From: Associated Press
Published May 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Japan Moves To Cut Air Pollution in Big Cities

TOKYO -- Japan's parliament approved legislation Friday to cut vehicle pollution around hotels, theaters and offices in major cities by requiring builders to project air pollutant emissions and submit plans for their reduction.


The measure, passed by the upper house on Friday, revises Japan's law on vehicle-emitted nitrogen oxides and particles in the country's top three major metropolitan areas, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.


The law, which will take effect in the next year, would encourage builders to take measures such as providing more parking spaces to prevent traffic jams and include plans for shuttle bus services.


"The legislation is to further strengthen measures to prevent air pollution caused by nitrogen oxide from vehicles in areas with heavily polluted air," the government has said in a document accompanying the bill submitted in March.


The bill will require builders to submit plans for anti-pollution measures before beginning construction.


The current law requires only trucking and transport companies in metropolitan areas to submit emission projections and measures to cut down on them.


The new legislation also requires governors of metropolitan areas to cut emissions at heavily polluted areas such as intersections by setting up elevated roads and taking other measures to ease traffic jams.


The lower house of the Parliament passed the legislation in April.


Source: Associated Press


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