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Drifting garbage again is posing shoreline problem

Date Posted: 2010-03-18

It’s not a new thing for Okinawa’s 49 inhabited islands and the large numbers of uninhabited islands along a shoreline totaling 1,748 kilometers. Garbage is piling up and causing environmental damage, endangering the ecosystem.

The government reports drifting garbage is again increasing, and the Prefecture is trying to get a handle on the problem. Self Defense Force consultant and university professor Haruyuki Yamaguchi is investigating the problem. He’s found that on Okinawa’s main island, Miyako Island and the Yaeyama’s 13 islands, each one kilometer of beach has about 15,000 pieces of trash. That statistic comes from a 2005 kilometer-by-kilometer count.

Aside from bottles and small trash, investigators even found consumer electrical appliances and dangerous trash on the beaches. Yamaguchi says markings on much of the trash showed its origin to be from China, Taiwan and Korea.

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