Endangering Asia's Environment
Below is my comment on the article of "Visions of Green" Page 26, TIME October 9, 2006.
“This is a Déjà vu!”. I shouted to myself when I saw the pictures in your article of many bike commuters with masks to avoid heavy toxic at the street of Kanpur, India and a flood of junk trash floating on Jakarta river.
Yes, those are just the same as the scenes in Kitakyushu and other cities in the 60’s and 70’s when Japan became notorious as the archipelago of “Kogai”. I was one of the victims to inhale the choking smog very often at that time.
It is true that the more Asian people get higher income and feel inconvenienced by pollution, the more pressure the governments of those regions get to improve the staggering environment. But the time is running out to save it.
As one of the Japanese who experienced both rapid economic growth and Kogai proliferation decades ago, I am confident that Japan can contribute greatly to the improvement of the deteriorating environments all across Asia and urge Asian friends to further demand our helping hands without hesitation.