Economic Analysis of Waste Management in Japan

  • Fumikazu Yoshida


One of the biggest social problems facing present-day Japan is the issue of waste and waste disposal. Needless to say, many of the safety hazards that have resulted from the siting and conduct of waste disposal sites remain a present danger to the environment and to people. Three particularly troublesome sites are representative of these problems: (1) Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, which is notorious for the illegal dumping of industrial waste; (2) Mitake Town in Gifu Prefecture, which is used as a site for the disposal of industrial waste; and (3) Hinode town in Tokyo, where the safety of municipal waste disposal has been called into serious question. Such instances of environmental pollution are the result of a number of related causes, including the choice of landfill disposal sites, disputes over siting, a shortage of suitable sites, the burden on the local government, dioxin (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs)/dibenzofurans (DFs)) pollution arising from the use of domestic waste incinerators, and even the newly introduced Law for the Promotion of Sorted Recycling of Containers and Packaging.


Local Government Waste Disposal Hazardous Waste Food Waste Landfill Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hanashima M, Takatsuki T, Nakasugi O (1996) A case study of environmental contamination caused by illegal dumping of hazardous waste. Haikibutu Gakkaishi [Waste Manage Res] 7: 208 – 219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    As to the Teshima Problem, see: NHK (1997) Yasen no Shikan Nakaboh Kohei [Commander of the field battle]. NHK, Tokyo, Chapter 4Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    In a series of articles printed during November and December of 1997, the Chunichi Shimbun reported that shredder dust had been illegally dumped in the eel-farm waters at Tawara town, Aichi Prefecture. In October 1997, the same newspaper ran a waste problem campaign under the title “What shall we do about the Garbage Archipelago?” The paper claimed that evidence now exists to confirm that the central part of Honshu has been thoroughly polluted by the dumping of construction waste, the open burning of pinball machines and the misuse of self-disposed landfill sitesGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Special Committee on Industrial Waste in the Living Environment (1996) The fundamental direction of countermeasures to cope with industrial waste. Ministry of Health and Welfare, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Taguchi M (1998) Asahi Shimbun. January 25, 1998Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bar Association of Kanto District (1996) Haikibutsu Shoriho Kaisei ni Mukete [Report: toward the revision of waste disposal and public cleansing law]. Tokyo; an investigation carried out by the National Police Agency’s Bureau for Safer Living (1997) claims that 65% of criminal instances of illegal dumping of industrial waste are motivated by the need to reduce costsGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Japan Bar Association (1996) Haikibutsu no shori oyobi seiso nikansuru horitsu no kaisei ni taisuru ikensho [Report on the revision of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law]. Tokyo.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The source for this statement is The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, on April 9, 1997. On December 26, 1997, the Director of Water Works and the Environment, on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Welfare ordered local governments to re-examine how far the local by-laws had been applied in practice, over and above those regulations whose first requisite for the granting of permission to contractors for the construction of landfill sites is to seek for and obtain permission from residents in the area before construction work can begin. Approximately 70% of prefectures had made the requisite arrangements for seeking and obtaining local residents’ permission to construct sitesGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Environment Agency (1996) Report of committee on the promotion of the re-use of containers and packaging. TokyoGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
    Yamakawa H, Ueta K (1996) Concerning the garbage charging system: the attainable level and agenda. Kankyo Kagakukaishi [Environ Sci Assoc J] 9: 277 – 292Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ms. Y Ochiai suggests six ways by which the expenses of garbage disposal may be borne, if the disposal is charged for in accordance with a per unit weight system: In proportion to the emission overall; In proportion to the emission volume at each stage of the emission process; Emission to be free of charge up to a certain volume; A combination of costings with (governmental) support; A combination of costings with other kinds of support (the refraction type); and A combination of costings according to a Fixed Sum System, the costs charged by quantityGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    See: Maruo N, Nishigatani N, Ochiai Y (1997) Ecocycle society. Yuhikaku, Tokyo, Chapter 3Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gunjima T (1995) Thinking about user-charge system and its effects. Haikibutsu Gakkaishi [Waste Manage Res] 6: 163Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kitabatake Y, Nakasugi O (1982) Actual conditions of collecting fees of general waste disposal and analysis of its effects. Chiiki Kenkyu [Regional Study] 12:57; the authors suggest that “If at the time of decision-making, the local government considers the external effect of the amount of service supplied, then, as the ratio of private burden of the total costs decreases, so the amount of service supplied increases”Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ueta K (1996) Economic analysis of charging system of garbage. Keizai Semin March 1996: 218Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    It was included in: Ueta K et al. (eds) (1997) Kankyo Seisaku No Keizaigaku [Economics of environmental policy]. Nippon Hyoronsha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gunjima T (1995) Thinking about user-charge system and its effect. Haikibutsu Gakkaishi [Waste Manage Res] 6: 164Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ueta K et al. (eds) (1997) op. cit., pp 219–222Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tanaka N (1993) Solution and management plan theory of the generation and circulation structure of solid waste in the urban area. In: Tanaka N et al. (eds) Research reports of 1990, 1991, and 1992 science research subsidy. SapporoGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tanaka N (1995) Research of the effects of waste charging system on the general domestic resource consumption reduction life-style. In: Tanaka N et al. (eds) The research report of 1995 science research subsidy. SapporoGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tanaka N (1996) Research of the effects of waste charging system on the general domestic resource consumption reduction life-style. In: Tanaka N et al. (eds) The research report of 1995 science research subsidy. SapporoGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kamishita T et al. (1996) Environment load of on-site burning in the local government garbage which has introduced the charging system. In: Proceedings of Seventh waste management society. Tokyo, pp 81 – 83Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tanaka N (1996) op cit., pp 4–5Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ohno M et al. (1995) Survey of opinions about the introduction of charging system of domestic waste. Urban Cleansing 48:41–42; the report makes three points: (1) that we need to clarify the purpose of the charging system, or whether it should be regarded in terms of the reduction of the public financial burden, or whether it should concentrate on a reduction in the volume of waste produced; (2) that we must not expect too much reduction in the volume of waste from the charging system itself; and (3) that it is, in fact, difficult to say whether a waste charging system would actually be an efficient social method for reducing the quantity of wasteGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Taguchi M (1998) Gomi Mondai Hyakka Jiten [Encyclopedia of garbage problem II]. Shin-Nippon, Tokyo, pp 170–173Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Miyata H (1998) Yoku Wakaru Dioxin Osen [Well understanding dioxin pollution]. Godo Shuppan, Tokyo, p 149; Miyata says that various experiments have made it clear that the contribution of salt to the generation of dioxin in the emission gas is so small as to be, in fact, negligibleGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Greenpeace (1994) Database of known hazardous waste exports from OECD to non-OECD countries. Prepared for the second conference of Parties to Basel Convention, March 21–25. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Greenpeace (1994) The waste invasion of Asia. Greenpeace Australia, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ministry of Finance (1998) Monthly report on Japanese trade. TokyoGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Three kinds of waste are listed: List A: Hazardous waste included in the treaty under embargo; List B: Waste not regulated by treaty; and List C: Material not confirmed waste. List B includes unscattered copper debris, mine waste, and waste plastics (standard conformity substances)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumikazu Yoshida
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EconomicsHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations