This is just absolutely sickening.
Shimada City in Shizuoka Prefecture, whose mayor is deeply involved in the corruption over waste management in the city, has decided to go ahead with test burning of the disaster debris from Iwate Prefecture against fierce opposition from the city residents and citizens in neighboring cities and prefectures. The ashes after incineration will be buried in the final disposal site for regular garbage and industrial waste in the city.
To reward such an exemplary behavior, joyous Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment, tells the city that he has made green tea from Shimada City as the drink at the ministry.
From Jiji Tsushin (2/3/2012):
"We're cheering for you by drinking your tea", says Minister Hosono to Shimada City for its decision to test burn the debris
Minister of the Environment Goshi Hosono revealed during the press conference on February 3 after the cabinet meeting that he switched the tea drunk by the ministry officials to the tea made in Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Shimada City has just announced it will test burn the disaster debris from Yamada-cho in Iwate Prefecture. As the wide-area processing of the disaster debris is not going well due to the concern for the radiation contamination from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, Minister Hosono, by switching the tea to the Shimada City's tea, is cheering for the city eager to accept the debris.
In the press conference, Minister Hosono said, "I've been a coffee drinker, but right now all I drink is Shimada's tea." The Ministry of the Environment is encouraging the workers at the ministry to purchase Shimada tea for their consumption at work.
Shimada City is located in central Shizuoka, population slightly less than 100,000. Its main industry is tea growing on Makinohara Plateau, the largest tea growing region in Shizuoka and thus the largest in Japan.
Mayor Sakurai has said that he will go ahead with the test burning even though the residents of the district where the incinerator is located haven't agreed to the burning. He says, "I explained everything, nothing more to say to them. It's the time for decision."
Several meetings were held between the city officials and the residents, and the city stuffed the meetings with hired shills to boost their side. The officials even said the residents didn't matter anyway as the neighborhood community leaders were all for it.
Mayor Sakurai was the president of the city's only industrial waste processing company before he became the major. Currently, his relative (son or brother) is the president, running the company, and the mayor remains one of the largest shareholders.
Shimada City has declining population and declining amount of garbage. The incineration plant apparently cannot be used unless the furnace is at least 60% full. If that's true, it may be a relic from the bubble days in 1980s - a big incinerator, bigger than the city ever would have needed.
Disaster debris from Tohoku must be heaven-sent for the mayor.
The incineration plant is right near the water source for the city.
(If you read Japanese, this is a Togetter on "low down on Shimada City's decision to accept disaster debris".)