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Modern History of Japan - Essay Example

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Essay answer such questions like: what was the nature of the environmental problem associated with the Ashio Copper Mine, to what extent did the state respond to the problem, what were the zaibatsu, and what economic and political factors account for their emergence, in what sectors of the economy did Japanese private enterprise begin to excel in the Meiji.

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Modern History of Japan
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Modern History of Japan

Download file to see previous pages... Japan is known worldwide as the nation with the most serious environmental pollution. Japan’s environmental destruction started long before the emergence of the country’s modernization and industrialization period. The well-known example of early pollution problem was Ashio copper mine, which began its destructive operations at the end of the nineteenth century and continues to this day to be a pervasively insoluble problem. The Ashio mine, in Tochigi, has been in existence at least since 1600 when it belonged to the Tokugawa shogunate with annual production capacity of about 1,500 tons. It became privately owned in 1871 following the industrialization initiated by the Meiji restoration. In 1877 it became the property of Furukawa Ichibei, and by the 1880s production had increased dramatically, reaching 4,090 tons by 1885, 78 % of the total output of the Furukawa mines and 39 % of Japan’s copper production.
The major pollution problem associated with Ashio Copper Mine was the destruction of water ecosystem due to copper poisoning of ground water caused by flooding and drainage. In 1884, massive tree blighting occurred because of a discovery of large copper ore load. In August 1885, massive fish kills in the Watarase River was observed because of the use of the steam-operated pump and rock-crushing machines in Ani mine. In August 1890, 1,600 hectares of farmland and 28 towns and villages in Tochigi and Gunma prefectures were heavily damaged by the floodwater, which contained poisons from the Ashio mine. In September 1896, a massive flood due to heavy rain damaged the one large city, five prefectures, twelve provinces, and 136 towns and villages over a total area of 46,723 hectares by the water-borne mine poisons. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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