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The Ministry of International Trade and Industry presented the Thai government with a package of recommendations Thursday to ease environmental pollution in Thailand, Japanese officials in Bangkok said.

The recommendations include increasing the number of Thai government officials monitoring environmental pollution from the current 400, the officials said.

Pollution has worsened in Thailand since the economic crisis that broke out in the summer of 1997. Public concern about environmental protection has weakened, allowing for an increase in environmental problems such as the discharge of harmful substances from manufacturers.

Although Thailand has environment-protection laws, their implementation lags behind pollution — largely due to a shortage of personnel.

MITI mapped out the package based on Japan’s experience in settling environmental problems created during its period of rapid economic growth.

In addition to increasing the number of monitoring officials, the package proposes improving their efficiency and mandating environmental protection and energy managers for all plants. These officials are currently required only at large plants.

MITI officials responsible for the environment will meet their Thai counterparts Friday to discuss Japanese support for environmental protection in Thailand.