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The BBC's Hannah Freeman
"America has yet to give a final destination for the waste"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 18 April, 2000, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Protests as waste shipped to Japan
protesters
Protesters clambered on top of the containers
By Charles Scanlon in Tokyo

Environmental campaigners in Japan have protested against the return of a consignment of toxic waste that was rejected by the United States and Canada.

A ship carrying the waste from American military bases in Japan has returned from an unsuccessful trip to North America and docked at the port of Yokohama.

About 100 protestors from the environmental group Greenpeace were waiting for the ship as it pulled into the harbour.

A small group clambered aboard and draped a banner from the side denouncing the US as a toxic criminal.


protesters on ship
Canada and the US rejected the shipment
They accused the US military of trying to secretly dispose of the waste and of not following the proper procedures.

The waste originally came from US military bases in Japan, and contains cancer-causing chemicals known as PCBs, whose production has been banned in most countries.

Containers loaded with 100 tons of the waste left Japan for Vancouver last month.

As it crossed the Pacific, the Canadian authorities decided to reject the consignment, and when the vessel pulled into nearly Seattle, dockworkers refused to unload it.

The US authorities have said the waste will be unloaded in Japan but will be shipped out of the country within a month. It has not given a final destination.

The Japanese Government has appealed to the US military to store the waste safely, and has said it will convey the concerns of residents to the Americans.

The waste cannot be disposed of in Japan because of laws banning the incineration of the chemical.

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27 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Nuclear fuel ship docks in Japan
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