• Kyodo


An expert panel under the Environment Ministry has designated around 280 coastal areas in Japan as “important waters” in which biodiversity should be preserved, officials said Friday.

The areas, which account for around 18 percent of Japan’s coastal waters, include locations in Shizuoka and Aichi prefectures where loggerhead turtles lay eggs, and Kasaoka, Okayama Prefecture, known as a breeding ground for horseshoe crabs.

Also covered are most coastal areas of the main island of Okinawa, where the habitat of the threatened dugong is located, according to the officials.

“The designation aims to present scientifically important areas, and it does not immediately lead to regulations on fishing activities,” a ministry official said.

The government expects research data by the experts to be used by local governments in compiling conservation policies and in environmental education.

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