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan's environment ministry is pushing back on the growing use of coal to generate power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster led to the shutdown of the nation's reactors, as...
Ministry to nationalize Fukushima site to bury radioactive waste
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki, left, explains the government’s nationalization plan to heads of local governments in a Fukushima prefectural government office on June 5. (Akifumi Nagahashi)
FUKUSHIMA--The Environment Ministry said it will nationalize a privately owned site in Fukushima Prefecture to dispose of radioactive waste generated by the 2011 nuclear...
Grouse eggs bagged for first artificial incubation
A ptarmigan nest in Mount Norikuradake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, from which eggs were collected June 5 (Pool)
Eggs of a vulnerable game bird have been collected in the wild for the first time by Environment Ministry workers who plan to hatch them.
In compromise, ministries propose 25% reduction target for...
The Asahi Shimbun
Japan is leaning toward a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030, a ratio that represents a compromise between two ministries but is still below the...
Survey discovers microplastic contamination spreading far from...
A sample of microplastics (Provided by Kyushu University professor Atsuhiko Isobe)
Tiny pieces of plastic are polluting not only waters near coasts but are also spreading into the open oceans, raising the possibility of fish and seabirds ingesting harmful...
Four wetlands offered as candidates for Ramsar Convention
The Hinuma area in the town of Ibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture, on April 22 (Satoru Murata)
Japan has pitched four wetland areas, including one in Ibaraki Prefecture that is home to a rare species of eagle, for recognition under the Ramsar Convention.
Japan's fiscal 2013 greenhouse gas emissions highest in 6 years
Hirono Power Station near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture runs on fossil fuels. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The nation's total emissions of greenhouse gases for fiscal 2013 increased 1.2 percent from the previous year to 1.408 billion tons, Japan's highest level in six years.
EDITORIAL: A more ambitious renewable energy target is feasible
A solar power station in Seika, Kyoto Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering an energy policy target of raising the renewable energy share in Japan’s overall energy mix to the lower half of...
Industry ministry seeks renewable energy ratio of 20% to 25% in...
The Asahi Shimbun
The industry ministry rejected a proposal by the Environment Ministry and is calling for renewable energy sources to supply “between 20 and 25 percent” of Japan’s...
Radioactive soil finally moved to Futaba site
Workers place bags of contaminated soil trucked to an interim storage facility in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 25. (Keisuke Sato)
FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture--The Environment Ministry has begun transporting radioactive soil to the planned site of an interim storage facility here after years of tough...
Export ban in cards for endangered turtle indigenous to Okinawa
An Asian brown pond turtle (Provided by the Japan Wildlife Research Center)
The Environment Ministry said it will ban exports of a subspecies of the Asian brown pond turtle, native to islands in southern Japan, in an eleventh hour bid to prevent it...
Surplus in wind power to produce hydrogen for fuel cells
The Environment Ministry’s wind power generating facility off Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture (Provided by Toda Corp.)
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...
Kyoto garden to build greenhouse where visitors can observe...
Asarum pellucidum is a species of wild ginger that grows only on Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture. (Provided by the Kyoto Botanical Gardens)
KYOTO--An arboretum here will open a new facility in April where visitors can directly observe efforts by researchers to preserve rare species of plants.