Local Government Measures Against Asbestos: Tokyo Metropolitan and Osaka Prefectural Governments as Case Studies


In Japan, local governments have a critical role to play in handling environmental pollution and industrial disasters. The Tokyo Metropolis and Osaka Prefecture have led with independent undertakings in asbestos countermeasures, and since the Kubota Shock, most local governments have pressed forward with emergency countermeasures against asbestos. However, it is evident that these actions at local government level have limits. Not enough has been done to identify the extent of harm caused by asbestos to human health. Frameworks for registration and the implementation of periodic health examinations have not been set up for citizens at risk of environmental exposure. Current measures to deal with asbestos in buildings are also marked by an array of deficiencies, including a lack of insight into the actual extent of asbestos use, inadequate frameworks for measurement and management, and weak measures for asbestos removal projects. These challenges demand that local governments take ownership of the problems at hand and pursue independent solutions. In addition, it is imperative that the national government also takes action, lays the legal groundwork, and sets the stage for further progress.


Local Government Tokyo Metropolitan Asbestos Exposure Osaka Prefecture Asbestos Dust 


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Policy ScienceRitsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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