The traditional image of the Japanese islands as a paradise of scenic coastline, decorated with pine-covered crags, has suffered considerably during the past thirty years, as the Japanese economic miracle has changed the face of the landscape.
LV & CU Children playing on beach in evening as fishing boat passes (2 shots)
AV & SV Expanse of beach with waves (2 shots)
SV & CU Wading bird and crab (2 shots)
CU & LV Mechanical excavator working with industrial complex in background (2 shots)
CU PAN Rusty barbed wire and concrete blocks on foreshore (3 shots)
TRAVELLING SHOT PAST Industrial complex with smoke (2 shots)
AV Industrial complex
GV PAN FROM Bullet-train TO City
LV Street scene
CU Polluted water in canal with fishermen inspecting nets (2 shots)
CU & SV Fishermen with permit arm bands fishing off pier (2 shots)
SCU PAN Protesters distributing leaflets to public
CU & LV Children playing on concrete break-water
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Background: The traditional image of the Japanese islands as a paradise of scenic coastline, decorated with pine-covered crags, has suffered considerably during the past thirty years, as the Japanese economic miracle has changed the face of the landscape.
The area that has suffered most is the 350-mile (547 kilometre) stretch of Pacific coastline between Japan's two economic centres, Tokyo and Osaka. Serviced by a multitude of efficient transport systems such as the superexpress "bullet-train", as well as the natural route of the sea, the coastline has become the natural focal-point for most of Japan's industries.
Japanese industry began to concentrate on developing the coastline from an early stage, a natural consequence of being a trading nation, where both raw materials and finished products were shipped in and out by sea.
As the coastline became overcrowded or was unsuitable, it was changed--reclaimed to more suitable, flatter proportions. Cliffs were chewed away and levelled, drained and built on.
The majority of the coastline between Tokyo and Osaka has, at one time or another, been "remodelled" in this fashion, to make room and space for industry.
All of this activity has not gone unnoticed by Japanese conservationists. They see the pollution and expansion created by big business as an abuse of their natural heritage. Delegations of nature lovers, fishermen and just plain holidaymakers regularly meet with business leaders to try to stop further coastline destruction. But nothing appears to stop further industrial expansion along the shorelines.
Pollution, along with overfishing, have combined to bring fishing to a virtual end around Japan. Over the past few years many people have died from poisonous industrial wastes that have accumulated after eating fish caught in Japan's coastal waters, particularly along the Pacific stretch.
In spite of the protests, the grip of the industrial giants is such that conservationists have had little effect on the pollution which continues to pour into the seas from the factories.