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Troubled NaturesWaste, Environment, Japan$
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Peter Wynn Kirby

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834289

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834289.001.0001

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date: 17 August 2017

Perils of Proximity

Perils of Proximity

An Invisible Scourge

Chapter:
(p.28) Chapter 2 Perils of Proximity
Source:
Troubled Natures
Author(s):

Peter Wynn Kirby

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834289.003.0002

This chapter focuses on a toxic pollution protest against the Izawa waste transfer facility in Western Tokyo after local residents got afflicted with the so-called Azuma Disease. A key node in Tokyo's waste disposal network, the Izawa facility was embraced as a boon by much of the community before it became an unlikely setting for a bitter political struggle when a substantial percentage of residents surrounding the facility experienced puzzling and at times acutely debilitating symptoms. Ensuing clashes over the source and effects of toxic fallout polarized the community. The chapter considers the dual processes of exclusion that emerged in the Izawa community as well as the clash between the Tokyo bureaucracy and a grassroots protest group, the Group to End Azuma Disease, over issues surrounding health, illness, and purity. It also considers the scientific evidence presented by both camps and how it polarized “good” science and “bad” science.

Keywords:   toxic pollution, Izawa waste transfer, Tokyo, Azuma Disease, exclusion, Izawa, illness, scientific evidence, science

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