Home > Hot topics
environment
A Thousand Cranes Take FlightIshi Hiroyuki

The red-crowned crane has long been revered in Japan as an auspicious bird. Once the cranes could be found throughout the country, but overhunting in the early years of Japan’s modern era decimated their numbers until they disappeared altogether on the main island of Honshū. Fortunately, extensive conservation efforts have brought back the beloved bird from near extinction. Where at one point there were only 33 red-crowned cranes confirmed in Japan, there are now 1,800.
(More)

Electric-Scooter-Sharing Service to Be Tested on Southern Japan Island (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)—Sumitomo Corp. said Thursday that it will test an electric scooter-sharing service on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture starting by the end of March next year. The Japanese trading house will carry out the test in a partnership with the Ishigaki city government. The sharing service is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are increasing in line wit…
(More)

Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture: The World in Miniature

Filmmaker Sasaki Megumi’s latest work was seven years in the making. A Whale of a Tale is a documentary about the town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture, notorious for its annual dolphin slaughter. The film sheds new light not only on the controversy about Japan’s whaling program but also on the nature of the clashes and polarizations between different worldviews in recent years.
(More)

The Recovery of the Short-Tailed Albatross: A Preservation Success StoryIshi Hiroyuki

Once believed to be extinct, the short-tailed albatross was rediscovered by meteorological observatory staff on the remote island of Torishima. The discovery set in motion extensive efforts to protect and preserve the species, led by a man who has dedicated his life to the project.
(More)

The Short-Tailed Albatross: A Majestic Bird Driven to the Brink of ExtinctionIshi Hiroyuki

Its trusting nature and lack of agility on the ground has long made the albatross easy prey for humans. Whole colonies were once massacred for their soft down feathers, driving the species to near-extinction. The first of a set of articles on this bird looks at the early, disastrous history of its interaction with the Japanese.
(More)

Team Making Gaza Garbage into Fuel Wins Japanese-Hosted Contest (News)

Gaza, Aug. 16 (Jiji Press)—A team that developed a device to produce biogas and liquid manure from garbage has won a business contest hosted by young Japanese people in the self-governing Palestinian territory of Gaza. The team, Ecohome, was awarded a prize of ¥500,000. In Gaza, how to dispose of garbage has been a serious social problem amid a shortage of landfill areas. The contest, the se…
(More)

Minamata Treaty on Mercury Regulation Takes Effect (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 16 (Jiji Press)—The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a landmark international treaty designed to regulate the use and trading of the poisonous material, went into effect on Wednesday. Under the treaty, signatories will also take stronger measures against health hazards from mercury, which is still used chiefly for mining gold in developing countries. A total of 74 signatories, inc…
(More)

Prized Visitors or Pests? Learning to Live with Japan’s Wild GeeseIshi Hiroyuki

The number of white-fronted geese increased 33-fold in half a century, but farmers saw them as a pest. A pioneering initiative in their largest wintering ground, Izunuma in Miyagi Prefecture, is helping geese and people to live side by side.
(More)

The Flight of the Wild GeeseIshi Hiroyuki

Wild geese were once a common sight throughout Japan, but overhunting since the late 1800s caused their numbers to decline drastically to just 5,000. Geese migrate to Japan from Siberia, and it was a letter from the Soviet Union that helped them in their time of crisis.
(More)

Stalking—and Saving—the Wild Eel: An Interview with Marine Biologist Tsukamoto Katsumi

Tsukamoto Katsumi has devoted most of his long career to the study of the Japanese eel and its spawning behavior. Now, with overfishing and other pressures threatening populations of freshwater eel worldwide, Tsukamoto has joined forces with colleagues from China, South Korea, and Taiwan in a race to unlock the secrets of these mysterious—and famously tasty—migratory fish and rescue them from extinction.
(More)

Video highlights

New series

バナーエリア2
  • From our columnists
  • In the news